A first look at Helion: Void Wars


Helion: Void Wars

a first look

Helion recently caught my eye on twitter, and upon further investigation I decided it was worth a First Look post.  Helion: Void Wars is a 3D space combat sim with fun, stylized (and I daresay, anime-inspired) art style currently in alpha stage, and is being developed by Madrid-based indie studio, Bytecore Games.  Despite info being limited (and their atrocious website doesn’t help – c’mon guys, it’s 2016, you’re killing me!) we’ve been treated to some really neat concept art and a few preview build videos.  The first thing I thought was “this looks like a cross between Aldnoah Zero and Macross Frontier in game form”, so of course I had to write about it.  Check out this video and tell me that doesn’t remind you of some of the best space anime series there are:

My first impression was “it’s like playing Aldnoah Zero – cool!”

or maybe it’s sort of Tron in space…

Concept Art!

Whatever the inspiration, I’m intrigued.  Even better, there’s concept art!  While low resolution (boo, anything less than 4k, boo!  Yes I know I’m an eyecandy snob) it’s super nice to have.  Concept art is something I wish more developers, indie or no, would post.  Sci-fi and game art is one of the three primary things we cover here at FoH, and I love game art and wish there was more of it.  Anyway, I digress – check it out!

I have to say that these are some really unique ships.  As someone who practically has a part time job covering sci fi art I’m usually able to spot various inspirations, but I was drawing a blank.  Merritt said they look like they might have been inspired a bit by Sea Quest, and I can see that.  Overall though, the svelte blade-like designs contrast sharply with the rounded, submersible-style ships.  I’m assuming these are two different races, but that’s only a guess at this point in the game’s development.  Currently more than half of Bytecore’s 7 team members are artists, so perhaps we’re seeing an amalgamation of styles, as there do seem to be at least 3 distinct design archetypes in the concept art.

Space Sim, Meet RTS

Helion will apparently allow switching control of various ships in real time, allowing you to decide which ship you’d like to pilot at any given moment.  This seems to add an RTS element, further differentiating Helion from other space sim shooters.  While the combat will be arcade space sim style, but you’ll also need to use different ship abilities at different times in order to complete your objectives.

And that’s all we know

Info is scarce on Helion, but I’ve reached out to Bytecore for more details.  I’m hoping to bring more details and the playable build to you guys, and of course I’ll try for more art (or higher resolution versions of what’s shown above) as well.  You’re welcome to keep tabs on their website here as well, but seeing as it was last updated 6 months ago (par for the course with indie devs, unfortunately), you’re probably better off watching here instead.  Bytecore has been active on twitter, however, so we know they’re still alive and kicking.  Stay tuned!

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I lead Rhino Digital during the day, and spend the rest of my time exercising, rock climbing, reading, and writing, usually in the company of awesome people. My favorite game franchises are the Homeworld series and the Descent series. Follow me on twitter: @FoHmaddox

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