The Red Star

The Red Star was another of Acclaim’s comic book adaptations, dropping the player into a sci-fi version of Soviet Russia, that mixed hi-tech weaponry with a healthy dollop of magical powers. The game was a combination of old-school shoot-em-ups and beat-em-ups, often filling the screen with hundreds of deadly bullets at a time. And hey, it was fun, and unusually for an Acclaim game, the reviewers agreed.

I joined the project relatively late, helping out with odds and ends during the last six months or so of the development. Working on both PS2 and Xbox, tasks included background loading of data, integration of Bink video playback, depth of field effect in the PS2 renderer, UI work, support for Xbox Live messages and general debugging. Basically just helping tie up the loose ends.

Annoying, Acclaim went bankrupt while the game was going through approval processing with Sony and Microsoft. Nothing was heard for a few years, until in 2007, XS Games published the PS2 version. The Xbox version never saw the light of day, except for a demo that appeared on the Official Xbox magazine cover disk, and a full version of the game that leaked out onto torrent sites later on.

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