Jun 4, 2011Star Raiders is doggerel: derivative, insubstantial tripe that fails to entertain on any level while simultaneously tarnishing the legacy of a classic Atari 800 game. I can't remember the last time I have played something so objectively bad, and Atari should be ashamed that they are actually receiving money for this.
Positive: 0 out of 1
Mixed: 0 out of 1
Negative: 1 out of 1
May 20, 2011This game is a bitter disappointment. I'd been looking forward to it since I first saw it announced and foolishly bought it on Steam withoutThis game is a bitter disappointment. I'd been looking forward to it since I first saw it announced and foolishly bought it on Steam without waiting for any reviews. The only consolation I have is that it 'only' cost 8 euro so I'm not out of pocket by too much.
Nevertheless there are so many things that are just plain wrong with this game that I only managed to play it for about 30 minutes and I'll probably never touch it again. I never got a chance to really get a good go on the original Star Raiders and only ever spent time with the 2600 conversion, which despite being a necessarily poor version, was still much more enjoyable than this new release from Atari.
I really enjoy these sorts of games and have played all sort of versions from the VCS Star Raiders, Time Gate, Dark Star, Forbidden Planet and Codename MAT and Elite on the Spectrum through to Colony Wars on the PlayStation and Frontier on the PC. I've never really seen many newer ones that interested me enough to try them which is why this was such an attractive proposition.
I though that Atari couldn't possibly go wrong with this one and the graphics looked really great in the trailer. Unfortunately the trailer is the best part of the whole package. The game itself is dull, poorly finished and dreadfully paced (bearing no resemblance to the trailer in that respect). The voice-over is laughable - I swear that I expected our player character to be the irrepressible Zapp Brannigan! There is in-game "music", which consists of a 15-second loop that relentlessly drones away in the background. The HUD graphics are blocky and no attempt has been made to enhance them beyond what might have been acceptable on a 21-inch analogue TV. The controls are the most contrary and unresponsive I've ever seen in a game like this. If you move the mouse too fast when controlling the craft, it loses track of your virtual joystick and you actually end up losing control! Despite the hyped-up craft variants, all of them are dogs to control and it seems that in the world of the new Star Raiders, space is not a vacuum, it's syrup. Oh yes... Heat haze from the ship exhausts in space? I don't think so.
To summarise, steer clear of this game. It's a travesty to the heritage of Star Raiders and all the other games that followed it. Despite some attractive graphics and short lived fun, it quickly degenerates into a frustrating, boring and unrewarding exercise in perseverance.
As a matter of fact I spent more time actually trying to get it running on my PC (64-bit XP) than I spent playing it and that was probably time better spent as I learnt a few things about Steam installer scripts and where Steam's registry keys are held on a 64-bit system.
It's truly a disgrace to the Atari name that this has been made available to the public, apparently without any kind of quality control and I really feel like I'll just ignore any future Atari releases, whether reviews are available or not. I will give it 3 marks but only with respect to the effective ship designs and the wasted potential that it had.… Full Review »