Have you played… Nexus – The Jupiter Incident?

Capital fetters

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A thin, long capital spaceship exchanges laser fire with a smaller cruiser type ship in an asteroid field

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I feel like such a hypocrite whenever I bemoan the shortage of games about massive spaceship combat. Nexus – The Jupiter Incident may have given me 16 years to get round to it, but I still haven’t played more than its first couple of missions, and I’m honestly not sure why.

It might be because it gets things a little too right for its own good. You’re a space admiral thrown into a three way corporate war over some mysterious new technology. The campaign sees you directing a small fleet around a few dozen battles, patrols, spying missions and all that sort of thing. But the main point of it is that combat is focused on controlling huge, mighty, lumbering capital ships instead of a fighter or a swarm of shiftclicks.

It’s perhaps the best game of its type to this day, and yet it never quite hooked me in. The draw in to the missions is too slow and unengaging, the weapons and damage reports just left me feeling little too detached. A more memorable plot or presentation might have helped. Both are fine, but I honestly can’t remember much about the setting, and while two behemoths going toe to toe can work, I never quite felt the trememdous power of the machine I was controlling. It was just a little too dry.

It’s really not fair for me to put it down, but I guess I need a little more melodrama in my navy. In a better world, it would have got a sequel that shook the whole genre up.

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