For all those Stargate fans who wondered what it would be like to fly a Deathglider... keep reading.
For everyone who just likes a good action-packed flight sim... you keep reading too.
Sandwarriors puts you in the role of a pilot for House Horus, fighting against the forces of Lord Set, who, being a thoroughly nasty piece of work, has killed his own brother Osiris, Horus’s father, to claim the Sun Throne and the planet Tawy’s resources.
Why so vital? The one who controls Tawy will get to colonize a new world: Earth.
That’s where the Stargate connection comes in.
You fly an advanced vector craft known as the 'Bug' which can carry a wide assortment of weaponry, but don't expect access to everything early on. The game is what I call 'mission based' in that you don't accumulate some form of points and 'buy' better weapons - you go through a briefing beforehand where your objectives are laid out (you can access them in-game however) and then you're dropped straight in it at your home base. All your supplies are picked up in weapon and repair crates in-flight, while your shields are replenished slowly over time (don't rely on this in combat, trust me) or from a Power Den - just fly through and you're back and ready to blast
As to what you can blast with, you can get cluster bombs, heat-seekers, plasma cannons (limited ammunition for these – don’t waste it) and what is called a ‘Porphyry Canister Cannon’ which is just in-game speak for ‘something better than the standard gun which fires red blobs’.
Gameplay was a little tricky to master for me, but experienced jocks shouldn't have a problem. This isn't a serious flight sim (you can tell by the description in the game's manual of your ship as advanced vector capable, making the need for real physics vanish) but plays a lot like Terminal Velocity or Hellbender with the addition of about 12 hotkey-activated maneuvers such as the ‘Needle’ (your ship plunges straight down toward the ground without pitching) or the ‘Orion Corona’ (your ship moves in a wide circle around a point).
I personally found these hard to use as they didn’t really shake off pursuit (I run a lot, what can I say, I’m a giant n00b) but they do get you into a better firing position sometimes or give you an extra second to use as you see fit – like ramming a missile up a Setian fighters exhaust for example. You get flares to deal with incoming enemy missiles which I prefer, as it’s simpler than searching for that hotkey you know will do exactly THIS (whatever THIS is) and save your backside.
All in all, a good game, though the missions do take some time to complete as it takes some getting used to and you can’t save in-flight. Maybe I kept dying because I’m just really bad at flight sims, but download this and find out for yourself.
At least the fact that this is the closest thing to a Stargate flight sim gives it an edge, give it a go!