Battlestar Galactica (the original) is famous for owing a debt or two, or three, or four, or five, or six, or seven to Star Wars - cheekily dashing to cinemas before Lucas' could sequelise his space opera. The tables have turned this time around though, with Battlestar Galactica (new version) Online getting, well, online before Bioware's Star Wars: The Old Republic does.
Today, in fact. You can join the human vs Cylon war for free, and quicker than you can say "by your command."
Actually that's a wee lie, as access to Bigpoint's free-to-play space combat MMO offer currently entails short queues. My nose at the tutorial didn't have my hanging around too long, at least, and once in the game had the good grace to almost immediately show me a pitched battle between the Battlestar and a couple of whopping Cylon Basestars.
The tutorial's all I've had a chance to look at so far, but it's certainly an impressive use of the Unity browser engine. The space battle looked instantly recognisable, my ship steered fluidly and recklessly bombastic use of the BSG soundtrack veered between stirring and irritating. Despite being a free to play browser thingumy, it seems to offer a full raft of keyboard and mouse controls and didn't seem too shy about letting me play with iconic stuff right off the bat. There's a
micropayment system in there to buy bonus toys, but I've yet to explore that.
It went a little wrong come the end of the tutorial and the first look at blodgy browser-people, but given the speed of loading and the good looks of space I suspect that's a worthy sacrifice. I'll take blowing up spaceships within seconds of logging in over being able to see Admiral Adama's pores any day.
I'll go back in again soon to try and take this free MMO's measure a little more - in the meantime, sign up here and do let us know what you make of it.
Also, this reminds me - I am now 100% convinced that Jim is a Cylon. I don't have concrete proof just yet, but I'm getting closer to it. Don't trust him. And that book of his? Codeword-filled hidden propaganda, designed to trick you into betraying humanity.