3037. FedNet is now in control of the federation, and at an attempt to gain trust of the population following decades of corruption and warfare, the FedNet Space Corps were sent to the outermost planets to crush the small-time warlords still running the show there. After being "convinced" to join them in a tour of duty, he is assigned to an elite flight group with the only purpose of testing the most cutting edge technology.A remake of the original game of the same title released a few years before for the Acorn Archimedes platform, Starfighter 3000 features more detailed graphics (now all surfaces are texture-mapped and a fogging filter reduces clipping). Featuring 15 levels in 4 worlds, the player controls the Predator Mark-IV, a fighter ship capable of space and atmospheric flight. However, other than the handy boost button, the player has no control over the throttle, (unless he uses a flight stick with thrust controls such as 3DO's CH Pro stick) and must keep moving at all times. In post 3DO releases, only two points of view are available: behind (better for acrobatics and general flying) and cockpit (accurate aiming and NOE flight). The 3DO release contained several more, like a TV style fly-by-cam, weapon cameras, and enemy cams that could show a nearby enemies' POV. By picking up crystals the player is able to upgrade his craft and obtain more ammo, and by combining colours, get more powerful weapons, some also obtainable from parachute drops sent by FedNet.
One of the defining features of the game is using the laser (basic weapon) to terraform the map. As the game map is composed by tiles, some with higher or lower vertexes, can be leveled by simply firing repeatedly at the same area. This allows players to strategically avoid heavy defense turrets by simply collapsing a hill, or destroy an heavier turret by simply burrowing the ground beneath it.
The player starts the game with three lives, and earns one every 250k points. Losing all lives means a game over, but as there isn't a profile for each pilot (like in Tie Fighter), the game can be resumed freely from the last savegame.
One of the most obscure 3D shoot 'em ups ever made for the PC, Star Fighter 3000 is a solid PC port of a hit RISC OS game of the same name originally designed by FedNet and ported by Krisalis. This PC version was publisbed by Telstar only in a few European countries. PC Zone's concise but quite accurate review says it all:
"[This game features] lots of texture-mapped polygon action and some intriguing visual effects (nice flares and smoke), although the depth of vision leaves a lot to be desired. With a joystick, it's not half bad - for about 20 minutes. Its console origins (it appeared first on the 3DO) sadly become apparent fairly early on: the gameplay is a tad basic to really cut it as a PC title. That said, if you're sick of keyboard overlays and fancy a quick bit of blasting, you could do far worse."
One of the innovative features about the game is the ability to order your wingmen to fly in formation, attack specific targets, and you can also fly new ships as their development is finished throughout the game. Unfortunately, pixellated graphics make the game look worse than the RISC OS version and the animations not as smooth. Overall, an above-average shooter that may be one of the best games on the RISC OS, but has been superseded by many better games on the PC since 1995.
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