Preview: Jumpgate Evolution

Arep | 22 April 2009 | Comments off

*Originally authored by Reoh*

I have been following Jumpgate Evolution for some time now, with eager anticipation. Finally there is going to be a space fighter MMORPG with the action combat many of us grew up playing but haven’t been able to enjoy in modern titles. It’s a bunch of things I want in this type of game all rolled into one and I can’t wait to get my hands onto it to get a real feel for what Netdevil, the developer, has crafted for us to enjoy.

Finally there is going to be a space fighter MMORPG with the action combat many of us grew up playing but haven’t been able to enjoy in modern titles.So what is the game you might ask, essentially this; JGE is a space fighter featuring three race orientated factions which are vying for control over the scarce resources of the space they call home. The Octavian are militaristic, the Quantar are spiritualists, while the Solrain are a mercantile nation rife with corruption. They were collectively rescued and brought here by another more powerful race which has since disappeared, while an old arch nemesis is stirring from the depths of space.

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The game encompasses both Player vs Environment, and Player vs Player gameplay elements which I was pleased to discover, there have been too many games recently that focus too entirely on one or the other. You can fight, explore, mine, craft, transport freight, and trade your way through the game which features many ships for each racial faction and a number of modifications which may be applied to best suit your personal requirements. Better ships and modifications are unlocked through ‘licensing’, which is a skill based development system. As actions which require skills are used, you will unlock deeper levels of licensing for that equipment.

You can fight, explore, mine, craft, transport freight, and trade your way through the game...The ships are all roughly equivalent in size so you’ll never be hopelessly out of your league, the game developers have really stressed that new players will feel like they have a chance against veterans. While you start with a lighter and less modified ship, you may still be faster and more manoeuverable than your competitors who can choose to sacrifice either for increased shielding or firepower. The game’s action style of combat will mean that players will need to focus and use their skill to hit targets rather than rely on hidden dice rolls doing all the work for them.

The graphics are beautiful, epic space scenes with vivid colours for the nebulae in backdrops and for ships, in recent articles the developers have also spoken more about how fun it is to fight in and around larger objects such as asteroid fields instead of empty space all the time. Despite this they have also managed to keep the system requirements quite low and hope to have as many as hundreds of vessels taking part in combat at once. Capital Ships are in the game, but have reportedly not been controllable by players. You can fight in and around such ships, often being the objective of missions you acquire, or are seen defending key areas of space.

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The ships are all roughly equivalent in size so you’ll never be hopelessly out of your league...Combat appears to be a blend of options; Battlespace is the pvp scenario/battleground feature for quick and gritty battles but there are also open pvp regions of space the factions can seize control of. The benefits for capturing systems are the ability of getting better resources and gaining access to the factories which make better ships and their components, among other things. There are also PvE areas where players are safer to go about their own business, although it is being considered to feature a permanent PvP flagging option only available at creation; the rewards of which would be better chances for rare drops.

The game will launch with social features. In game chats, and grouping mechanics. Wings (guilds) can form within a faction, and while you may cross-faction group in pve areas it isn’t possible to cross-faction guild up together so keep that in mind when choosing your race. You can also not cross-faction group up for pvp areas, this is to make sure that when you see an enemy faction ship you will always know that its your enemy, and that friendly faction ship coming up behind you isn’t really the enemy. Cut and dry, kill them and protect your guys! Some will find that move unpopular but in this reviewers opinion it was the right call to make for the best gameplay.

The graphics are beautiful, epic space scenes with vivid colours for the nebulae in backdrops and for ships, in recent articles the developers have also spoken more about how fun it is to fight in and around larger objects such as asteroid fields instead of empty space all the time.For those of you interested, you can sign up on their website for the beta (individually or as guilds) and the company has stated that they are expecting a 15,000 to 20,000 player beta to launch sometime in June 2009.

Good
- Bringing fun action combat elements back to scifi
- Diverse gameplay options
- Gorgeous graphics with low system requirements

Bad
- You never leave your ship and walk around places
- Low customisation on ship outward appearances
- I haven’t played it yet, where’s my beta invite Netdevil!!

New York Comic Con 2009

Crotador is organising a Euro guild beta (TOG Corp CEO/guild leader)
Jumpgate Evolution - Beta Test

Zhul was organising a North-American run also, later in that same thread.
Jumpgate Evolution - Beta Test

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