Star Control II has needed a sequel for almost 25 years. While Stardock has the rights for a new game it’s making a prequel, keeping away from the central series lore, and as it turns out it had a very good reason for taking this route. Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, the original creators behind Star Control, asked Stardock to go hands-off with the central storyline because they’d quite like to revisit it some day, when there’s time and Toys For Bob isn’t being buried in Skylanders work. That time is now, and in a blog post that’s far more entertaining to read than it is packed with informative details about pending plans they’ve announced Star Control: Ghosts of the Precursors. The new game is “early, early in development”, so there’s a whole lot of waiting ahead, but it’s a true sequel that continues the story, contains all the alien races (and confirms the return of Spathi commander Fwiffo), and has the multiplayer super-melee mode.
Star Control II was a combination space adventure/shooter/RPG, mashing up genres long before it became all kinds of fashionable. As the commander of a massive alien flagship built when a lost human colony found an ancient factory, you’ve come home to find Earth enslaved by the Ur-Quan. This will not do, so you: talk to people on planets and outposts, meet aliens both friend and foe, send scouts down to pick up resources on any planet that catches your eye, explore the galaxy, and try to keep current as events are influenced by your choices or proceed without you. The two high points of the game are the writing, which is always worth slowing down and reading, and the combat, where you choose an ally’s ship from the flagship’s docking bays and shoot it out in space. In multiplayer, however, you and an opponent can choose up to fourteen ships apiece to slug it out, and the variety of abilities between the twenty-five alien races makes for some fantastic match-ups. Star Control II is legendary for a reason, and a true sequel picking up where it left off is something to get excited about. If you missed SCII the first time, though, the PC remake of The Ur-Quan Masters is fully-endorsed freeware.