Like many old-school PC gamers, I spent a fair amount of my youth playing space combat sims like Wing Commander. Years later, a good chunk of my life was consumed by watching the Battlestar Galactica reboot. Now, there's a game that combines the two. After four years of development, Hard Light Productions has released Diaspora: Shattered Armistice, a space combat sim set in the Battlestar universe. The game is based on the Freespace 2 Source Code Project, an open-source engine, and it's entirely free. Here's the official release trailer:
The graphics don't look all that great, but the music just gave me goosebumps. Yeah, I'm a big BSG fan.
At only 1.3GB, the Diaspora download is about the size of a modern game demo. The hardware requirements are pretty lax, calling for a dual-core processor and DirectX 9-class graphics. You don't even need to be running Windows; Diaspora is available for Mac OS X and Linux, as well.
Despite its release, Diaspora is somewhat unfinished. The single-player campaign appears to be complete, but the multiplayer is "very much in beta." Interested parties can join the multiplayer beta by following these instructions. Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the tip.