Objects In Space
Previewed By Steve Polak
One of my favourite classic games from way back when is a Commodore 64 ripper called PSI5 Trading Company. The game was developed in the 1980s and you had to manage your ship from the bridge, overseeing various departments that looked after your power, weapons, navigation and so on. The game was essentially a delegation sim and it was one of my favourites from that era.
Why am I telling you this?
Because the latest project from Aussie developer Flat Earth Games called Objects In Space, feels like a modern reworking of the PSI5 concept and as such I am super keen to see how it evolves.
Not that Objects In Space really IS PSI5 in new clothes. Flat Earth Games may have never sampled PSI5, it is just their game reminds me of this venerable classic.
Indeed the Aussie developed deep space and combat simulator is far more complex than anything else I have seen and the game bravely, yet intelligently, eschews the ‘ping ping pew’ malarkey so popular with Star Wars inspired space shooters. These games theatrically assume combat has to be up close and personal, with laser dogfights.
Instead Flat Earth Games have wisely deduced that real world deep space combat, such as it might be, would involve ships navigating massive distances and attacking each other from extreme range with guided munitions. Why risk getting close enough to a foe when you can just swat them from a massive distance and in relative safety?
This makes a lot more sense and there is room for corresponding gameplay to deliver a more intellectually challenging and suspenseful experience as a consequence.
You see not only does Objects In Space see you engaging other space ships, more like they are submarines and you are stalking them from extreme range, but you can also use the celestial topography to ‘hide’ and evade detection from potential threats. This makes the game even more interesting as it is a strategic hide and seek shooter.
Flat Earth Games have released some fascinating videos of the game in full flight. Objects In Space was also on show and was one of the highlights at the recent PAX Expo in Melbourne.
If you’d like to check out Flat Earth’s idea of deep space combat this short clip is most interesting.
Alternatively if you’d like to know just how, like a naval submarine captain, you could use extreme range and stealth to attack convoys from afar, so that you may then loot them for their bounty, have a look at this insightful clip.
Finally, if you’d like to see just how far Flat Earth Games have taken their concept, with a fully functional console that turns your desktop PC into a starship bridge bristling with switches, lights and indicators. Check this video out.
All in all there is much to like about Objects In Space. While for me the initial concept reminds me of that cool Commodore 64 classic I waxed lyrical about at the start of this preview, Flat Earth Games are in the process of building something unique and wonderful.
Can’t wait to see the final product, due to be released in 2017.