Return to the days of keyboard flashcards and 200-page manuals
If Randy Pitchford and Peter Molyneux had a baby, Derek Smart would be the result. The long-running controversy concerning his first game Battlecruiser 3000ADis the stuff of internet legend and could fill a tome. With Usenet flame wars, lawsuits, and flipped tables, it was a huge ordeal.
I bought both BC3K and Battlecruiser Millenium and they’re near and dear to my heart. They’re not good games, they’re broken, confusing, rambling games, but they were ambitious and I had as much fun trying to get them to work and figuring out just what the fuck was even going on than I’ve had with complete AAA titles.
3000AD is still around and kicking, though not nearly as vocal as it was in the late ’90s. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Battlecruiser series, the company has remastered Universal Combat 2.0 Collector’s Edition and released it on Steam for free. Derek Smart might be crazy as a shithouse rat, but he does show appreciation for his fans as this release is just the latest in 3000AD’s policy of making its older games available as shareware when support for them is ended.
3000AD is still hard at work bringing its unique brand of broken, yet intriguing, space odysseys to new generations of players with a new refresh of Universal Combat underway. Regardless of quality I’m glad that there are developers like this in the industry who aren’t afraid to reject the status quo.