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GDC 2016: Hands-on with the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore

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GDC 2016: Hands-on with the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore
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Galaxy on Fire 3 looks stunning.

Spaceship fights take place amid massive asteroid belts, or between an armada of space stations, or in the thick, hazy atmosphere of a giant gas planet.

You don't just float around space looking for trouble, though. You'll jump between star systems using a giant galactic map - a map that will be familiar to anyone who played the earlier GOF games.

In each cluster of stars you'll find a hierarchy of alien jerks who rule that solar system with an iron fist. Your job is to kill enough of the henchmen so you can get at the big bad boss and wipe them off the map for good.

Taking on villains is the best way to become more powerful, as you'll earn blueprints which can be used to craft new weapons or bits for your fleet of spaceships. There will be about 20 ships to customise.

GOF3

In each mission - which are usually about killing loads of enemy ships, but sometimes about extracting or protecting a friendly vessel from waves of baddies - you can take two wingmen in to help you out.

These are either your friends, or just random players. They're controlled by the AI (and you can give them simple commands), but carry the stats of that player's best ship. And then at the end of the mission you'll divide up the spoils between all three of you. It gives the game a nice social layer.

We'll have to wait and see how the switch to free to play changes things, but from a gameplay perspective this will be a fast, responsive, and gorgeous sci-fi blaster with stunning interstellar settings and some very cinematic scenes. Expect Galaxy on Fire 3 on iOS and Android later this year.