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Overview

Starshatter: The Gathering Storm is a space combat game developed by Destroyer Studios and published by Matrix Games. According to development lead and president of Destroyer Studios John DiCamillo, the game is a "special edition" of the original Starshatter. The storyline in the game is the same, but The Gathering Storm features updated textures, models, environment effects, and sound assets, improved AI, animated cutscenes, head-tracking support, and 3D cockpit models, as well as additional fighters, starships, space stations, ground bases, etc.

The game starts with a small skirmish between the Terellian Alliance and the Marakan Hegemony, and eventually escalates to all-out interstellar war by way of the game's dynamic campaign engine. It is up to the player to decide how to aid in the war effort, be it as a fighter pilot or a starship captain. Players can jump between these roles or choose to play through the entire game as one or the other.

Attention is given to realism in the game. Anything the player sees can be traveled to, and ships can travel seamlessly in and out of any planet's atmosphere.

Campaign Structure

In addition to a static tutorial campaign, Starshatter features four "dynamic campaigns," so named for the way the game creates missions for the player. Every few minutes, the game evaluates the state of the game world and generates missions based on the factions' tactical objectives. The player can then choose to take on these missions or leave them for an AI unit instead.

At the start of the game, each faction has a set number of units. The player is assigned a unit and given a number of generated missions. Damage in the game is persistent, as is the number of units. In the event the player's ship is destroyed, it is possible to transfer to a new one, but the total number of units has decreased by one. This makes the player's actions much more important than a typical static campaign, since the outcome of one mission can change the course of the entire war.

Making kills, completing objectives, and even simply logging flight time and landing safely earns the player experience points, which bind to the player's character (as opposed to their ship). Earning experience points leads to promotions, which enable the player to pilot more advanced ships and take on more responsibility, such as commanding a starship or becoming an admiral, able to dictate the movements of an entire fleet.

Open Source

As of December 2011, Starshatter: The Gathering Storm is open source and is currently being supported by an active modding community.

Links

System Requirements

Minimum

  • Windows 98/SE/ME/2000/XP
  • Pentium III 1Ghz or Athlon Equivalent
  • 512 MB RAM
  • Direct X9 compatible 32 MB video card
  • 8x CD-Rom, 700 MB Free Disk Space
  • Keyboard and Mouse

Recommended

  • Windows 98/SE/ME/2000/XP
  • Pentium IV 2.4 Ghz
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Direct X9 compatible 32 MB video card with Pixel 2.0 Support Shader
  • 8x CD-Rom, 700 MB Free Disk Space
  • Keyboard and Mouse

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