Battlestar Galactica inspired Diaspora: Shattered Armistice is the space shooter we’ve waited a decade for | PCGamesN

Freespace 2

Battlestar Galactica inspired Diaspora: Shattered Armistice is the space shooter we’ve waited a decade for

I’m a man of simple pleasures, I want to fly a space fighter through the centre of an intergalactic battle, chasing an enemy fighter between two warring capital ships, each flinging flak at one another like it were wedding confetti – violent, exploding wedding confetti – and yet these uncomplicated desires are largely unfulfilled by the gaming market. There was a time, back in the 80s and 90s in which such things were possible. There were games like Tie Fighter, Elite, and Freespace, but for some reason publishers got bored.

So, it’s been a joy to spend the last week playing Diaspora: Shattered Armistice. You should download it now. It’s free after all.

Based on the remake of Battlestar Galactica, Diaspora is a mod for the Freespace 2 engine. It’s taken the team four years to prune the technology, pack it up with faithful recreations of the ships from the series, and develop a mission editor that will let the community make more content for the current, slim release.

If you’re a fan of Battlestar, quite simply, they’ve got it just right. They’ve stripped out all that fleshy relationship business and quasi-religious rot, and left the series’ real draw: the mechanically perfect space combat. They’ve captured that sense of awe evoked by vast capital ships battling each other with their heavy guns and nukes, whilst gnat-like Colonial Vipers and Cylon Raiders dart about in between.

And, if you weren’t a fan of Battlestar, throw the series out of your mind, because what you have here is a pedigree shootfest, set in the darkness of space.

The one thing that you ought to know, which carries over from the series, is that the Viper has the nifty ability of being able to flick off its rear thruster and change its orientation with a set of pressure jets that line its fuselage. What this means is that when you have a Raider on your tail, you can tap ‘W’, turn 180 degrees, unload a few rounds into the Toaster’s face, flip back round, re-engage your thrusters and fly on your merry way as your foe breaks up into a ball of flame behind you. It’s a neat little feature which you won’t use much at first but as soon as you get the hang of it you’ll feel like a hero.

That’s what Diaspora does. It makes you feel heroic. You are in a minuscule, single-seater fighter in the vastness of space, and you are outnumbered and outgunned. It means that when you get that final hit on a Baseship, turn about and head for home, hitting the after-burner to get out of the blast radius, you get that satisfaction that the a series depicting these battles could never give you.

It helps that it looks as good as it does. Despite being over 13 years old, the Freespace 2 engine looks fantastic; particularly the skyboxes. Many of the missions are set in the orbit of planets, some are a beautiful Earth-like blend of greens and blues, and others are scarred and pitted grey rocks. Whatever the case, they stand stunning backdrops to skirmishes.

All this praise said, the game has a few flaws. These are mainly when the curtain is thrown back on this show: clipping issues letting you fly through the outer arms of a Baseship, or seeing level elements spawned and stationary on the outer edges of a level waiting for the script to “jump” them in to the action, and, most annoyingly, one level has you try to destroy the subsystems of a Baseship to disable it but nothing I fired at it seemed to do a thing.

It’s main weakness is that there are only six missions and a tutorial. Though, the variety of the missions, and the included editor, will hopefully tide us over until the next campaign is released – and hopefully it will include the Viper Mk II, which is sorely lacking in this release.

It would be silly to focus on the flaws though, because Diaspora is an unforgiving, thrilling space fighter, the like of which we haven’t seen in years. And, in a time where license-infringing mods are being swatted off the internet faster than lawyers can file their invoices, it seems a minor miracle that it was ever released. And another miracle that it’s this good and free.
You can download Diaspora: Shattered Alliance here.

Login or Register
0
+0
-0
avatar
3

Link to the mod is here: http://diaspora.hard-light.net/

Try these free to play games
?

These are affiliate links - clicking them and playing the games directly supports PCGamesN

Spotlight
?

Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Gwent PC Review

The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

Gwent PC Review

We’ve got 1,000 beta keys for Orcs Must Die! Unchained - and you can get unfettered access

Orcs Must Die! Unchained

We’ve got 1,000 beta keys for Orcs Must Die! Unchained - and you can get unfettered access

WildStar is going free-to-play because subscriptions are

Wildstar

WildStar is going free-to-play because subscriptions are "the antithesis of inclusivity"

We’ve got 90 hero bundles for Heroes of the Storm; would you like one?

Heroes of the Storm

We’ve got 90 hero bundles for Heroes of the Storm; would you like one?

