Let me start by saying this is new, and that there will likely be a load of bug fixes over then next few weeks. So any comments I make about bugs are likely to be fixed… I hope.

So yesterday Lou bought me a copy of this game and so I installed. It took about an hour and a half to download, though I was playing an MMO and watching a Twitch stream at the time, so don’t let that influence you. The released specs said I should be able to run it on my machine but barely since it wants an i5 or i7, 7xxx series. My i7-3770 is a bit old and creaky, but the RTX 2060 Super seems to have made up for it as it set everything to Ultra and I experienced none of the stuttering that others have mentioned.

The first thing was the pop up for an EA login. It seems this is just for on-line play but… It was weirdly placed on my screen (2560×1080) and the cursor would not line up at all. I later discovered it had set me to a 4k resolution with a 16×9 format… Let’s be real here, if it can’t identify the resolution (though it does support it) it should default to something everyone can do, so <= 1080p, not 4k and hope for the best. Anyway I got past that and the game wanted me to customise the characters. 8 heads per side, choice of gender and about 12 voices. No aliens though, which after the trailers surprised me. Maybe in game unlocks for later.

Now, the controls. I use a Logitech X.52 Pro HOTAS, matching pedals and a head tracker. The defaults were a nightmare! Throttle mapped to a slider and not the throttle, also inverted. Pitch mapped in reverse. Yaw mapped to roll and roll to pedals, select target mapped to missile pickle… Yeah, that’s going to need a big rethink. I’ll grab a copy of my Elite bindings and see what I can match there. It does seem that Voice Attack support is already there, so that might help too.

Gameplay wise, it’s pretty simplistic. The ships fly like planes, with as far as I can see, no lateral thrust at all. So strafing isn’t happening. It mentions drift, holding boost or something but I don’t know how that works yet. I’ll give it a look later to see.

It is fun though, at least for short sessions. Maybe once it’s set up to my liking it will be more so. It certainly has promise, though it has work to do. Not bad for £35 though to be fair.