I-Novae Studios is prepping to release Infinity: Battlescape into Early Access on Steam after having a successful Kickstarter run. The space-based dogfighting MMO is continually receiving updates and improvements ahead of the Early Access release, and the latest patch was applied for a special backers’ alpha test, which looks far better than I thought it would.
The update was announced over on the Steam community thread where I-Novae Studios outlined what they were working on and what they would be working on over the next two months as they prep for the Early Access release. This includes improved visual effects, graphical optimizations, and overall gameplay compatibility.
This would likely mean that we’re expecting the Early Access to go live at some point during the fall. However, to give gamers a taste of what’s been improved, the developers let loose a visual improvement teaser video that looks absolutely stunning. Check it out below.
It’s a shame that the gas clouds are alpha blends instead of volumetric particle effects to create a fog, but obviously they need to keep frame-rate in check to ensure that the game doesn’t just look pretty but it performs as smoothly as a cat’s purr.
Even still, the nitpick of the gaseous formations aside, the rendering of the ships looks absolutely spot-on. There’s a great sense of scale in the space battles, with all manner of ship engaged in combat with one another.
From a gameplay perspective my only main gripes would be that there aren’t a large enough variety of ship sizes – it would have been nice to see a capital ship in there somewhere – and the ship damage was a little sparse. One way of really helping bring home the scope of a battle is the damage being done.
Of course, Infinity: Battlescape is still heavy in development and so there’s still plenty of time to make some improvements to the game to help nail that feeling of visceral space combat. I’m still waiting for a game that captures the sort of dangers of space combat the way it was portrayed during those segments in Starship Troopers and the end space sequence in Firefly. I was hoping Dreadnought would scratch that itch but it was a far more mundane than it should have been.
Anyway, Infinity: Battlescape is showing a ton of promise, and you can look for the game to enter Early Access before 2019 is out. You can keep track of the development of the game and wishlist it by visiting the Steam store page.