Star Raiders was one of my favorite games on the old Atari 8-bit systems. Packed into a measly 8K of ROM was a surprisingly detailed and complex space dogfighting game. When I saw that Atari was releasing an updated version for the PC, I was both excited and wary. All too often companies dig up a popular title from their vaults and try to squeeze more money out of it (anyone remember Knight Rider 2000?)
Alas, that's exactly what Atari has done with Star Raiders. This version of the game is about as unlike the original as you could possibly get while still flying a space fighter. Now it has a story, it's mission-based, the fighter can transform into different modes and there are cutscenes. There are also a number of new types of enemies to fight, including capital ships. I never got to a point where I could go into hyperspace or use the Galactic Chart or Long Range Scanner, if those things even exist in the game. While the original Star Raiders managed to squeeze the entire game into a mere 8,192 BYTES, this new version weighs in at nearly a full gigabyte.
Graphics are OK, if rather uninspired. It seemed a bit hard to figure out what I was looking at sometimes, with dark ships against the dark background of space, but fortunately enemies have boxes around them so you can always figure out where you need to shoot. The game really looks like a direct port from the X-Box.
The biggest flaw with Star Raiders is the horrendous controls. I could not get the game to recognize the rudder, throttle or hat controls on my Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Pro joystick. It also wouldn't recognize the additional buttons on my Logitech G700 gaming mouse or my Logitech Dual Action gamepad. Without the rudder or throttle, attempting to fly with the joystick is impossible, while trying to fly with the mouse felt like I was piloting a Mack truck through molasses. Keyboard? Don't make me laugh.
As far as gameplay, I really wouldn't know. I couldn't make it past the third tutorial because the controls were so utterly abysmal I couldn't track the enemy fighters to shoot them down. It might have been an interesting game if the controls actually worked.
This game has been out for two years and the publisher has never released an update. Don't waste your money on it.
Star Raiders is nothing at all like the classic Atari game. The graphics are terrrible and the controls are even worse. This is definitely one of the very worst games I have ever tried to play. I say tried, because the controls and game play are REALLY that bad.
Star Raiders seem to be an interesting reimagining of an old classic, but ended up with horrible controls that makes the game virtually unplayable, wasting a decent engine and a good license.
(For the record, I am one of those PC kids who NEVER played the original, okay?)
The intro is quite lame, it's just some static comic-book type panels about how the cabal of friends, including Ruiz, that's you, the geek, joined Atar Academy in order to work your way into the Star Raiders squadron on the Solaris carrier in the war against the Zylons.
Your ship has three modes: turret (heavy shields and weapons, don't move much), as well as assault and attack (I still can't figure out which mode is better for what, and there's no manual). In the intro/tutorial you can only use a single mode and it's only later you get to choose the modes. (Why does this reminds me so much of Robotech, i.e. fighter, guardian, and robot modes?) Somehow you have to upgrade the weapons individually in each mode too.
The graphics are a bit sparse but workable, and it's compatible with modern high-res screens (no problem setting it to 1680x1050). It's annoying though to get prompted with legend of onscreen HUD every time one starts the mission.
So far this sounds cool, but that changed when you're in the cockpit.
I have a MS XB360 controller, which is like *the* standard, so I use it when I can. I cannot get it to control the ship at all. The ship ONLY reacted to mouse and keyboard. I also cannot adjust the sensitivity, and to loop I have to keep moving the mouse (including taking it off the desk), which is ridiculous.
I managed to complete the tutorial missions by spamming the sky with missiles and I seriously doubt I could drive the fighter with any precision in an actual dogfight, when I have no problem playing games that require such precisions, but then those work with gamepad. This one doesn't.
All in all, don't bother buying this, unless you want to spend a while figuring out how to get your gamepad to work, and maybe you still won't enjoy it.
DO NOT GET THIS GAME ITS A COMPLETE RIPOFF. Nearly impossible to control on steam with a Mouse and keyboard, no official forums or steam forums to complain about it. More of a waste of money than when i invested in ferret racing(who knew that wouldnt take off).
Atari's greatest disappointment in my opinion, but then again, I haven't played all their games. The game is great, but the controls are a game-breaker, especially turn rates, even with mouse sensitivity maxed. Would have expected more from a company that is so skilled at making great arcade games like these...
I was excited to find the ATARI Star Raders game was available for PC. So I did all the steps required to download the game for only $9 and change. When I finished downloading the game, and attempted to play it, my excitement turned to disappointment. I attempted to contact tech support, and after a few hours I figured out how to do it. I have spent several hours following various suggestions, but have found tech support to be useless. I will try to figure out how to get a refund. Save yourself a disappointment and buy somewhere else.