Also known as “Star Fighter” in some quarters, Star Fighter 3000 is a game from Fednet Software, published by Krisalis in 1994.
It’s a third-person shooter with relatively primitive 3D graphics, in a similar kind of style to Nintendo‘s Star Fox.
In this, though, you’re taking part in what seems to be a televised war of the future. I can’t entirely be sure because there’s so much information on screen at any one time that it’s hard to tell…
You’re flying a fast-moving spacecraft that can be boosted for extra speed and has a variety of weapons – a front-mounted laser, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and special “Super Weapons”. You can also command wingmen to attack and defend for you.
What isn’t immediately apparent about Star Fighter 3000 is that it does have a strategic element to the gameplay. It’s not advisable to steam in all guns blazing unless you really know what you’re doing. New players should pick and choose their fights and know when to run away. When you attack certain strongholds the fire that comes from them is significant so you have to learn to avoid the hotspots and come back to them when you’ve diminished other attacks around you.
Star Fighter 3000 has a nice intro; excellent music; and dynamic visuals. The controls are quite sensitive – maybe overly so – but you do get a feeling of exhilaration from rolling and climbing to evade enemy attacks, or destroying an enemy base.
The ground textures are extremely pixellated but move fast. These were some of the first texture-mapped, 3D games ever made though – so it’s forgivable. It does look a bit like SNES Mode 7 gone wrong…
What are very good are the 3D models, which are pretty advanced for the time and some of them are obviously tributes to favourite sci-fi films and TV shows (Space 1999 being an obvious one).
The developers managed to bring life to this minor 3D world by cramming it with detail. Maybe too much detail… Star Fighter 3000 is definitely a very lively game and a stand-out title on the Archimedes.
Note: Star Fighter 3000 also came out on the 3DO, PC, PlayStation and Saturn.