Enemy Starfighter Preview: Basically Star Wars Meets Top Gun
Let’s face it, whether you like the idea that the Oculus Rift is now owned by mega corporate monster Facebook or you hate that the company head-haunchos sold out for billions of dollars, there are some very talented people working on games for the VR tech; and they are developing incredible experiences.
Enter Enemy Starfighter
During my time at the Indie Megabooth at this year’s Pax East, I got some hands-on time with Marauder Interactive’s new game Enemy Starfighter. This VR title, led by former Bungie gameplay designer Mike Tipul, is a stunning game that lets you experience the thrills of a starfighter pilot while enveloped in fully realized 3D space.
I put on the Oculus Rift headset and was instantly transported to the black void of the final frontier, looking at a group of enemy space ships from my cockpit. As I looked around, I saw the chassis of my ship, friendly units following me in formation, and my torso with my hand clutching the flight stick.
Being able to see my body when I looked down and not just empty space is something that a lot of devs working with VR seem to forget. It is this attention to detail that I appreciate in Enemy Starfighter and was apparent from the moment I pressed start on the controller.
Soon after learning the button configuration, I was immediately warped to the nearest enemy ship so that I could engage in epic space combat. Shooting, dodging, and barrel rolling were all very intuitive and it didn’t take me long to get my bearings and blast some rebel scum. *Editor’s note: I don’t actually know if they were rebels or not, I just wanted a Star Wars reference.
The action is intense with multiple enemies firing at once. The cool thing about Enemy Starfighter is that since it is built around the Oculus, all I had to do is look in the direction of the blast (indicated by a red arrow) and adjust accordingly. I still had a radar display to look at just in case I got disoriented, but frankly, it was just too much fun trying to physically look at where the enemy was located. Not using the radar was probably a bad idea since I ended up dying a horrible, fiery death.
The gameplay reminds me of the highly anticipated Eve: Valkyrie. While I only got to try out an early build at Pax, Enemy Starfighter has the potential to become serious competition for the current frontrunner. It certainly makes me feel like a real starfighter pilot and that is definitely a feeling I want again. The dev team is making a great game and I look forward to playing more of it.
Look for an early access build to be released to the public later this year!