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Ambitious indie space game set to leave early access after 10 years

Angels Fall First is a genre-blending mix of first person shooting and sci-fi dogfighting, and it's reemerged with its first update in two years.

Even by today’s standards, Angels Fall First is an impressively ambitious game. It’s got first-person shooting, arcade-style space dogfighting, capital ship combat, supporting up to 64 players in each match. That’s all even more noteworthy when you consider that it began development early enough to win a prize in Epic’s “Make Something in Unreal” contest back in 2009. Now it’s just gotten its first update in two years, and the developers say they’re almost ready to move it out of early access and into version 1.0.

While Angels Fall First has been available in early access on Steam as a standalone game since 2015, its history begins ten years earlier as a mod for classic RTS game Homeworld in 2005. From there, the developers adapted the universe they had created into a mod for Unreal Tournament.

Even in 2024, the pitch still sounds wildly ambitious. You can command battleships in high orbit, run from the bridge to an interceptor launch bay, dogfight in space, board enemy capital cruisers and space stations, and shoot it out once you’re inside. Or you can duke it out on a planet’s surface, clearing buildings and mounting major infantry offensives with customizable weapon loadouts. There’s also a commander mode that allows someone to coordinate efforts for both teams, like an RTS game with real people.

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The latest patch, update 29, is the first in two years, and the developers explain that during “these tumultuous times,” they haven’t been able to devote as much time to the game. This patch represents “the total sum of us touching it up on and off for the last two years.”

The patch includes a new map called Majuro for the Territories game mode, which is set on a tropical atoll covered in palm trees, sandy beaches, and gun emplacements. The update also improves Angels Fall First’s controller support, although the devteam says it’s still a bit cumbersome in menus due to the fact that the UI was built using middleware that is no longer available.

Update 29 also improves performance and bot AI, which now should work together more cohesively and be more aware of their surroundings. You’ll also be able to earn more than 100 new Steam achievements, some of which will be pretty difficult to find, the developers have said.

Strangely Interactive says it’s now working on update 30, which will bring Angels Fall First up to version 1.0 and mark the end of the game’s long early access incubation period.

Check out our list of the best space games, or our favorite multiplayer games, if you’re looking for more games like Angels Fall First.

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