Shred Nebula First Look

CrunchTime Games took the lid off its new space shooter for Xbox Live Arcade, and we got the details.

Earlier this month, we took an in-depth look at indie developer CrunchTime Games, founded by longtime industry veteran James Goddard and staffed by a handful of fresh-faced college grads out of a garage located on Goddard's ranch in Chandler, Arizona. Now we've also gotten an initial look at CrunchTime's first independently produced game, the forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade shooter Shred Nebula. Before you groan about yet another Geometry Wars clone on Microsoft's download service, take heart that there's no twin-stick control or omnidirectional shooting to be found here.

The toxic sludge attack will mire pursuing ships, slowing their movement.

On the contrary, Shred Nebula hearkens to more classic overhead spaceship games such as the seminal arcade blast-a-thon Asteroids and, more recently, the 1997 competitive multiplayer shooter SubSpace. As in Asteroids, your aim in Shred Nebula will be constrained by the direction your ship is pointing in, so your flying skills will be as important in a dogfight as your shooting ability. And Goddard cites SubSpace's diverse range of spaceships as a major influence on Shred Nebula, which will itself offer an array of playable craft, each with a unique set of attributes governing speed, durability, and special attacks.

Each ship will also have countermeasures you can deploy at the right moment to deflect or dampen the attacks used by your enemies. Goddard spent part of his early career working on the Street Fighter series at Capcom, and likens Shred Nebula's asymmetrical rock-paper-scissors design to that of a fighting game, in that each ship will be stronger or weaker against another given ship due to the characteristics of their respective abilities. The game will feature 20 ships in total--including the artificial intelligence-controlled enemies--and the playable ships will obviously be a subset of that total, though CrunchTime isn't talking specifics on the number or particular traits of the playable ships. We do know there will be more than 40 stages in total, each of which will feature unique obstacles or traps, such as a nebula that might burn the hull of your ship when you fly too close.

The company also isn't divulging all the details on Shred Nebula's various single- and multiplayer modes, though we do know there will be two separate single-player game types--one of which sounds like a straightforward score run, and the other of which presumably will focus on a linear level progression driven by story. Multiplayer is also a bit of a wild card; it will support at least four players (though we're hoping for more) and will offer leaderboards to track your performance, though again, CrunchTime isn't talking specifics on the rules of the multiplayer modes just yet.

This enemy's tractor beam will wreak havoc on your ability to fight back.

One thing Goddard did confirm was Shred Nebula's price: 800 Microsoft points (or about $10). The game will be available on Xbox Live Arcade in "early 2008," and CrunchTime will make more information available in the coming weeks on the game's official site. We'll endeavor to bring you hands-on impressions during that time, too.

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Discussion

23 comments
BRETTJB99
BRETTJB99

What happened to Jeff? Anyone?

mimiller
mimiller

Sorry that I'm so out of the loop, but what happened to Jeff? Could someone give me a rundown? Thx.

lemec78
lemec78

SO WHY ARE ANY OF YOU STILL HERE? AFTER WHAT HAPPENED TO JEFF THIS SITE IS COMPLETLY COMPRIMISED, BOO TO GAMESPOT!

qou
qou

Looks good

DameonAngell
DameonAngell

That game mentioned in the preview, Subspace, is still being played today under a different name: Continuum. Hit up www.getcontinuum.com and you can get a 100% free game that you can play on your computer that's like this game, except better.

DameonAngell
DameonAngell

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

AndyC84
AndyC84

Download Subspace (now known as Continuum) at www.getcontinuum.com

duffman45
duffman45

I saw this at UAT's tech forum as well. Can't wait to try this game out.

ferrarieenzo
ferrarieenzo

when is war world coming out for x box live im tierd of wating for that game

ratgangsta
ratgangsta

i agree with strahdo1 the xwing games were great they should have something similar to that it isnt very hard to make

_borsdy
_borsdy

What is with the 10 dollar games lately? Except for Undertow being the only one worth that price of admission...

strahd01
strahd01

is it too much to ask for a actual space shooter like x wing vs tie fighter? or wing commander?

quantumtheo
quantumtheo

man, i hate trying demos on the XBLA cuz they show up on my games list when i compare games... i don't care about feeding frenzy or uno anymore! why is it on my freaking list! Oh yeah, this game looks interesing

daviwinn
daviwinn

Well I really like arcade games but the lack of dual analog controls has me a little worried. This was an evolution for this type of game and I have had trouble going back to games that didn't use these controls. I will give it a shot though, and hopefully I'll be pleasantly suprised.

Guyden
Guyden

BUY THIS GAME Don't feel bad James, now there are seven comments.

trickyspider
trickyspider

its always good how u can download demos 1st over xbox live... i will dwnload dat and check it out

Brain3000
Brain3000

Saw this when they gave UAT students a sneak preview at our last Tech Forum, and so I can't wait for this game to come out.

sktbrd341
sktbrd341

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

oDARKBLADEo
oDARKBLADEo

I'll always try the demo... and see where that leads. There's always room to improve on the formula, or take it in a slightly new direction.

Pn0y6i9
Pn0y6i9

awesome! can't wait for it to come out! i had the chance to actually see this game in action and looks incredible! it's pretty action packed and feature packed for $10. a must buy for gamers!