It looks like the just-announced Starpoint Gemini 3 will be a significant departure from Warlords, previous in Little Green Men’s space sim series. Rather than continue down the path of light 4X strategy and fleet management, the new game puts players into the cockpit of smaller craft. There’s first-person cockpits, and you’re able to meet characters face-to-face in planetary and station interiors. It’s a pretty big change, considering the series has been a largely impersonal affair up until now. The game is due out some time this year – see the announcement trailer below.
The trailer is an oddly wonky thing, isn’t it? I admit that I like that skull-shaped ship that gets missile’d in the big metal face, but there’s a conspicuous absence of space combat in this teaser. Here’s hoping for more long-form footage soon. Players will control “wisecracking hero Captain Jonathan Bold”, which sounds like a bargain-bin Han Solo if I ever saw one. Sadly, you’ve not got a Chewbacca stand-in, but your ship AI, ADAH, can apparently transfer herself to a drone to allow you to complete “off-ship” tasks, including “exploration of space structures”.
Little Green Men are calling this one a single-player action RPG, with space combat, an explorable universe to wander and the usual space-laser combat you’d expect. While the series hasn’t been known for its gripping dogfights up until now, I can’t help but feel that this one’s going directly up against Rebel Galaxy Outlaw. Curious that two space sim series (admittedly Rebel Galaxy was only one game) are both pivoting towards simulating life as a bar-trawling space rogue. Not that I’m complaining – it’s a good, cosy niche to be in.
The game’s store page doesn’t give much information, but developers are answering questions on the Steam forums, and have confirmed that there’s no capital ships to fly this time. It’s just you in your cockpit with dogfighting combat. There’s a modular ship upgrade system, but it sounds like you’ll technically be in the same craft all game long, even if you can Starship Of Theseus it a little.