Gamers have different interests and niches in which they are interested in. Some are true fans of the hardcore fantasy RPGs, while some are up for a good hack-and-slash action game. There are others who want to play as someone else and live that kind of life. And then, there are those who are fans of the science fiction genre. They may either like to conquer entire planets and rule that place according to which way they see fit, or they may want to sit in the command chair of a battleship while they guide it through a civil war.
Since watching Luke Skywalker blow up the first Death Star or watching James Kirk command the starship Enterprise against a Klingon bird-of-prey, many of us had fantasies about sitting in that chair. What if we were that guy who had that lucky shot or that one ship who could turn around the tide of the war? This was answered through space-combat sims, which were first produced in the 90s and enjoyed a period of excellence back then. However, as of recently, space-combat sims suffered because of bad business moves and movie flops (hello, Wing Commander).
While this may be true, the emergence of Kickstarter, a game-funding mechanism, helped in reviving a once-thriving niche in gaming. What with reboots of famous space games Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek and Star Wars all coming out, gamers have a reason once again to re-fit that lazy boy in the living room as a makeshift command chair or cockpit.
With these games coming out, it?s hard not to look back at some of the games that helped define a generation of games. Here are five games that are sure to help bring back some of your fondest memories of zipping through the computer-generated stars:
Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
Here?s a game that?s close to a sci-fi fan?s heart. This LucasArts game let you relive some of the most iconic battles in the Star Wars universe, but that?s not all. It was also one of the first games to flirt around with the option of multi-player, something that?s in full swing today. While it may not be graphically pretty by today?s standards, back then, it was a game that was hard not to notice. You and your friend can either go head to head, an X-Wing of the Rebellion against the TIE Fighter of the dreaded Empire, or you can either be teammates on either faction.
The game?s tagline, ?The Universe of Possibility?, was probably a pretty good description to the dynamics of this game. In here, you play a pilot named Edison Trent who was a practical nobody; the game didn?t provide a clear backstory to him, and this was where the beauty of the game lay. Edison Trent could practically become whatever you wanted him to be: pirate, trader, bounty hunter or hero, the decision is up to you. While Freelancer wasn?t what everyone was hoping it would be because of limitations, mods were created which further enhanced gameplay and playability.
The series was as original as they come. You play a new pilot that is thrust in a war against the vicious Kilrathi, who are humanoids that bear resemblance to big cats roaming the African wilderness. You serve on the space carrier Tiger?s Claw along with other characters, some of which can be called upon to become your wingmen during space sorties. While it may be viewed as another space-shooter game, the mix of combat gameplay with an interesting and unique storyline helped to set it apart from the others.
This PlayStation shooter is another classic from the late 90s which plays very much like Freelancer, only that your actions are effectively mapped out, and so is your choice of ship. The story begins where Earth is finally mined bare of resources, and in typical human fashion, we search for planets to continue mining and trading. The discovery of hyperspace technology, however, ignites a war in which an authoritarian Terran emperor wages war against a band of colonies who are discontented with the rule, called the League of Free Worlds.
A virtual ?what-if? game set in space, this time LucasArts lets you play as the bad guys in the film. You get to pilot TIE fighters that are familiarly seen as ?X-Wing fodder? by most in the movies. However, this game tells quite a different story from that of the film, in which the Empire is the good guy, while the Rebellion are terrorists and troublemakers. The one feature that stood out the most?and perhaps, made the game the classic it is?was the secret objectives, relayed to you by a shadowy figure on the starship you flew in.