Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Watchlist: Objects In Space

Title: Objects in Space
Developer: Flat Earth Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Releasing early 2016
Objects in Space is a modempunk stealth space-trading game
Between Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, and others, it's safe to say that space sims have made a roaring comeback in recent years. While many have you dogfighting squadrons and deftly dodging missiles with agile fighters, Objects in Space takes a different approach: low-fi, submarine-esque encounters across the gargantuan abyss, where navigation, planning, and simply being able to pinpoint your enemies' positions are more important than any fancy evasive manuevers.
You're the one-man crew of a freighter in the vast Apollo Cluster, a collection of star systems rife with pirates, criminals, and other factions. Rather than high-tech bridges, Objects in Space is experienced through the flickering displays and tactile switches of your ship; in this game, sensors and radar are critical to navigate space and locating enemy vessels. Events and information are presented through read-outs and incoming messages, creating an expansive world described through narrative text.

Similar to submarine warfare, combat in Objects in Space is slow, tactical, and all about careful maneuvering and stealth. Visual sight is useless when encounters occur millions of miles apart; magnetic, radioactive, and other sensors are your eyes in this game. Using the environment to your advantage is key: asteroid fields can muddle up sensors, high polar orbits can hide your ship's signal and nebulas are good places to set up ambushes. Projectiles take time to cross space, allowing for situations where you're desperately powering up jump drives as enemy missiles approach or shutting down systems to mask your energy output and stealthily re-position.
In-depth ship customization lets you design your ship down to different chassis and individual components. Solar-powered engines are harder to detect on sensors, powerful jump drives can activate in seconds and let you maneuver faster, and so on.

Objects in Space is currently in development and is expected to release in 2016. You can learn more about the game and follow its progress here.

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