Creative Forge’s sci-fi real-time tactics game Stargate: Timekeepers is aiming to launch a public beta to coincide with its TV inspiration Stargate SG1’s 25th anniversary in July. Senior producer Neil McKenna pencilled in the timeframe at publisher Slitherine’s Home Of Wargamers event yesterday, while showing more new characters and gameplay from later in the campaign than when the game was last seen in December.
Stargate: Timekeepers was announced in May last year and is the first licensed game set in the Stargate universe approved by MGM in more than a decade. It’s similar to Shadow Tactics: Blades Of The Shogun, Desperados 3 or – if you’re ancient and remember when Stargate: SG1 started like me – Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines. You select a small team of characters with varying skills like sniping and camouflage, some of whom have to be taken on particular missions while others are optional picks.
Your team of Stargaters has to travel to different worlds to take on the nefarious Goa’uld. In December, developers Creative Forge showed off the icy climes of the aftermath of SG1’s infamous Battle of Antarctica on Earth, and a second planet that looked like those forests from virtually all early episodes of the show. What was shown in the stream came from later in the campaign than those two missions. McKenna said missions take place on “big ol’ maps” and will last much longer than the 45-minute segment Slitherine had for Timekeepers on the stream.
The mission shown, In Plain Sight, was a flashback to how two characters met in a fairly dingy place called Moloc’s domain. This is where SG1’s influence lands, because Moloc was a Goa’uld system lord in the show who liked to sacrifice children in a ‘ceremony of fire’. That’s exactly what the Timekeepers team tried to stop in the Siltherine stream. McKenna revealed two new characters in this mission: Max Bolton, a gruff sniper, and Sam Watson, who uses a ‘mimetic scanner’ to copy the appearance of enemies.
The last Stargate game was 2010’s third-person shooter Stargate: Resistance, but that one ended up getting a bit legal and the servers were shut down after a year. Resistance’s developer Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment was also working on a Stargate MMO at the same time, but that was eventually cancelled, and the franchise has lain dormant ever since.
Stargate: Timekeepers’ choice of genre is an inspired fit for the team-based episodic missions seen in SG1, so I’m keeping my peepers peeled for this one. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out like that other real-time tactics sci-fi tie-in, the poorly received Star Trek: Away Team.