Lightspeed Frontier Preview: Ship Buildeth, Ship Bloweth Up
Greg Johnson / Sep 5th, 2016 No Comments
Space is an endless open area; and in space, you’re only as good as your ship. Lightspeed Frontier, developed by Riveted Games, throws players in outer space and into sci-fi situations.
The game, which is wrapping up a Kickstarter funding campaign, is a sandbox experience where building and fighting your spaceship is the focal point.
We had a chance to play the game at PAX West 2016, and we discovered a game that we hope will be funded.
If You Build It, I Will Blow It Up
In the build we played, we were able to choose our spaceship from several pre-made vessels. After defeating enemies in combat, we were able to build upon our spaceship.
The ship-building options were easy enough to get the hang of. A quick button press switched from flying to the design mode. While building the ship, there were nearby parts that could be grabbed and added to any part of the vessel.
However, there is a trick to building powerful spaceships. Players must be aware of energy and fuel limitations, which are displayed during the game by a HUD. It can be easy to fall into the trap of building a giant beast that becomes immovable space debris.
In order to get parts for my ship, I would forcefully borrow them through combat, the other important aspect of the game.
Arrows on the screen indicated when other ships flied nearby — and developers encouraged me to protect my assets and liberate some from these other ships during the time I played. Using the mouse to switch points of view, players can lock onto other ships, regardless of where they are at.
Combat did not come as naturally as ship-building. On the keyboard, the shift key is used for acceleration, and the control key for braking. Getting used to these controls can be difficult while attempting to outmaneuver enemies in heated space dogfights. Quick reflexes are tantamount to survival.
A fight ends when one spaceship explodes. Assuming this is not your ship, you can then pick up the parts and pieces you want from the enemy ship.
Forge Your Own Path
A lot of my time with Lightspeed Frontier was spent checking out nearby space stations, engaging in random dogfights, and aimlessly roaming. However, the final game will have missions that make up a loose plot.
I was able to get a brief glimpse at the story, which during this early build focused primarily on billboards that could be interacted with.
Most billboards featured odd ads for various products and classifieds, but some showcased news broadcasts of strange happenings around the galaxy.
Interacting with billboards will become the main through-line of Lightspeed Frontier, allowing players to be guided to new areas, and complete fighting and hauling jobs, as well as other various activities.
Aside from completing the game, developers are hoping the Kickstarter campaign could provide the team with enough funding for a mobile app.
The app would allow players to build ships on their phone, then port them to the game. I was able to get a brief taste of the app, and it really could help bring a new level of immersion to the game. There is a lot of promise there, if developers are able to move forward with the project.
In fact, the game overall was promising, despite the fact that it was probably one of the smaller projects on the floor at PAX West 2016.
There is still time to back Lightspeed Frontier on Kickstarter or check it out through Steam Greenlight.
tags: Lightspeed Frontier , PAX West 2016 , pc , preview , Riveted Games