Now that X Rebirthhas been exposed as a massive black hole of fun, and following a state mandated period of mourning, I'm back on the hunt for the next good space game. Let's see... there's Elite: Dangerous: the first closed beta combat tests that should start this month, which is exciting, but it's only available to the people who pledged £200 in the Kickstarter/pre-order push. Star Citizen is looking as pretty as ever, though access to the dog-fighting alpha is now looking unlikely to occur this year. Enemy Starfighter will definitely get a big hug from me when I play it, though that's unlikely to be for months. Ditto for Limit Theory. Rogue System looks like systemic, hardcore space joy, but it also won't be out for months. Ooh, Rodina! A space exploration and combat game influenced by the likes of Star Fox and The Elder Scrolls. That's next. And it's out next week! You've saved Christmas!
I've kept an eye on Rodina, party because it's one of the games that tries to do complex things very simply: it will will have a solar system that you can fly around, enabling seamless travel and combat from space down to the planet's surface. You can design your ship and walk around inside it, seeing how those corridors you clicked into place have shaped this space where you'll live. It even resembles Notch's lost game, 0x10c, with a hackable ship's computer allowing for some heavy customisation.
That important release date: it's out on December 13th, and while it should ship with plenty of content, developer Brendan Anthony states that this is just the first step.
Is Rodina finished? No- in two senses. First, I haven't accomplished everything I want to accomplish with it yet. There's a solid base- a huge solar system with massive procedural planets, complete seamless freedom, fun ship combat and a developed background story. But there's lots more work to be done before Rodina can deliver an RPG-like experience with interesting characters and emergent gameplay.
Second, Rodina may never be "finished". My hope is to keep developing it over time, adding features and fulfilling requests. I look to the fans to help its on its journey, whether by buying the game, providing valuable feedback about where you would like to see it go, or by creating mods that extend the game with your own creative vision.
Make it good and I'll support all of this, sir.