Zigfrak is an already released “shoot-and-loot” third-person space shooter, developed by Alex Ayars. Zigfrak was released back in 2012, but is still trying to gain momentum on Steam Greenlight. The game has a lot going for it: thousands of lootable items, dynamically scaling enemy encounters, capturable ships, a crafting system, and moddable ammunition…just to name a few things. Ayars also released a rather lengthy gameplay demo that one player in the Greenlight comments section claims provided them with five hours of gameplay. With the community largely behind this game, what is stopping Zigfrak from being greenlit?
In Zigfrak, players step into the boots of a Freerunner pilot attempting to fend off both the Enforcers of Earth and the antagonistic Xenoid aliens, from attacking their home planets. As the story of Zigfrak goes, the Enforcers took over Earth when the Xenoids were first discovered and deemed threatening. Tired of living under strict martial law, the Freerunners broke free from Enforcer rule, and abandoned Earth. In a demonstration of power, the Enforcers attempted to reach out and capture the rebellious Freerunners, who had already established themselves on other planets across the galaxy. A human civil war ensued, and in the middle of it all, came the first Xenoid attack.
After spending a bit with Zigfrak, via the free demo, I found the game to be rather addicting, if not at first a bit disorienting. The controls take some getting used to, but they’re pretty easy to figure out. After a brief tutorial I was cruising around, disarming self-destructing ships and tractor-beaming in loot with ease. I still have a lot left to learn, but I’m already looking forward to doing so. However, the actual combat was rather…hollow. Maybe it will beef up later on in the game, but initially Spacebar is to shoot, and you just line up a target and a flare shoots out of the front of your ship, and there is a bright explosion if the other ship is destroyed. Usually the enemy ships were so far away, they were hardly a few pixels big when they started shooting at me. I am hoping this improves as the game progresses, though it isn’t bad, I just feel it could have been better.
As mentioned earlier, Zigfrak is already available, it released on November 1st of last year. It released for PC and Macs, with a Linux version in the works. “I’ve started porting the project to Unity 4.0,” Ayars explains in Zigfrak’s latest update on Greenlight, “which supports building for Ubuntu and other modern Linux distros. Many players enjoy Zigfrak on Linux via WINE already, but a native build should be available by late January 2013. Players will be able to move their saved game across platforms.”
The absence of any sort of multiplayer is a bit disappointing, but I understand that multiplayer indie games are rather a gamble, as server costs can run a bit over budget for many developers. Still, I had plenty of fun with Terarria, and even though there is multiplayer for it…I played it exclusively single-player.
“Space shooter games like this are normally not my type and I would almost definitely not buy one, but this game seems to be interesting enough that I would at least consider it. That said, I feel like there’s something “wrong” with the game, but I can’t seem to identify it.” – Nøkkenbuer
“I’ve only tried out the demo, but I really liked Zigfrak. It’s pretty much the space combat game I’ve been waiting for.” – NoZoner
“I already own this game. It’s amusing, fun, and challenging. The controls took a little getting used to, but after a bit of work they got to be pretty intuitive. It’s a solid game that reminds me of Elite.” – HaloN
“This is a game that would be great with large scale multiplayer. I love the look of the game but severs would make it just that much better in my mind.” – DracoHomicida
The Big Question:
Will the absence of multiplayer in a game largely based around loot, deter many people…or will Zigfrak be able to convince gamers that its singleplayer is plenty fun on its own?
What do you think? Talk about it in our forums, you never know when the developer might drop in and answer your questions.