The 20 best RPGs on PC

Best RPGs

The 20 best RPGs on PC

We've got 1,000 starter packs for Magicka: Wizard Wars. Why not start a fight?

Magicka: Wizard Wars

We've got 1,000 starter packs for Magicka: Wizard Wars. Why not start a fight?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt PC review

The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt PC review

Making it in Unreal: Starfall Tactics brings a heavy metal ethos to space strategy

Starfall Tactics

Making it in Unreal: Starfall Tactics brings a heavy metal ethos to space strategy

Hands-on with Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

FINAL FANTASY® XIV: A Realm Reborn™

Hands-on with Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Naoki Yoshida on the success of Final Fantasy XIV;

FINAL FANTASY® XIV: A Realm Reborn™

Naoki Yoshida on the success of Final Fantasy XIV; "The most important attribute is not giving up"

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Blockstorm hands on: dig a trench as Walter White for the first time in an FPS

Blockstorm

Blockstorm hands on: dig a trench as Walter White for the first time in an FPS

Drive Any Track hands on: splice your music collection with Wipeout

Drive Any Track

Drive Any Track hands on: splice your music collection with Wipeout

Nvidia Showcase: Ten tips for making stunning GTA V videos

Nvidia Showcase

Nvidia Showcase: Ten tips for making stunning GTA V videos

Blade & Soul hands on: how NCSoft are bringing Wushu West

Blade & Soul

Blade & Soul hands on: how NCSoft are bringing Wushu West

The best Heroes of the Storm heroes for beginners

Heroes of the Storm

The best Heroes of the Storm heroes for beginners

Project CARS PC review

Project CARS

Project CARS PC review

Topic of the Week: Do you want reviews in progress?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Do you want reviews in progress?

Making it in Unreal: facing teenage demons with rage and fear in Red Goddess

Red Goddess

Making it in Unreal: facing teenage demons with rage and fear in Red Goddess

Hands on with the first pornography for the Oculus Rift (NSFW)

Oculus Rift

Hands on with the first pornography for the Oculus Rift (NSFW)

Fair play to Nick Allen: the SKT-Fnatic bug, and the ambiguities of pro League of Legends

League of Legends

Fair play to Nick Allen: the SKT-Fnatic bug, and the ambiguities of pro League of Legends

Why on earth is half the planet playing Clicker Heroes?

Clicker Heroes

Why on earth is half the planet playing Clicker Heroes?

Star Wars: The Old Republic is actually pretty good now, as long as you subscribe

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic is actually pretty good now, as long as you subscribe

Introducing The Bard's Tale IV: the sequel Wasteland 2's creators always wanted to make

The Bard's Tale IV

Introducing The Bard's Tale IV: the sequel Wasteland 2's creators always wanted to make

Weekend Deal Dump: Free fights!

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Free fights!

Galactic Civilizations 3 review

Galactic Civilizations® III

Galactic Civilizations 3 review

Kerbal Space Program review

Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program review

The best Grand Theft Auto V mods

Grand Theft Auto V

The best Grand Theft Auto V mods

We’ve got an armoury full of keys for Warface guns, and we’re giving them away to you

Warface

We’ve got an armoury full of keys for Warface guns, and we’re giving them away to you

The best Cities: Skylines mods

Cities: Skylines

The best Cities: Skylines mods

The 17 Best Indie Games on PC

List

The 17 Best Indie Games on PC

Topic of the Week: What do you want from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What do you want from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate?

SK Telecom yield League of Legends MSI title to China's EDG as Faker falls short

League of Legends

SK Telecom yield League of Legends MSI title to China's EDG as Faker falls short

Making it in Unreal: meet the Mysty-eyed Starry Expanse team rebuilding Riven in 3D

Riven: The Sequel to MYST

Making it in Unreal: meet the Mysty-eyed Starry Expanse team rebuilding Riven in 3D

Weekend Deal Dump: Witchers, soldiers and vampire ghost knights

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Witchers, soldiers and vampire ghost knights

Building Galactic Civilizations 3 inside the

Galactic Civilizations® III

Building Galactic Civilizations 3 inside the "stressful" world of Early Access

The studio behind Space Engineers are working on self-improving AI that may one day outstrip humanity

Space Engineers

The studio behind Space Engineers are working on self-improving AI that may one day outstrip humanity

Hands on with Block N Load, also one of our writers died

Block N Load

Hands on with Block N Load, also one of our writers died

Why Blizzard won't change those Hearthstone cards you hate

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Why Blizzard won't change those Hearthstone cards you hate

The 22 best strategy games on PC

Civilization 5

The 22 best strategy games on PC