Nexus: The Jupiter Incident
Coming by way of a publisher that likes to tweak its own name every year or so, it didn't seem such a preposterous rumour that Nexus was about to be given a(nother) new moniker. So the story went, VU Games (aka Vivendi, Sierra) was going to turn Nexus (aka Galaxy Andromeda, Imperium Galactica III) into the next Homeworld and, had it been true, a great many people would have become rather piqued with excitement.
Yet, despite the obvious similarities of the star-spangled setting and mouse-driven ship combat, the two games are quite distinct. Where Homeworld is very much a traditional RTS with resources to hoard and a base to build before combat can commence, Nexus concerns itself almost exclusively with fleet-level tactics.
Nexus also won't be offering battles anywhere near the same scale as Homeworld. However, while the number of ships under your command is considerably smaller, Nexus compensates by giving you a great deal of control over each of your vessels, not only in terms of what your ships can do, but how they do it. For instance, you can navigate simply by right-clicking on an object on the screen, or you can create a set of elaborate waypoints and send your ship barrelling in and out of enemy craft like some intergalactic Volvo on ice skates.
Combat isn't simply a case of targeting and tapping the fire key and waiting for the inevitable bang either. Heavy weapons, torpedoes and lighter weapons (used to knock out specific ship systems) all require you to operate at certain ranges. With up to ten other ships in your fleet, not to mention having to contend with repair queues, mine fields, fighters, spaces stations and weapons platforms, it can all get rather hectic. You may be in command of hulking great dreadnoughts but the pace of the game is anything but sluggish.
Despite its turbulent and rather protracted development cycle (the original release date was back in 2001), the game still looks as impressive as it did four years ago, with ships arcing through asteroid fields and laser beams cutting through space. The prolonged building time has also ensured a solid product - even our pre-release version is remarkably stable and bug-free and clearly a lot of fine-tuning has been going on.
Whether or not the scale or scope of the combat will appeal to the masses is another matter, but if you've been waiting for or wanting something to take over where Homeworid 2 left off, Nexus could well be the game to lift space strategy into a higher orbit.
Download Nexus: The Jupiter Incident
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP