The Jakobshavn Isbræ is considered to be the fastest glacier in the world. He progresses a staggering seven kilometers a year. As a disgruntled Kickstarter supporter, it reminds me a lot of Star Citizen. Fortunately, Jakobshavn Isbræ is in Greenland. If the ice stream had to race through the pedestrian zone of Santa Monica near Los Angeles, it would look old because the developers of Cloud Imperium Games are located there and it has no flasher. Am I being too harsh on company boss Chris Roberts when I comment on the ten years of development so far? I'll try again differently. Less polemical. Fairer.
It has been eight years since Roberts, the famous dad of Wing Commander (1990), publicly announced his new baby. During such a period of time, the US managed to pull off the moon landing. Mind you, I'm not talking about the text-based computer game The Lunar Landing Game (1969), but a big thing – with a real spaceship and real people and such.
Source: PC Games
My eight year old Filius learned to speak between 2012 and today ("I am your son Luke, father!"), He can read, write, do arithmetic and walk on water, at least when playing ice hockey. Star Citizen, on the other hand, still presents itself as a bulky alpha multiplayer thingy that can only be operated by people who previously short-circuited and stolen space shuttles in Cape Canaveral.
As a backer who bought an F7C-S Hornet Ghost stealth hunter in the Cretaceous period, I am particularly annoyed that Roberts is constantly pushing the solo campaign. Squadron 42 doesn't exist to this day. Good Chris basically took my money so that I could work pro bono as a multiplayer tester for his company. Because I'm bored of that, I recently decided to shorten part of the waiting time with Starlancer. This is an ancestor of Star Citizen. Brothers Chris and Erin Roberts' title turned 20 this year, and I had fond memories of it. Bad mistake.
Pigs in space
Starlancer could also have been called Squadron 45, the protagonist is fighting for the 45th volunteer squadron of the Alliance, which wants to save our solar system from the coalition in 2160. We (Americans, Australians, Europeans) are of course the good guys. The Russians, Arabs and Chinese fly for the dark side of power – that's the way it should be. In any case, the lousy Eastern Powers mob uses peace negotiations to attack the Western Alliance from behind and destroy a large part of its fleet. Greetings from Pearl Harbor.
Source: PC Games
So far, so super original. After ten of the 24 missions, I'm worried about Squadron 42. If that goes flat, I'll want my money back. I just barely exceeded the 30-day period for refunds set out in the terms and conditions. Imagine a noticeably inconspicuous throat clearing.
There are two positive things that immediately occur to me in terms of optics when I think back 20 years: 1. At that time I didn't have to photograph price stickers with my cell phone in the supermarket and zoom in, I could read them without aids. 2. The design of the Starlancer spaceships was great. The things didn't look sterile, they looked dirty. Patina doesn't just rock at bares for rares.
I still find the hunters nice to this day, as young people say when they are safe with something. I even felt at home because with the Grendel and the Wolverine two of the twelve controllable space fighters are of German design, graphically recognizable by the national flag and the Black Cross of the Bundeswehr. I even flew past a capital carrier ship that was called ANS Bremen.
Setting from vocal cord hell
When I think of my reunion with Starlancer these days, any joy about the graphic style of the game dies in seconds. The first thing that comes to mind is synchronization. At first I suspect that Bruce Darnell and Ross Antony have taken on the male speaking roles. Marc Terenzi could be Commander Maria Enriquez. In any case, it is already pointing to me at the first briefing. Then I realize that the accent of the celebrities mentioned sounds charming and the artificial expectoration of the Americans, Asians and Russians in Starlancer is simply like a metabolic end product.
Source: PC Games
The setting from the vocal cord hell makes it to the top of my personal shit list. It is still in front of Baldur's Gate 1, which shone in 1998 with Swabian chattering bandits, Saxony, Bavaria and other dialect-colored chatterboxes. PC games readers who complain about the oh-so-bad German localization with every game should be treated with Starlancer. One mission is enough. Otherwise the European Court of Human Rights will intervene anyway. Villain Vladimir Kulov sounds like a Soviet parallel universe variant of Hitler. Brrr!
