While big projects like Star Citizen an Elite: Dangerous are getting all the money (and press attention), they aren't the only space games you should be keeping an eye on. There's also Enemy Starfighter, which for months has been looking very, very cool.
I've been playing a very early build of the game for the past few weeks, which only had a limited game mode available, but that's enough to get a feel for how it all...feels.
And I love it. There's an immediacy to the flight in Enemy Starfighter, one that you normally only find in racing games like Forza. There's inertia pulling at the edge of the screen. Your instruments shake upon impact. There's constant radio chatter (real chatter, related to what's going on in a battle), though instead of getting annoying, it's slightly muted, so that if you need it you can listen in, but if you don't, you can tune out.
Little touches, but they combine to make you feel like you're actually flying a ship, rather than moving a crosshair around a bland and lifeless void. I don't have an Oculus Rift headset, but this will support it, and that will just be amazing.
What's present in the build I played (it's still early in development, and already way more stuff has been added) is a kind of roguelike deathmatch. You begin in a star system, alone, and have to jump between planets. At some points there is the emptiness of space, but at others, you find enemy ships. Blow these up and you'll get AI wingmen dispatched to you. As you progress ships get bigger and harder, which is where these wingmen really come into play; they don't just help you out, but when you die, you can jump into one of their ships and keep up the fight.
And yes, with a strong Homeworld influence to the art style, it all looks rather lovely.
Enemy Starfighter is the work of former Bungie dev Mike Tipul. As soon as it's available to buy (or even try), you can bet I'll be letting you know.