Logging into Steam this evening I spied Moon Breakers, a multiplayer arena space shooter that I quickly installed on the basis that (a) it’s “free-to-play” and (b) is a space shooter. I wasn’t expecting to be impressed and I have to say I wasn’t whooping for joy at having discovered World of Spaceships, but for what it is; a fast zero-gravity deathmatch around a shattered moon, it’s not entirely a waste of effort.
Joining one of two teams, Government (blue) or Pirates (red), you have the choice of flying a nimble light fighter in helping to defend your home carrier, or a bomber that’s able to launch slow-moving torpedoes at the enemy mothership. There are other ships you can own and fly, but of course they require an investment in order to unlock.
On joining the battle you are then launched into space, from where it’s a simple matter of taking down the enemy using the mouse and keyboard. It’s your classic dogfighter, basically, with none of that inertia mumbo-jumbo to get the way of an arcing turn to get on the six of an incoming enemy bomber.
The fact that the game is played in and around dense asteroid fields means you can use rocks for cover, which, considering the turrets on the enemy mothership seem to rip open hulls in a matter of seconds, offers some welcome but short-lived respite.
Having only played a couple of matches I can’t say I experienced enough to come to any firm conclusions about the game, but I can say with a fair degree of certainly that I won’t be playing it at any great length any time soon. That seems a little unfair, but in my view the unloved and largely unplayed Shattered Horizon offers much the same premise, requires no extra investment, looks fantastic and is a better – albeit slower – game. In fact if Moon Breakers spurs me on to do anything, it will be to campaign to get more people playing what I think is one of the most underrated game of the past few years.