Before I continue on the occasion of my nostalgic reality check, now and then slightly emitting negative vibrations: Starlancer also has strengths. First of all, it looks very neat for a 20 year old game. In 2000, 3D graphics were considered hot shit – like ray tracing right now. The dogfights are still fun. They serve fast action with a dash of simulation so that even players who have failed the space shuttle driver's license test can cope.
Source: PC Games
Mark opponents with the target computer, get as close as possible with the help of the afterburner, adjust the speed to the speed of the enemy and ideally hang on the rear. Then the laser cannons spew death and ruin. Or rockets – even target-seeking fire-and-forget quality goods are preferred. Because the coalition nastily has similar weapons, the alarm goes off from time to time. Damn it, there's a rocket on my bum! Quickly fly a few evasive maneuvers, set down disruptive bodies, pray. The adrenaline is dancing samba.
In between times I fly attacks on large battleships. Here it is possible to target individual components. Propulsion, shield generators, radar, guns and so on and so forth. Fortunately, the energy of my fighting machine can be distributed differently. If I want a more stable front shield, I draw power from the drive and, if necessary, also from the cannons.
The missions turn out to be quite varied. Not quite as sophisticated as the one from Star Wars: TIE Fighter, but there's no room for boredom. With the balance of the degree of difficulty, however, the developers failed. The third mission almost drove me insane.
On the first try, I did not manage to destroy six enemy fighters fast enough. That's why an Allianz freighter went hops. RELOAD. On Pass 2, my ship decided to suicide in a minefield. RELOAD. The next thing I should do is destroy a jump gate. It was necessary to shoot the thing until shortly before the core meltdown and then fly through it quickly. Top escape route! I would be embarrassed to admit that I approached the gate from the wrong side and my Grendel crashed, but I approached the gate from the wrong side. RELOAD.
Source: PC Games
On the fourth attempt I failed again to save the freighter at the beginning of the mission. This time because my wingman (new German: Wingman) got in my way. I met him accidentally. I was arrested and shot dead. No joke. You can't make it up. RELOAD.
What makes the whole thing uncomfortable is that the player always ends up at the very beginning of the mission after passing away. And: All spaceships-fly-through-all-cutscenes cannot be canceled. I used swear words that I didn't even know I knew until then. After what felt like 4711 restarts I was finally there. There are still 50 kilograms of confetti in my office.
Unlike Wing Commander once, Starlancer offers a few cutscenes in video execution. The storytelling runs almost exclusively through the aforementioned squadron talk before and during the space battles. The staging? Mau! I also never stand face to face with a comrade to talk to. To get to know? Difficult! It's all like pandemic curfew version 2.0. Okay, I could read the pilot's files. But I'd find that so depressing that I'd rather stop by the supermarket around the corner. There I use my mobile phone to read the nutritional information on cottage cheese, which creates a greater emotional bond than with this game.
<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2020/12/05-pc-games.jpg" alt = "The point here is to find a flight recorder. Before we hear our peeping beep Following search computers, a few laser volleys clear the minefield first.
For Squadron 42 there were recordings with Hollywood greats like Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson and Andy Serkis. Nevertheless, after the retroesque excursion with Starlancer, the pen is that Chris Roberts screwed up the Star Citizen solo mode. If, for example, there is not enough people with the digitized film sequences. We all know that the atmosphere in space has a difficult time. Unfortunately, Chris Roberts would like to be a great director. And I like not to remember the Wing Commander film from 1999. It went perfectly with the absolute solar eclipse in the same year.
You can break a lot with stupid dialogues. Take the German squadron leader Klaus Steiner in Starlancer as an example. The pilot, who probably won his original Teutonic name like Sergeant Josef Stahl and Max Mustermann in old people's home bingo, says this before a mission:
"It should be a walk in the park. There are no coalition forces in the next three sectors."
Of course, I immediately think to myself that the next mission will definitely be a stroll because there are no coalition forces in the next three sectors. So I'll fly around a bit, enjoy the view, file my fingernails in between and then go to the
<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2020/12/08-pc-games.jpg" alt = "In large enemy ships like the Berijev, individual components can be targeted. Here is the on-board computer For example, the shield generator is logged in at the bottom right.
