Space Flight Sims

#1 Edited by Arthas045 (5246 posts) -

With all that's going with this genre now I am wondering what would be a good jumping off game. I have not played any games in this genre. Is it worth backing Star Citizen and just waiting for that?

#2 Posted by airshocker (29858 posts) -

There's really nothing recent for you to jump into. I mean, maybe try Freelancer. It's a pretty basic game, but still one of my favorites.

#3 Posted by Byshop (11596 posts) -

@Arthas045: There are a few that are pretty easy to get into. Overall this has been a dead genre for a long time but it's just now starting to make a comeback with indie development studios and kickstarter campaigns. Strike Suit Zero is a good one to try. It's a linear, mission based space combat sim but the action is fast and the gameplay is good but also not too deep.

In addition, there are a few more indie titles you can check out like Sol Exodus which is a similar game.

If you're looking for something more along the lines of what Elite and Star Citizen will be like when they are released, you can try something like Darkstar One. That's a "Privateer" style (aka open 'world' space combat sim where you carve your own path) game that has a decent balance between complexity and accessibility. It's not the only game in that genre, but some of them are so dauntingly complex that they can be pretty hard to get into. The X series, for example, is a staggeringly complex game series of this type in which you start with one ship but can build your own empire in a simulated economy, but they are not easy to learn how to play.

-Byshop

#4 Posted by pelvist (4852 posts) -

Nothing new but I recommend Freelancer and X3:Albion Prelude if you havent got them already.

#5 Edited by Byshop (11596 posts) -
@pelvist said:

Nothing new but I recommend Freelancer and X3:Albion Prelude if you havent got them already.

People keep saying this but there have actually been a ton of space sim games that have come out in the last 5 years.

Strike Suit Zero, Infinity and Zero Director's Cut (linear, mission based, arcadey)
Sol Exodus (same as above)
Starpoint Gemini 1 and 2 (2 is Early Access right now)
Evochron Mercenary (free form space game but steep learning curve)
Eterium (another linear story/mission based game)
Galaxy on Fire 2 HD (PC release of an iOS game)
Kinetic Void (early access space sandbox game)
Starlight Inception (story based but I haven't spent much time with it so I don't know much about it)

Obviously that's besides Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen.

Oh, and X Rebirth even though it's horrible. It might be worth picking up cheap if you catch it on sale. While fans of the series (like myself) hate it, some newcomers have thought it was ok.

If you're going to go as far back as Freelancer, then you should include Tachyon and Freespace 2 in the list. Freespace 2 was even just released on Steam for $5 a few days ago.

-Byshop

#6 Posted by Arthas045 (5246 posts) -

I was going to get some during the summer sale. I was thinking X:Rebirth and Strike Suit Zero. I remembered hearing about X not being that great, but the 2.0 update seems to have helped the game a lot.

#7 Posted by pelvist (4852 posts) -

@Byshop: Well he asked for a "good jumping off game". I can only assume that OP is asking for something that is both good and is similar to what Star Citizen and Elite: D aim to be. So that rules out all those you listed.

#8 Posted by Byshop (11596 posts) -
@pelvist said:

@Byshop: Well he asked for a "good jumping off game". I can only assume that OP is asking for something that is both good and is similar to what Star Citizen and Elite: D aim to be. So that rules out all those you listed.

There isn't a game out today that is what those games aim to be (including those games, lol), but if you're referring to freeform space combat sims (which you obviously are with comparisons to X and Freelancer) then I listed several.

I don't make assumptions about what people want, I provide the information and let them make their own informed decisions. Freelancer is pretty accessible, but many Freeform space games aren't. X is particularly notorious for being overly obtuse for new players. I included the linear, mission based space flight sims because for someone new to the genre they are a much easier starting point.

@Arthas045: X Rebirth 2.0 is a big improvement over the orignal version, but I'm still very hesitant to call it good, but like I said if you've never played the previous X games then it might not bug you so much. There are still quite a lot of bugs in it, though. SSZ is just pure fun.

-Byshop

#9 Edited by pelvist (4852 posts) -

@Byshop: He asked for "good jumping off game" and personally I wouldnt call any of the games you listed "good", least of all Strike Suit Zero and Rebirth. Therefore I dont feel the need to recommend them. But feel free to post lists of every space game you know about if you think it helps. I wont scrutinize.

#10 Posted by Byshop (11596 posts) -

@pelvist said:

@Byshop: He asked for "good jumping off game" and personally I wouldnt call any of the games you listed "good", least of all Strike Suit Zero and Rebirth. Therefore I dont feel the need to recommend them. But feel free to post lists of every space game you know about if you think it helps. I wont scrutinize.

Please. Freespace 2 alone is considered by most as one of the best games in the space combat sim genre.

-Byshop

#11 Posted by pelvist (4852 posts) -

@Byshop said:

@pelvist said:

@Byshop: He asked for "good jumping off game" and personally I wouldnt call any of the games you listed "good", least of all Strike Suit Zero and Rebirth. Therefore I dont feel the need to recommend them. But feel free to post lists of every space game you know about if you think it helps. I wont scrutinize.

