September 4th, 2012 | By Dominic Tarason
Update: Looks like the game has been too popular for its own good, and the Diaspora site has come crumbling down under the traffic. We’ll be trying to dig up the Mac & Linux version downloads, but here’s a direct link to the Windows torrent for the game.
It’s one of the great tragedies of gaming that a decent Battlestar Galactica (20xx edition) game was never released. There were a couple of small shovelware releases and a forgettable free-to-play outing, but nothing that captured the spirit of the spiralling, incredibly lethal deep-space dogfighting the TV series was so famous for. Until now. After four years of hard graft at the code-mines, the fan-made, freeware BSG game Diaspora: Shattered Armistice has finally been released. Here’s the rather authentic-looking launch trailer:
So, what you get here for your $0 is a full-blown BSG space combat sim, realistic physics and all. No energy shields or drag here. Bullets punch holes in armor, and if you cut engines, you’re just going to float freely through space. The launch release has a full single-player, voice-acted campaign, and you get to fly three different kinds of (human) fighters. No Cylon side in the campaign, although it does come bundled with a mission editor, so you can play on the other side if you want.
Disapora is based on a heavily re-tooled version of the FSOpen engine (the same engine that powered the excellent Wing Commander Saga), and the launch version supports Windows, Mac & Linux PCs. It’s entirely freeware and produced as a pure labor of love – for too long have gamers watched those strangely balletic dogfights and wished we could join in. Thanks to the Diaspora team, we now can.
The game weighs in at a rather beefy 1.26 gigabyte download. You can grab it from a list of mirrors currently going up on the Disapora site here, and this forum thread as well. We’ll be posting a full freeware review once we’ve been able to properly dig into the campaign.