Third-person space shooters that reference the early adventures of Fox McCloud as a main source of inspiration are hardly in short supply, even if we ignore the bad ones. D.E.E.P. Battle of Jove, however, might soon be among the best of them, going on the strong evidence of the three-level demo currently available through Steam.
Gameplay-wise it's as you might expect, with neat-looking fighters and gunships barrelling to avoid missiles and taking out enemy vessels with all manner of typically space-age weapons and gadgets - all of it set, of course, around hugely-detailed asteroids and structures. There's no open-world to explore or rogue-like progression, just a series of linear missions, with ships to unlock and new weapons to try out prior to each sortie - each of which is bookended and occasionally interrupted by your hard-drawn colleagues back at base.
While its features are unremarkable, what's impressive is how polished and tight Battle of Jove feels, with rich vibrant graphics that are lightning-fast and butter smooth, in service to combat that is intense and frenetic. If I had to pull it out of a line up of like-minded games, the pleasing but sober space-pew of Everspace, Strike Vector EX and Eve: Valkyrie would probably rank alongside it, but I have to say I've been enjoying Battle of Jove more. If the eight final missions are as good as the three I've just emerged from, I can see D.E.E.P. Battle of Jove becoming not just a genre favourite, but something that Fox McCloud might grudgingly approve of.
Don't take my word for it - go play the demo for yourself!