Please. Freespace 2 alone is considered by most as one of the best games in the space combat sim genre.

-Byshop

Yes that would be the exception to ones you mentioned, ill agree with you there it is a great game especially in coop. It is also a very different type of game to Star Citizen and ELITE and since its 15 years old it fits in with my "nothing new" statement that for some reason seems to have gotten to you a tad. Oh well.

#12 Posted by FragSponge (194 posts) -

@Byshop said:

@pelvist said:

@Byshop: He asked for "good jumping off game" and personally I wouldnt call any of the games you listed "good", least of all Strike Suit Zero and Rebirth. Therefore I dont feel the need to recommend them. But feel free to post lists of every space game you know about if you think it helps. I wont scrutinize.

Please. Freespace 2 alone is considered by most as one of the best games in the space combat sim genre.

-Byshop

THIS!

Freespace games were amazing

Get Freespace 1 & 2 TBQH, I found the X series to be quite average.

#13 Edited by LeiasGlory (10 posts) -

I bumped into a quite interesting game in this genre, called Cimmerian Space.

But its a web-game since me myself only have a really shitty mac with 64GB flahs memory..all the others are just too heavy for my laptop..you can have a loook!

#14 Posted by joseph_mach (3596 posts) -

@FragSponge:

Absolutely. Genre defining and the standard to go by imho.

#15 Edited by Arthas045 (5246 posts) -

@FragSponge said:

@Byshop said:

@pelvist said:

@Byshop: He asked for "good jumping off game" and personally I wouldnt call any of the games you listed "good", least of all Strike Suit Zero and Rebirth. Therefore I dont feel the need to recommend them. But feel free to post lists of every space game you know about if you think it helps. I wont scrutinize.

Please. Freespace 2 alone is considered by most as one of the best games in the space combat sim genre.

-Byshop

THIS!

Freespace games were amazing

Get Freespace 1 & 2 TBQH, I found the X series to be quite average.

I think I will purchase Freespace 2. It is currently on sale right now on Steam for 4.99.

Game looks awesome even being that old of a game the graphics hold up and gameplay looks nice and fast.

#16 Edited by pelvist (4852 posts) -

@Arthas045: You cant grumble for 4.99. Though there is no open universe for trading and exploration in Freespace 2 it is a great space combat game. I havent played the game for a loooonnng time but there are mods that make the game look a lot better. I think it was called "Source Code Project" or something like that if i remember right.

#17 Posted by Byshop (11596 posts) -
@pelvist said:

@Arthas045: You cant grumble for 4.99. Though there is no open universe for trading and exploration in Freespace 2 it is a great space combat game. I havent played the game for a loooonnng time but there are mods that make the game look a lot better. I think it was called "Source Code Project" or something like that if i remember right.

Actually Freespace 2 is "non commercial" open source, and the Source Code Project maintains and updates the code. This means you can download the entire game for free from that site. However, for $5 I think it's worth it for not having to deal with their custom downloader/installer and all the headaches that go along with that. The Steam install simplifies the process.

Regardless of what you think about the games I listed, there are some good ones in that list. Evochron Mercenary is a very recent game and of every space flight sim I know, both new and old, it's the closest thing to what SC and E:D strive to be. It's space flight simulation is actually -more- complex than the X series (inertial flight mode, adjustable inertial counter thrusting like SC's Comstab, planetary exploration like E:D plans to implement, power system redistribution, manual course plotting, the ability to basically build your ship from scratch, private multiplayer servers, etc). The game's only crimes are that this level of complexity makes it hard to start as it has a very steep learning curve and it lacks the polish of a AAA title which is why it's not my first recommendation.

Have you even heard of this game or are you just taking a dump on my list to posture? You said that all the games I listed were crap but provided no backup or reasons for why they aren't any good, which makes that basically useless advice. Have you even played them all?

The only Freeform space combat sim that I've played in a -long- time that was easy to get into was Darkstar One, and that was because it's basically like "Privateer light". This was a perfectly fine game and would be a great one for someone to cut their teeth on if they wanted Freeform in particular, but it's a bit older than most of the rest of the games in my list.

-Byshop

#18 Edited by Arthas045 (5246 posts) -

No Man's Sky looks like its going to be pretty awesome too.

#19 Posted by Byshop (11596 posts) -

@Arthas045: Yeah, it does. There's that plus one other procedurally generated space game who's name I can't remember at the moment (it came up in another thread when I was looking for similar recommendations) but both of those are probably even further out than Elite and Star Citizen which is why I didn't bring them up.

This is an exciting time, because this is one of my favorite genres of game and it's been experiencing a big resurgance in recent years thanks to indie studios having a lowered dollar requirement to get something out there thanks to pre-fab engines and digitial distribution, as well as crowdsourced funding.

-Byshop

#20 Edited by pelvist (4852 posts) -

@Byshop said:
@pelvist said:

@Arthas045: You cant grumble for 4.99. Though there is no open universe for trading and exploration in Freespace 2 it is a great space combat game. I havent played the game for a loooonnng time but there are mods that make the game look a lot better. I think it was called "Source Code Project" or something like that if i remember right.

