Atari: Flight action
In stores: Jan. 31, 2011 (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3)
WWE Universe, we have liftoff! In Atari's latest space combat offering, Star Raiders, the company traveled back in time to reimagine a classic: the original Star Raiders, which launched in 1979. Does this updated version conquer new worlds, or should the game simply get lost in space?
- While remaining true to the original with familiar features such as feverish dogfights, energy pool management and galactic maps, Star Raiders also introduces a bunch of fresh, intergalactic Superstar-caliber features such as battle transformations and customizable ships. A galaxy of options will leave gamers over the moon.
- Since the original Star Raiders gave birth to the first-person space combat genre, the 2011 version has some Big Show sized space boots to fill, but the game accomplishes this by incorporating an original storyline and episodic experience that manages to keep gameplay fresh.
- Unlike the upcoming Royal Rumble, there is no need to embark on this mission alone. Although players can fly solo, they will also be able to take part in frenetic space battles online in several multiplayer modes, including co-op campaign and team-based multiplayer.
- Difficult to imagine a remake that hews closely to the 1979 version -- originally made for the Atari 2600. Can users really look forward to bombing through a similar cosmos, or will the game be a wholly original offering with the Star Raiders name attached just to register a few extra sales?
- Around the time the original Star Raiders came into existence, not only was the film Star Wars a pop culture phenomenon, but the show Battlestar Galactica had transformed television. Nowadays sci-fi has taken a backseat to vampires and zombies. Are today's gamers really ready to embrace the genre once again?
- Don't get us wrong, we're all for technological advancement and all, but there's something to be said for going retro. Imagine blasting off in a time machine 32 years ago and playing the original version on your contemporary gaming system. It would be "far out" if Atari offered the original version alongside the updated Star Raiders. C'mon, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.