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Space combat game Allegiance blasts onto Steam 17 years after initial release

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The seventeen-year-old multiplayer space combat game Allegiance has finally landed on Steam. It was initially launched by Microsoft Game Studios in 2000 and the source code released in 2008, after which players could play the game free online. The hope is that the Steam version, called Microsoft Allegiance, will attract more players and help the game live on.

The game is half RTS, half first-person space combat sim. You and your team have one objective: to conquer the other team's base. You do that, primarily, by blowing up enemy ships, but there's a lot of strategy involved. 

One person acts as a commander with an overhead view of the map, barking instructions to teammates. There's a tech tree for upgrades, base building elements, and an economy to balance. As well as player-controlled ships there are AI mining craft that gather resources. It's your job to protect your team's miners while destroying the enemies' fleet.

The combat looks varied, too: there are lots of different ships including multi-pilot bombers and huge capital ships, in which there are lots of turrets for players to control.

I never played the original but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun when it all comes together. Of course, it relies upon having a large number of players on each side—something the developer admits might prove a little troublesome to begin with.

"Allegiance is best played with LOTS of people, but it will be a little rocky at the start as we try to attract players," it said in a Steam post (opens in new tab). "If you want to help out, check back on weekends around 2pm ET/8pm GMT and we will try to have a game running. Or, grab a few friends and start up your own game. Nothing attracts players like a running game."

According to SteamCharts (opens in new tab) there's been a peak of 85 players, which the developers will be hoping creeps up over the next few days.

It's free, so if you like the look of it head to the Steam page (opens in new tab) and grab it. Here's a trailer:

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.