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25th April, 2000
Chris Roberts, Digital Anvil
Designed by Erin and Chris Roberts, who are widely regarded as the creators of the space-sim genre with games such as Privateer and Wing Commander, StarLancer is Digital Anvil's - the studio founded by Roberts - first game. Freelancer, also from Digital Anvil, is set in the StarLancer universe.
The story, in the words of designer Erin Roberts - "StarLancer is set around 150 years in the future. Mankind has colonized Earth's solar system, but travel outside Sol has not yet happened. There are two major power blocks - the first is called the Alliance, made up of the old NATO powers of the 20th and 21st centuries; the second, the Coalition, is made up of the old Eastern power basis of Earth, such as Russia. There has been a huge amount of colonial friction between these two power bases, and at the onset of the game, they agree to a treaty that should usher in an era of peace. Unfortunately, the Coalition has other ideas, and it uses the peace process to effect a surprise attack."
StarLancer combines the action of first-person space combat with the drama and intrigue of a classic air combat movie.
- Stunning 3D graphics and effects StarLancer uses particle effects, dramatic source lighting and realistic ship destruction. More than 80 types of spacecraft are rendered in 3D detail.
- Dynamic mission structure Missions are designed to challenge players, create a wide variety of gameplay and enhance the storylines. Players fly in over 25 gripping missions that range from escorting marine boarding ships to freeing POWs to leading an assault on space stations built right into an asteroid field.
- Immersive story line StarLancer features a dramatic story based on the dynamic history of 20th century warfare. To enhance the story, StarLancer includes over 25 minutes of Hollywood-quality full-motion computer-generated cinematics, over 250 unique pilot animations and 36 custom-composed original music scores.
- A living universe Rather than the standard environment in past space combat games with space being fairly empty beyond the enemy fighters, the universe in StarLancer feels alive and will be more interesting for players to participate in. Neutral craft can be seen going about their business by performing functions such as unloading freighters or escorting convoys.
- Multiplayer capabilities Players can work together cooperatively through the entire campaign with up to 4 players or dogfight in 6 different deathmatch modes with up to 8 players via LAN or through the Internet via the MSN Gaming Zone.
- Interactive ship environments Players will be able to navigate key parts of their capital ship with immersive 3D walkabout environments. Players will have their own interactive bunkroom with a locker for medals, CD player, simulator pod for flight practice and even a fish tank.
- Lethal spacecraft and weaponry Players may choose from more than a dozen ships using a unique 3D drag-and-drop interface. They can arm their ships with more than 20 weapons, including nova cannons, pulse lasers, collapser guns and jackhammer missiles.