I haven't really sat down and given it much thought yet, but what is so unappealing about space combat sims nowadays? People seem to like spaceships in any other context.
Or is it simply the music industry syndrome permeating the gaming industry; FPS' sell, so produce as many clones as possible.
Did people forget how much the WC series grossed? Geez. And that was without clones.
I realize this is an old post, but it caught my eye.. Personally I LOVE space combat games.. from Unreal to Star Fleet Command III, space is the place to be! So I felt this post required a really good reply..
Regarding the "Lack of interest" in space games, I feel it has a lot to do with the fact that these games are made too much like the old Top Gun for Nintendo.
You take off, you shoot down enemies, and you go back to base for the next mission. Even with the trading and mining aspects of the game, after awhile it gets boring...
So once you've played Darkstar One, Spaceforce Rogue Universe, or Wing Commander, etc.. You've played them all..
The only thing that distinguishes these games from being better or worse seems to be the level of graphics (obviously), and; more importantly, the interactiveness.
Mass Effect for example is hugely popular because it has so much interactivity..
Designing a space combat game similar to Oblivion in interactivity would be a step in the right direction.
In my opinion, a truly great space combat game would contain these aspects:
- Character appearance, skills, and attributes customization (NO "skill trees" and crap like that. All skills should be available to all characters with each character simply having different proficiencies in specific skills).
- Space fighting (with many ships and the ability to upgrade ships in all aspects)
- Land, explore, and complete quests on planets and stations in BOTH first person and third person views.
- Video transitions instead of loading screens, etc.. to prevent breaking the atmosphere and feel of the game.
- Simple control system, similar to Freelancer in the way that moving to waypoints and other places can be "Automated" (ie: "Goto" command, "Docking" command, etc...). W,S,A,D, movement control setup when in first person view.
- And most importantly, Lots of direction!
Too often games can be great for being so open ended, but at the same time they can lack a sense of direction and priority, and thus become overwhelming. So providing an enhanced system to prioritize and track missions, etc, would greatly maintain interest in the game.
Essentially, just combine Mass effect and Freelancer together, give it better graphics and more interactivity, and the customization of Oblivion and you could have the hottest new game of the year!