Games I dearly want to go back to but am entirely convinced cannot live up to my fond memories? Space sim Freelancer is right there at the top of the list. Shallow oik that I am, I crave maximum beauty from my interstellar fantasies, and while I don't particularly get along with Elite: Dangerous as a long-term endeavour, for noodling around in stunning space it's hard to beat. Poor old Freelancer is far more accessible and immediate, but no, its time has passed. Maybe, just maybe, the recently-released Battle of Sol could offer some slightly more modern space dogfighting.
You may, however, have experienced it before, when it was on Early Access under the name Exodus Of Sol, which was itself a remake of 2012's SOL: Exodus. Do try and keep up, 007.
Here's the launch trailer so we know vaguely what we're talking about, for a change. Includes mandatory post-BSG wardrums soundtrack:
Not bad looking - and yes, that is my primary metric when it comes to space games - though perhaps a little on the gloomy side for my personal tastes.
The Battle of Sol is technically the first project from Christopher Stockman's Bit Planet Games, but again it began life as Seamless Entertainment's 2012 SOL: Exodus. Our Adam reviewed that at the time, and found it not without charm but sadly not without grind, either.
Ben wasn't particularly encouraged that the remake - in 2014 known as Exodus Of Sol - was set to change things up much, and it did look a little rickety back then. The 2015 trailer certainly suggests meaningful visual improvements, but hopefully we can launch Adam at it once he's back from hols to ascertain if the space hi-jinx have come along too.
Steam reviews - based on Early Access - are broadly positive right now, though you may want to wait and see how it goes down with the masses now it's launched fully, and the devs do seem aware that their initial plans were underwhelming:
"When we first acquired the SOL: Exodus IP, code, and assets our plan was to simply do some enhancements to the original game.
Instead we built a whole NEW game with revamped game mechanics, visuals, all new missions, new ships, all new VO (with a much larger cast), much improved AI, and so much more."
Said new VO includes the chap who voiced Lee in The Walking Dead, by the by.
The Battle Of Sol is out now.