Jet back to the mother ship. I still love Klausi-Mausi. He speaks without an accent.
My superiors' choice of words is sometimes also interesting. When I'm supposed to initiate the jump into hyperspace, they like to say "march off!" Sometimes I feel like I was taking swimming lessons in elementary school when I was scared on the 3-meter board. My teacher always says: "Jump!"
I also find the repetitive radio messages of the enemy pilots bad. Why do I actually hear the crap, they don't have a frequency of their own? Because it is impossible to use the German alphabet to reproduce the embarrassing sabotage trimmed to the Eastern Bloc accent phonetically correctly, I have to rely on the help of the readers. Please jump in as a voice actor and read the following quotes out loud! As if you were an unskilled Russian member of the amateur theater group in 55234 Blödesheim. Follow the stage directions in brackets!
"Die, you scum of the Alliance!"
(Shouting in hatred. Crescendo on the word Allianz. As if you were the representative of a competing insurance company).
"You are not up to the power of the coalition!"
(Imagine Philipp Amthor talking to Robert Habeck.)
"How is that possible? AHHHHHHRRRGGGHHHccczzzzzzzzzzzzzssss!"
(Imagine you are Philipp Amthor and Robert Habeck becomes Federal Chancellor. The death scream only three seconds AFTER the spaceship's explosion.)
I'm not exactly sure because it's very difficult to understand, but I think one of those sausage sandwiches actually says "revenge is licorice!" Every now and then. Well Now.
While playing, I often asked myself why Starlancer got so many very good grades, at least in this country (see box "That's what the press said"). The space shooter game also did well internationally. Metacritic.com gives me an average value of 78 out of 100. If I'm honest, I thought it was very good at the time. But the world has continued to turn. Games feel more grown up these days. And Starlancer is one of those titles that have aged badly, although in this case, for once, it's not because of the graphics.
Now that Chris Roberts has announced the final release date for Star Citizen, it will be February 30, 2022, I just ask myself: How can I get my fears under control until then that Squadron 42 could become a total blowout? I vacillate between smoking valerian drops and playing freelance.
Source: PC Games
That's what the press said to Starlancer
"Hectic space battles, surprising twists and turns of (…) history and the first-class presentation catapult Digital Anvil's debut title to the top in the genre of space shooters. Unfortunately, the human component has been neglected over the external appearances, which is always an important part of the wing commander -Saga formed. "
Markus Ziegler, PC Joker, Rating: 86
"The mission design is first class, the graphics are gorgeous, the sound is nice and fat, the game is simple, but good and captivating. Nevertheless, as with so many games lately, I would have liked a bit more story."
Dirk Gooding, PC Action, Rating: 86
"I can hardly complain about a lack of variety, only the attacks on Großraumer always run according to the same scheme. (…) If the operation and the gameplay in Freespace 2 were too complex for you, you will be the entertaining, uncomplicated ones Appreciate battles. "
Mick Schnell, Gamestar, Rating: 85
"By doing without longer action sequences, Digital Anvil has trashed a lot of potential. Nonetheless, Starlancer has the pull of a black hole. (…) In addition, the class is kept playful. (…) Most assignments are the purest breathing accelerators . Sure, earth-shattering new things are not served. "
Daniel Ch. Kreiss, PC Games, Rating: 84
"Uncomplicated, exciting, nice missions, (…) but the atmosphere in Freespace 2 is denser. (…) I don't develop a relationship with the wing people in (Wing Commander), because there are hardly any cutscenes. Apart from that But a brilliant pleasure awaits you, many enemies are waiting to be destroyed – that's the way it has to be."
Martin Schnelle, PC Player, Rating: 83
"Despite the mild atmosphere, Starlancer is an experience. The missions cast a spell over you, even if they always come down to the same thing: Shoot everything that somehow looks like a coalition. In addition, the great graphics are fun to watch. Unfortunately, the lousy localization makes some people Fun to play. "
Author unknown by name, 4Players, Rating: 81