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Enemy Starfighter lets you "plan to shoot things in space before shooting things in space"

Enemy Starfighter
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We're in the midst of a space-sim renaissance, with ambitious (opens in new tab) projects (opens in new tab) warping in (opens in new tab) from everywhere to turn 2013 into the year of the starry expanse. Here's another: Enemy Starfighter (opens in new tab) , a one-man indie effort emphasizing heavy planning and tactical fleet movements in addition to including standard cockpit-cam dogfights.

Creator Mike Tipul, who previously worked (opens in new tab) at Bungie, Pandemic, and Take-Two as a technical designer, spent just three months crafting the prototype version shown in the debut trailer, and it looks quite impressive so far. According to Tipul, each mission includes a planning phase for establishing attack and movement orders to your ships, a mechanic similar to Homeworld's tactical overview or Rainbow Six's waypoint system.

Swapping from a (space)bird's-eye view to a first-person view of the action is a shiver-inducing transition as you're whisked from a grid view with blocky unit icons into the cockpit of a spacecraft with a single swift zoom-in. Tipul writes on his development log (opens in new tab) that units are permanently lost when they die and hinted at hijacking other ships as an effective method of staving off losses.

Tipul also indicated that he plans on boosting the ship count and mission types, as well as adding voicework and natural hazards such as certain kinds of nebulae and dust clouds that may affect ship performance. And yes, we can confirm the inclusion of ever-important engine trails.

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?