Two new Starbase videos showcase deep-space battles and robotic gunfights

The outer-space MMO Starbase struck us as a cross between EVE Online and Minecraft when it was announced in May. Players can design and build spaceships, then take them into the void to mine, trade, form alliances and factions, and—naturally—shoot at each other, both in large-scale ship-to-ship battles, and in more personal shooter-style combat between robotic avatars.

Two new trailers demonstrate how combat in the black void of space will work. The "Gunfights and Weapons" video provides a quick rundown of personal weapons in the game, ranging from pistols and assault rifles to gauss guns, plasma rifles, and flamethrowers, and also shows off the oddities of zero-G combat: Instead of being held in place by gravity, your robot soldiers are equipped with magnetic boots, which enable them to fight from some very unusual positions. And because everything is modular and destructible, various components of the ship can actually be ripped off of floors and walls to be used as shields—at least until they're shredded by enemy fire.

The "Spaceship Warfare and Weapons" video highlights just how delicate those big ships can be. They're designed to take punishment, but a lucky shot can knock out individual weapons or entire systems, potentially crippling ships in the middle of a fight. The weapons themselves come in a range of standard types but can be customized with various swappable parts. Ship-based weapons can also be programmed with YOLOL, Starbase's in-game programming language, to enable more complex fire control systems.

It's awfully ambitious, especially for a small studio like Frozenbyte, but looks like it could be a lot of fun if it comes together well. I get a faint Sea of Thieves vibe off of it: Shooting things is great, but the real fun (for me, at least) comes from the desperate efforts to keep the ship floating and moving.

Starbase is slated to go live on Steam Early Access sometime this year. Frozenbyte expects to keep it there for at least one to two years.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.