Tear Through the Skies as a Mercenary Knight in Jet Lancer Launch Trailer

Ninety nine knights of the air ride super high-tech jet fighters, then proceed to get a missile to the face and explode into shrapnel.  It turns out that not everyone can be a superhero or a Captain Kirk, because that’s Ash’s job as a daredevil pilot in the arcade shooter skies of Jet Lancer.  Taking the throttle of a sleek and heavily-armed fighter plane, Ash tears through the sky blasting enemy fighters into flaming clouds of pixel-art debris.  Her jet comes equipped with a standard loadout of powerful main gun, homing missiles, a charged missile barrage, and an afterburner to get away from trouble. Alternately, for the daring, there’s a barrel roll maneuver that dances around incoming firepower, giving a brief but effective moment of invulnerability that, if timed right, provides a short-lived powerup to the main gun.

The initial loadout starts to fill in with options once Ash and her hovercraft-carrier find the cat-mechanic Lem, who can not only attach upgrades to the jet but also knows a thing or two about fixing home base’s run-down systems.  After a few missions new options like a more powerful but short-range gun, different charge weapons, an indicator as to when to barrel roll with perfect timing, and much more join the possible tech toys, with the disclaimer that only a few can be equipped at once.  However many you decide to use, though, the skies are not going to ever feel particularly safe.

I got to play the first several levels of Jet Lancer and there’s no two ways around it, this is going to be a good test of skill and reflexes.  Each level has plenty of room to fly, extending left and right a good ways before it stops scrolling and roomy ceiling for the sky, but all that space fills up with enemy planes and their firepower surprisingly quickly.  Whether you’re taking out all enemies, focusing on a boss, defending the city from bombers, or hacking a radio tower, there’s barely a moment’s peace to be had.  It’s not that the enemies swarm in dense numbers until later on but everything moves incredibly fast, and juggling five different buttons to perform all the jet’s maneuvers takes some practice.  Put it all together, though, and you can become winged death against which nothing can stand.  Until a stray bullet gets through and knocks you out of the gaming trance, at least.  Thankfully death is temporary and the action kicks in almost instantly, putting Ash back at the start of the level to try again, as many times as it takes until the mission is complete.

Jet Lancer is coming out later this summer and, while it doesn’t have a specific date quite yet, there is this lovely new trailer packed with as much of the stylish, hyperkinetic aerial action as will fit.