Aussie-made space adventure Objects in Space is finally out
The ambitious mash-up of space combat, stealth and open-world adventure is out in Early Access right now.
It's been a long three years since Sydney-based Flat Earth Games first revealed Objects in Space, the studio's open-world ode to 90s space games like Elite and Freelancer. In that time, the game has garnered plenty of attention from critics and sci-fi fans alike, winning the 2016 PAX Australia Indie Showcase and making it into the finals of GDC's alt.ctrl awards.
Space jockeys anxious to get their trigger fingers on the promising game have had to deal with a number of delays to this point, but today they can finally cease their cold drift and fire up their engines for a trip to the Apollo cluster. Yep, Objects in Space is up for purchase right now, albeit in Early Access on Steam and GOG.
For those who haven't been keeping a keen eye on Objects in Space, it's certainly one of the more ambitious Aussie indie titles to emerge in recent years. While the basic premise is nothing out of the ordinary – explore the Apollo cluster, complete mercenary contracts, upgrade and customise your spaceship – the systems that surround it promise the kind of open-ended gameplay many dreamed of from No Man's Sky or the still-in-development Star Citizen.
As an example, the ships and combat design don't adopt the traditional dog-fighting model that most space games go for. Instead, Flat Earth Games looked to the more-tactical combat of Cold War-era submarines, even shaping the ship designs on real submarines from that time period. This approach encourages stealth and avoidance as much as direct conflict, and the team at Flat Earth Games has aimed to make it just as much fun as going in guns blazing.
The world of Objects in Space also serves to distinguish it from other games of its ilk. Unlike the static ecosystem of most video games, the Apollo cluster and the NPCs that reside in it operate on an inexorable timer, with the game taking place over a simulated three-month period in which story events and unique opportunities will come and go regardless of player input.
If that's not ambitious enough for you, Objects in Space also supports custom-built controllers, so you can construct your own starship bridge at home using physical switches and an Arduino for the full, no-holds-barred space jockey experience.
It's great to see more games of this scope coming from local Australian developers, and here's hoping Objects in Space does well enough to encourage more aspiring game makers to follow their dreams.