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Star Raiders returns

The Atari franchise is back after 25 years of absence

Star Raiders is the original space combat simulator, and now the franchise is back after 25 years of absence.

Atari is pleased to announce that Star Raiders has been released on Xbox Live Arcade and Steam for 800 Microsoft Points/$9.99, with a PSN version coming whenever Sony decides to bring the PlayStation Store back. Offering "a new compelling storyline, striking visual style and exhilarating single player gameplay," the new game is actually the third entry in the series, some 25 years after its predecessor Star Raiders II.

The original Star Raiders, released in 1979, was a graphical version of the text-based Star Trek game, which tasked players with flying to various quadrants of the galaxy, defending starbases and eliminating the attacking "Zylon" forces, an oh-so-subtle nod to Battlestar Galactica which had first aired in the previous year. It was the first example of what we now know as the space sim genre, and despite its crude graphics, remains fun to this day.

1986's Star Raiders II began life as an adaptation of the movie "The Last Starfighter" but was later rebranded as a sequel to the 1979 classic game. Its gameplay was somewhat different to the original game, featuring planetary attacks and a wider variety of enemy types to battle both in free space and in orbit.

The new game apparently "pays tribute to the original while ushering in an all new, captivating episodic experience" and "offers familiar battle elements including space warps and galactic tactical maps with all new features like radical battle transformations and customizable ships." Intriguing.

But is it as good as the original? Why not try it out?

This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Star Raiders Returns

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