Actually Freespace 2 is "non commercial" open source, and the Source Code Project maintains and updates the code. This means you can download the entire game for free from that site. However, for $5 I think it's worth it for not having to deal with their custom downloader/installer and all the headaches that go along with that. The Steam install simplifies the process.

Regardless of what you think about the games I listed, there are some good ones in that list. Evochron Mercenary is a very recent game and of every space flight sim I know, both new and old, it's the closest thing to what SC and E:D strive to be. It's space flight simulation is actually -more- complex than the X series (inertial flight mode, adjustable inertial counter thrusting like SC's Comstab, planetary exploration like E:D plans to implement, power system redistribution, manual course plotting, the ability to basically build your ship from scratch, private multiplayer servers, etc). The game's only crimes are that this level of complexity makes it hard to start as it has a very steep learning curve and it lacks the polish of a AAA title which is why it's not my first recommendation.

Have you even heard of this game or are you just taking a dump on my list to posture? You said that all the games I listed were crap but provided no backup or reasons for why they aren't any good, which makes that basically useless advice. Have you even played them all?

The only Freeform space combat sim that I've played in a -long- time that was easy to get into was Darkstar One, and that was because it's basically like "Privateer light". This was a perfectly fine game and would be a great one for someone to cut their teeth on if they wanted Freeform in particular, but it's a bit older than most of the rest of the games in my list.

-Byshop

Yes I have that game its a crap game, nice opinion though, hows mine? -Rhetorical question...

So to start off with your initial reply to the OP is that "this has been a dead genre for a long time" ...fair enough but then you quote me for saying there is "nothing new" and follow it with a rant on how wrong I am by posting a list of old games in a comment that starts with "People keep saying this but there have actually been a ton of space sim games that have come out in the last 5 years." 5 years old is not new. By the way 4 years old is also not "very recent" and its quite ridiculous how on your quest to prove that there are NEW space games that fit what the OP asked for you use old games and games that arent out yet to prove it, all for the sake of argument. Well done! :D

I have better things to do than feed your ego so dont waste your time with a response, though we both know you will...

#21 Posted by Byshop (11596 posts) -

@pelvist said:

Yes I have that game its a crap game, nice opinion though, hows mine? -Rhetorical question...

So to start off with your initial reply to the OP is that "this has been a dead genre for a long time" ...fair enough but then you quote me for saying there is "nothing new" and follow it with a rant on how wrong I am by posting a list of old games in a comment that starts with "People keep saying this but there have actually been a ton of space sim games that have come out in the last 5 years." 5 years old is not new. By the way 4 years old is also not "very recent" and its quite ridiculous how on your quest to prove that there are NEW space games that fit what the OP asked for you use old games and games that arent out yet to prove it, all for the sake of argument. Well done! :D

I have better things to do than feed your ego so dont waste your time with a response, though we both know you will...

"People keep saying this but there have actually been a ton of space sim games that have come out in the last 5 years"... is hardly a "rant" but if you took it personally, then that's your problem. I'm trying to help the op find games. I'm not sure what you're doing. You keep changing your reasons for disqualifying games in my list. First they were all crap, but then you backpeddaled on Freespace 2 but said it was too old and not Freeform (both of which I had already pointed out). Then you complain that my list is too old even though two of the games are available now as Early Access titles (it really doesn't get much newer than that). You claimed that Evochron was crap, but -again- you provided no reasons to back up your opinion. Guess what, I can claim that games I've never played are crap, too. Even if you had played it, how is that helpful?

@Arthas045: Limit Theory was the other one coming out that I was thinking of. Apparently that's out in prototype although that might just be for Kickstarter backers.

-Byshop

#22 Posted by Blutfahne (275 posts) -

Kerbal is best space game out right now.

#23 Posted by LeiasGlory (10 posts) -

@blutfahne: it seems very cute!!

#24 Posted by Gladestone1 (5549 posts) -

The Space genre is heating up..If id recommend a game atm elite..After the end of the year..Star citizen wont be around till 2015 till 2016 date..The alpha build was just released dfm..Its pretty good but how ever elite is further off..Its a pretty good dog fighting an trading.Think of x3 with the trading stations.Also x3 is a pretty good space game..How ever it starts out really slow.You would have to invest in about 10 hours of slow pace game before it really picks up..

#25 Posted by Arthas045 (5246 posts) -

Is it worth getting the Wing Commander games off gog.com? Or will they feel to dated at this point?

#26 Edited by Byshop (11596 posts) -

@Arthas045: That's largely personal preference, but bear in mind that most of the Wing Commander games pre-date 3d graphics or 3d acceleration. Look up some gameplay videos on Youtube to get an idea.

-Byshop

#27 Posted by Byshop (11596 posts) -

@Arthas045: Check out Wing Commander Saga. It's a few remakes of the classic Wing Commander games using the Freespace 2 engine.

-Byshop

#28 Posted by Motokid6 (5703 posts) -

Space Flight SIM? Kerbal Space Program and Orbiter are the only space flight SIMS i know of. But be prepared to do some how-to reading for them. The rest are just arcade games.