With every additional million dollars that Star Citizen pulls in, the space combat revival seems to grow a little stronger. The long dormant genre appears to be staging a comeback with games like Enemy Starfighter and the immersive experience offered by the Oculus Rift (a virtual reality headset).
In addition to the exciting outer space games that are still on the horizon, interested parties are already able to jump into the cockpit or command a space fleet in games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and EVE Online. Both MMOs have new expansions on the way and these trailers give gamers a sneak peak at what they can expect.
Space combat has been a part of SWTOR since the game launched in December 2011, but the space missions have yet to offer much satisfaction. The combat system felt like a bit of an afterthought and the on-rails style space battles didn’t really live up to the quality of the rest of the highly-polished game. The BioWare MMO has gone through plenty of changes since 2011, including the adaptation of a free-to-play model, and the Galactic Starfighter expansion aims to breath new life into the space combat side of the product.
Galactic Starfighter takes the battle off rails and introduces free-flight player-versus-player battles to SWTOR users. An in-depth role playing game progression system is being incorporated to keep players coming back to the intense 12-vs-12 style dogfights. The footage looks far more impressive than the space combat missions that SWTOR currently has to offer and the skill tree leveling system should definitely appeal to the MMO crowd. Still, despite having plenty of improvements to offer, the expansion still may suffer from being too little, too late in a market of competitive MMOs.
Revenue for SWTOR saw a substantial increase after the game moved over to free-to-play, but MMO players still have plenty of other popular alternatives (from World of Warcraft to the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online) to keep themselves busy. If BioWare is hoping to capitalize on the demand for exciting space combat, it will have to compete with games fully dedicated to intergalactic war, like EVE Online.
Yesterday, CCP Games released the EVE Online: Rubicon trailer to celebrate the upcoming expansion. The twentieth free expansion for the space sim MMO will be available next Tuesday. The new content will bring additions to both the PvE and PvP side of the game. The gorgeous cinematic trailer doesn’t give too close a look at the new features, but the details of the expansion are all outlined on the official Rubicon site.
Rubicon aims to give players more power to manipulate the galaxy in order to gain the upper hand against their enemies. Players will be able to destroy and overtake NPC customs offices and start collection taxes from planets. In addition, mobile structures are now available to siphon resources from other pilots. Hopefully, there will be enough new content in the Rubicon expansion to keep EVE fans happy until CCP releases the space combat sim spin-off EVE: Valkyrie in 2014.
The Galactic Starfighter expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic releases December 3 for subscribers, January 14 for Preferred Status users, and February 4 for everyone else.
EVE Online: Rubicon releases November 19 for the PC.