Update: CCP Games has asked Rixx to pull Drifter Wars down, in accordance with their intellectual property rights. The game can no longer be played, but the original article has been preserved below for historical purposes.
The EVE Online community creates all sorts of external tools and software for players to use, from Aura to Eve-Central. However, there are surprisingly few fangames, especially given the general tech-minded playerbase CCP has cultivated.
Drifter Wars is one of those precious and rare non-CCP EVE games. Created in a collaboration between Rixx Javix and Igor Puschner, Drifter Wars is a side-scrolling shooter in the vein of Gradius. You can pick from a few different ships, travel from left to right, and shoot incoming enemies. That’s about all there is to it.
While Drifter Wars isn’t a particularly good side-scrolling shooter, it’s such an interesting concept that it’s worth playing through at least once. There are, however, many flaws for the discerning shooter player. There is no wiggle animation on the player ship when going up and down, there’s extremely bad slowdown when the attack cooldown is charging up, bullets have no impact when they hit an enemy, the controls are a little too rigid, and there’s very little visual or audio feedback when you actually do something cool.
What if the EVE Online ships were rendered in side-scroller fashion? How does the universe of EVE translate to an arcade game? Where are all the EVE fangames, for fuck’s sake? These are the questions Drifter Wars asks, and while the answer isn’t a great game, it’s certainly a great project. We need more fangames, and hopefully the hard work of Rixx and Igor will inspire others to take up the mantle. I may not be a fan of this game, but if they improve on it and release a sequel, it’s quite likely that it’ll be a genuinely good experience. Keep an eye on it.
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