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Falling Frontier's new trailer makes me want to hibernate until the RTS appears in 2025

 Falling Frontier spaceship.
Falling Frontier spaceship.

Out of all the RTS settings we've seen over the years, space remains, for me, absolutely the most thrilling. Ever since Homeworld got its hooks in me over 20 years ago, I've never lost the craving for big spaceship battles in the uncaring void of space. Falling Frontier, then, is very much my kinda thing, but it's approaching things quite differently when compared to the Relic classic, as is clear from the latest (extremely meaty) trailer.

It's a harder brand of sci-fi, grounded by ship designs evocative of real-world naval designs, where everything looks utilitarian and crafted for a specific purpose. It still looks gorgeous, mind you. This goes beyond the aesthetics—you'll also be managing logistical conundrums and supply chain issues, and worrying about how to properly position your ships to maximise their damage potential.

Falling Frontier was pushed back to 2025 a wee while ago, but developer Stutter Fox Studios still wants to show off how the game's been developing, teasing what we can expect when we finally get our hands on it.

"When I set out to create Falling Frontier I had this idea of what the world looked like," Stutter Fox founder Todd D'Arcy told me. "It had modern wet naval warship aesthetics but was presented in a grounded sci-fi way. I also had a direction for how I envisioned the player would interact with the world. I always wanted it to have an augmented environment feel that helped communicate that the player was indeed the commander of a task force in a huge battlescape.

"I feel as though Falling Frontier is now meeting all of my hopes and dreams and is indeed stepping into a space beyond what I could have ever imagined."

Falling Frontier spaceship
Falling Frontier spaceship

The trailer gives us a look at a quartet of sleek new frigates, each with distinct roles. The Berwick, for instance, can act as a spotter, helping out other ships when they're blasting vessels with long range missiles. As a bonus, it can also lay mines and conduct search and rescue missions. The Faslane, meanwhile, is a sneaky frigate thanks to its small sensor signature. It's got added utility, too, thanks to an optional cruise missile attachment and drone bay. If you're looking to find sneaky ships rather than deploy them, that's where the York comes in—it's a scout, but with upgrades that include additional sensors, making it even better at spotting enemies. Finally there's the Coventry, which you'll use to escort other ships, taking advantage of its heavy armour (for its class) and firepower.

Thanks to the ship designer, these vessels can be used in a bunch of different ways, despite their distinct roles, by changing their internal and external modules (which can also change their silhouette); installing a variety of turrets, with each ship boasting unique turret base designs; and playing around with their modular weapon designs.

I'm a huge fan of this style of ship combat, too; unlike the frenetic dance of Homeworld's ships, it's incredibly slow and tense, but certainly not lacking in grace. Basically, if you liked seeing ships duke it out in The Expanse, you're gonna dig it. Planets can also be attacked, and near the end of the trailer we see both an orbital bombardment and ship debris plummeting towards the planet, where it explodes.

Falling Frontier spaceship
Falling Frontier spaceship

One of the things I really loved about Homeworld was the radio chatter, and that's present in Falling Frontier, too. The chatter is dynamic, and grounded in the use of the NATO alphabet when referring to ship designations. It's all very serious and my kind of nonsense.

There's more to the war than exploding ships, so we also get to take a peek at the aforementioned logistical side of things. You can see a Sukula mining barge slowly unloading its cargo assisted by smaller vessels, all of which grab onto the containers and then jet off down to the planet. It's only once they arrive that they can be used, so presumably that will make the barge something of a target for enemy attacks. Later in the trailer we get to see the big picture, where connections between worlds are made to create supply chains. I confess I have a bit of a supply chain fetish. I'm sorry.

It's a shame we won't be able to get our hands on this until next year, but thanks to the trailer I've got a much clearer picture of what Stutter Fox is aiming for, and I'm pretty stoked.