Make It Show: 15 Mins Of Into The Stars Gameplay

Into The Stars gameplay screenshot

Who’d be the pilot of Ark-13? More to the point, why would anyone even consider flirting with fate by numbering a starship “13”, especially after contact has been lost with previous arks? Ach, those starship engineers with their rationalist outlooks.

When last we wrote of Into The Stars [official site] it was in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign. Developers Fugitive Games won their funding back in February and are now ready to show off more of their work. Here’s a full fifteen minutes of non-narrated gameplay footage for your delectation.

If the music seems familiar, it’s because it was composed by Jack Wall, who has also scored music for Mass Effect, Lost Planet and Call of Duty. The instant I heard Into The Stars’ soundtrack I was transported back to the three separate occasions when I played through the Mass Effect games in ridiculously lengthy, RSI-inducing sessions. The power of music, eh.

As for Into The Stars, it looks very nice in places, and I can imagine it being fun in the same way that, say, Infinite Space or Out There are fun. I do have some reservations based on what I’ve seen in that video, but as the game’s still very much in development and, unusually, isn’t an Early Access title, I’ll hold off on critiquing it. If you want to know more, IncGamers have a short interview focused on how the game plays, which offers a bit of game design context to what we’ve seen in this gameplay footage.

24 Comments

  1. Jayson82 says:

    This game has turned out a lot different than I thought it was going to be.

    When I first heard of it I thought it was going to be a bridge game, where you give orders to your crew as the captain and they follow them out independently but this is more like your control everything and the crew are just assignable bonuses. Also the rock paper scissors combat system and i do mean rock paper scissors and other mini games make this more like a mobile game port rather than a tactical pc game.

    I don’t know about this one.

    Also did anyone else notice some lag or mouse lag in the trailer? It felt very uncomfortable watching.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty and all, but this looks like a collection of minigames. And the combat is horrible, especially having to manually time raising the shields, and that bit where they have to switch screens mid-combat to repair them. Ugh.

      And, yes, it seems to chug at points when assigning crew. Weird for that to be when performance plummets.

      • imperialus says:

        Yeah, I’m out just based on the combat alone. The minigame aspect doesn’t bug me, but the colour scheme sure does. Quick reactions using a colour spectrum matchy matchy thing is a pretty easy way to kill the experience for the 10% of males who are colourblind.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Wait, the odds of colour blindness are different for males and females? I had no idea. Learned something new today.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            Yeah, it’s like 12% for males and 0.5% for females.

          • iainl says:

            The vast majority of colour-blindness is due to a defective gene that sits in the Y chromosone, in case you’re curious.

        • Jayson82 says:

          What bugs me about the combat is that its to simple, its either based on luck, you guess the right colour to attack or defend making progression and lving up pointless or its based on catching the visual clues which gives you an unfair advantage spoiling any challenge, there is no middle ground. Also what tactics can you play using rps?

          It lastly brakes immersion, your flying around in a large starship then boom into a minigame and a minigame that stands out as a minigame.

    • Vin_Howard says:

      Wow, I thought I was just getting a playback bug. Did they really shoot that trailer at 10fps?!

      And more on topic, yes, half way through the trailer I finally was able to articulate what was off about this game: it’s a mobile game though-and-through

  2. Blackcompany says:

    Ugh, that crew. The manner in which they just…stand there, typing away robotically or otherwise oblivious to circumstances, its just…unsettling. Creepy in the extreme.

    If the crew are not relevant to the experience, please, let me remove them from my view, and it can just be me and the ship’s computer. Or give them some personality, some ability to act and react to circumstance. Which perhaps is something coming down the pipeline. I hope. But either way that would have to go.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Well, at least it’s internally consistent that they’re in stupified trances, given you don’t seem to be able to delegate to them half the time but have to reach over to their console to push the “fire” button.

  3. int says:

    Something to listen to when playing that mini-game:

  4. liquidsoap89 says:

    That looked like some of the least exciting combat I might have ever seen in a game like this.

    Sure is pretty though. Gets my space fetish going for sure!

  5. Veldzhes says:

    …What a waste of great music.

  6. mariamoran says:

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  7. Gap Gen says:

    *Around* the stars, guys. *Around* the stars. Just don’t- oh, there goes another one.

  8. Mud says:

    First game I backed on KS via Paypal, not one word from them.
    Not registered as backer nor any info …….

  9. Artist says:

    Wow, that gameplay mechanics are horrible. The ship presentation motivates for a grand space opera and then everything falls down to a smartphone clickfest. Very disapointing!

  10. Keeper075 says:

    Yeah color me disappointed as well. I, too, thought this was going to be something in the vein of Star Trek: Bridge Simulator, the only game I’ve played that ever came close to actually giving the player the feeling of actually captaining a starship. I’ve been waiting for something like that to come out with the recent resurgence of space sims, and I had hoped this would be it.

    *sigh*

    Plus I hoped there would be a little more to the away missions, like some kind of, I don’t know, interaction? Alas it seemed to just be pick some crew, watch a canned animation, then view a status screen. The exception to this (as shown) being, of course, the almost laughable mining mini-game. Like most of the above commentators I felt that the game as a whole looks like something I’d play on a smartphone/tablet. Nothing I saw justified it being on a PC.

    The combat has already been discussed as well as I would

    It’s a real shame. I was really looking forward to this.

  11. Premium User Badge

    syllopsium says:

    Sadly doesn’t even look that pretty given the high standard of other space sims. It’s hopefully very early in development because I don’t see anything compelling at all, here.

    Combat would be much better if it was turn based and your viewpoint could be altered to any position, so that the enemy moving and being destroyed can be seen from an angle other than directly opposite.

  12. Jernau Gurgeh says:

    Is it just me, or is that spaceship piloted entirely by Robert Palmer music video models?

  13. S Jay says:

    Wow, the giant tablet is the worst. Imagine how tired that poor woman would be?