Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator Review
In the advent of today’s multiplayer gaming, It seems that players have been more apart when playing games together. Ironic right? But with online multiplayer, the traditional “sit down with friends next to each other” type of gaming has started to die down. In the end it really has changed the way we view gaming after all, with giants like World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and League of Legends; it really has made the difference by separating people that play together (check out Josephs article on the Decline of split screen games).
Over two years ago, the Star Trek MMO ‘Star Trek Online’ was finally released. It appealed obviously to fans of the show, but also to people of the sci-fi fandom. Sure we can argue Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was great in its own respects and that other sci-fi MMOs are better. But Star Trek was able to replicate (somewhat accurately) the show’s premise. It had the elements of run-and-gun shooting, as well as have a near representation of bridge simulation like how they navigated the ships on Star Trek. Though now the game isn’t as popular, it still was a fairly good game and good throwback to any Star Trek fan.
Now what was the point of bringing these two topics together? Because Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator is the best combination of the two. It is Spaceship Bridge simulator that requires multiple people within the same server to work
together and dominate!
At first hindsight the first automatic thing that came to my head was: Star Trek; second was that Starship game played in the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but that’s just me being completely anime-nerdy. In the game, each player assumes a role as a crew member of a space ship each with their own roles such as: Engineer, Helm, Weapons, Science, Communications, and Captain. And with these roles, each player must do their job in order to successfully complete the mission or destroy other space ships.
Now as I mentioned earlier this has no technical online functionality (meaning you can only LAN at best) and because of that, it means that everyone around you has to have a computer and communicate to each other openly about what is needed and what is going on. Each role has different things on their screen; for example, Weapons Control can load the weapons and initiate shields, Helm can control the speed and steer the ship, and the Captain (while monitoring everyone’s role and energy levels) has a view of the outside of the ship at all times. Once you get things up and running the game becomes an incredible ride. It’s fun to yell at your friends and tell each other what is going on with the ship in character as you go to bases or get into a battle. As said, it’s a literal simulation of a space ship.
In the prior month I have followed this game, and it had demos in a couple of conventions. The unique thing about this game is that along with your possible six man crew (you can have three as well, granted they support more than one role) you can play against six other ships. So in essence, that’s a possibility of a game with 36 players!
If you look up this game on youtube you will see a ton of videos relating (in fact, heres a playlist full of them) to gameplay and incidental roleplay. I say roleplay very loosely because I mean that in the way that people get into character as they play. In the latest video from Gen Con 2012, I saw that 5 players had touch screen monitors, a projector (for the captain), and even a lighting setup so that when the ship received damage the lights would flicker! And that’s just one video, even just watching simple setups with everyone having laptops its amazing how they would address each other and work together to win.
What I respect the most about this game is the fact that this is called a social game. No, not facebook games or OMGPOP, but a social game by real definition. It brings back the days when players can all be together in the same room and work together to complete a certain goal. And this is the sort of nostalgic feeling that I get now that I can captain a ship like the Enterprise. I would HIGHLY suggest for anyone to check this game out and at least try the demo. Aside from just playing against the computer and other players, theres a tool provided on the site that enables anyone to make more missions, thus there’s tons of replayability! If you have this game already leave us some feedback! We would like to know about any awesome missions or mods made with this, and if you want to battle us…we’ll just see you at the next convention!