How is Skyjacker not being showered in pure financial loving? This space shooter is taking its second shot at funding via Kickstarter and, with under a week to go, still needs a bit over 50% of its goal. This isn’t an impossible task by any means, seeing as other projects have easily seen the bulk of their funding show up in the last week, but what has me a confused is why it isn’t sailing comfortably closer to success. There’s a demo and everything, and it keeps getting updated.
The Skyjacker basics are as follows- GTA in space. You have a ship and a universe, and get to explore the one with the other. You can customize your ship with parts salvaged from destroyed enemies, fly from planet surface to space and back again with no loading, and based on the demo it’s all going to be fantastically pretty in a way that actual outer space isn’t. There’s ten alien races with differing societies and technologies, all living in and bumping up against each other, and you can serve or antagonize them as you see fit. There’s an over-arching storyline that’s happening outside your peronal rise to power, though, so it doesn’t appear picking on a specific race will make them hate you too much.
Your personal journey will be important, though, as you begin from the lowly rank of Newbie and work up through Thief, Robber, Assassin, etc. You’re living the space pirate life, after all, and the galaxy is your oyster. You can bid on jobs at the Pirate Stock Market, or just tool around from system to system looking for trouble. The various races are always up to something, so there should always be a shiny new toy ripe for stealing to transform your rustbucket into a gleaming death machine. The ship can be reconfigured at home base, transformed from nimble hummingbird into lumbering behemoth, depending on the requirements of the job at hand, and you’ll be able to save configurations to switch quickly between them, once you’ve created something that makes you happy.
While all of the above is something that’s going to happen in the final game, the demo is more proof of concept than full-featured game slice. There are two missions available to play with, one a threat-free trash cleanup run good for learning the controls and another a combat mission. In the latter, the object isn’t to destroy the enemy cargo ships but rather shoot off their engines, which nicely shows off Skyjacker’s combat versatility. You can target specific systems on a ship to disable rather than destroy it, although it does take some very careful shooting to do this on the small-fry. You’ve got to get the new toys somehow, though, and pillaging the helpless remnants of your prey is as awesome a way as any.
Skyjacker is well along the path to success at this point, with the demo showing off several systems and loads more promised. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and despite the disclaimers on the Kickstarter page it ran smooth and clean without a bit of stuttering. Space (or at least space opera) is an enormous place loaded with opportunity for an unscrupulous up-and-coming pirate, and Skyjacker is off to an excellent start offering a galaxy’s-worth of mayhem to engage in. The deadline is creeping up fast, but there’s still time to make this game come to life in the way it deserves.