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Jumpgate: Evolution - hands-on

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During our hands-on play with Jumpgate Evolution at Codemasters’ Gamers Day 2009, I thought to myself how much I enjoyed playing Colony Wars on the PlayStation.  How simple it was to journey through space and engage in dog-fights (not the illegal kind) with enemy ships, the sense of achievement felt when completing a mission.  A lot of that nostalgia came back to me when playing Jumpgate Evolution.

When we sat down with Jumpgate, we picked our pilot and chose from the one ship available to us.  From then on we were offered missions to tackle, which were divided by rank.  After picking our very first mission we approached Jumpgate in traditional MMO fashion, one hand on the WASD keys on the keyboard and the other hand on the mouse.  Surprisingly, steering your ship was controlled entirely by the mouse and pressing the shift key to travel faster.  Locking onto enemy ships is mapped to the left click on the mouse and shooting is mapped to the right.  Once locked onto an enemy ship, you can easily aim with the mouse and gun down that bastard.  It all happened really slowly since only a standard turret was available on our ship (a missile or two would’ve helped), but it was nonetheless satisfying to destroy other ships.

After gunning down six enemy ships, we advanced to rank 2.  Most missions consisted of destroying enemy ships, but as simple as that sounds, it is probably the most intense aspect of the game.  Dog-fights (take those illegal thoughts out of your mind!) are handled with ease.  When an enemy speeds across the screen and out of your line of view, an arrow indicator appears to show you in what direction you should point your ship.  Getting close enough and engaging is good fun, but gaining the experience to climb the ranks and get more access to better ships is incentive enough to keep accepting missions.

Unfortunately, our hands on was purely Player vs Environment as everyone around us was enjoying the game for themselves or just plain scared to face my ship.  Jumpgate promises to deliver epic Player vs Player battles, but sadly we didn’t experience any of that.  The prospect of teaming up with a guild to take down a huge star destroyer like ship has us gritting our teeth.

Feb 20, 2009

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7 comments

  • revenge - August 21, 2009 4:15 a.m.

    yea for commenting on a dead artical! anyways, ive been staring at this game and thinking about how awsome it would be to play it. so i sign up for the beta. and guess what, no beta, its been over a year and were waiting! give me a realise date, and none of this "soon(tm)" stuff.
  • Spybreak8 - February 27, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    I've been watching this game's development and it looks promising. I miss Earth and Beyond. ><
  • FriendlyFire - February 23, 2009 1:14 p.m.

    Sounds good, but I'll stay with my Freelancer thank you :) (No modding, no going here)
  • gijas04 - February 22, 2009 4:20 a.m.

    Hum, sound slike Freelancer's combat system. Hopefully, this game is scaled to experience in PvP since new players will die to often. Im sure they will have a beginner area just like in most MMO's. Hopefully.....
  • rockingamer247 - February 22, 2009 3:15 a.m.

    Holy crap this game looks EPIC!!! definitely gonna get this one eventually.
  • jimsondanet - February 22, 2009 4:24 p.m.

    i loved freelancer! i am not so sure of a 1v1 pvp as the tighter turning arc would generaly lead to the win. looks sick tho! recaptcha: 10 attempting a what? an orgy?
  • Gavo - February 22, 2009 12:10 a.m.

    I...need...this...game.. Does anyone know if you need to pay? (Like WoW)

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