Not going to beat around the bush - Jet Lancer, an upcoming aerial arcade shooter by Vladimir Fedyushkin and Nicolai Danielsen - looks a whole lot like Vlambeer's Luftrausers, only more. Big powerful future jetfighters, swirling dogfights, massive robot bosses and if the teaser trailer below is any indication, a thumping soundtrack. This is all fine, and Luftrausers was great and I want more of that, but faster, louder and better. I've had half an eye on the development of this one for a while, but only now does it have an official title and trailer, which you really should watch below.
Much as I loved Luftrausers, it was perhaps a bit limited by its intentionally low resolution and zoomed in camera. Just from the little bit we see in the trailer, the skies in Jet Lancer feel a lot bigger, and a lot more deadly. Missiles (friendly and enemy alike) swarm everywhere, a big chunky skull HUD indicator tells you when you're in danger and those bosses are just enormous. Giant sky dragons, wobbly-legged robo-tanks and other such bits of sci-fi anime excess. I also spot one boss fight in the trailer against what sounds like a pair of high-tech rival fighters - never not cool.
While it doesn't look like your little fighter will transform much as you swap in modules, I'm digging the Ace Combat-inspired hangar screen. It's exactly the kind of sci-fi jetfighter experience that I want. The game also promises a story-based campaign, suggesting a more linear progression of challenges instead of Luftrauser's seat-of-your-pants survival twitchiness. It's obviously a similar game in many respects, but it's doing its own thing with the idea, and I want to be playing this as soon as humanly possible. Until then, I'm just going to watch that trailer a few more times.
There's no release date on it yet beyond "2019", but you can see a little more of the game on its Steam and official pages here. The dev's Twitter feed is also full of little video snippets and animated GIFs. Jet Lancer is being published by Armor Games Studios.