is an overly-ambitions space sim that will probably
appeal to everyone - except those that like space
mixes in elements of flight sim, space shooter and
RTS but at the expense of depth. Virtually all aspects
of the game are simplified almost to the point of
an arcade game which does make it accessible to a
wide audience, though it's doubtful that was the original
intent. The game is by no means a cakewalk but more
often than not you'll be chalking up your losses to
bad luck rather than your lack of strategic skill.
simply isn't enough variables or commands at your
control. There are plenty of options that you can
choose from to customize certain features of the game
but whatever you do will have little bearing on the
core gameplay. You can play with or without Newtonian
physics. You can change perspectives, customize your
HUD as well as the various ships, weapons and missions
with the aid of the editing interface. To facilitate
more efficient commands and round off the edges of
difficulty in the strategy department you can pause
the game and zoom in to various areas to see where
trouble is developing. Purists don't have to pause
the game but the feature is there for those that need
ships are small and carry little in the way of weapons.
You only have so many missiles and when you run out
of them you are not going to be in very good shape
against the AI. You'll have to run around looking
for friendly forces to arm yourself again - if you
get that far.
will grow in rank as you complete missions which will
enable you to control larger ships such as a capital
and a carrier. These ships are huge and cumbersome
to control. Once you give a command it takes a while
before it goes into effect. They're armed with plenty
of firepower but then again so is the enemy. For the
most part you and the enemy are always evenly matched
in weapons, ships, armor and ability. Having two capital
ships go head-to-head is a crapshoot. You just keep
shooting and hope for the best. It's a laborious effort
that's more like work than fun.
is persistent and for a while it seems that the more
damage you do, the easier it is to defeat the enemy
in subsequent missions. But just as soon as you get
comfortable the AI will come in with big guns a'blazing
and kick your ass right off the throne and into the
gutter. It's unfair and it's very frustrating. It
upsets the continuity of the game. I can accept the
AI becoming more challenging but not overwhelmingly
more powerful for no apparent reason.
a huge world out there so don't expect a lot of detail
in the graphics. You can zoom out and take a look
at the big picture but the more closely you look the
uglier it gets. No more is that evident than on the
planets. You expect space to be a large void but the
planets come off looking like minimalist paintings.
They are static and barren. Sound-wise the game is
equally as sparse but that's what you want. At least
the background music isn't jammed with Euro-trance.
With the editor you can program some voice commands
on your custom missions which is a nice touch. The
sound effects are decent but we've heard them all
before. If this game really wants to go the sim route,
there should be no sound at all since sound can't
travel in the vacuum of space. Oh, I'm a smart little
whip aren't I?
allows for online play and you might get some mileage
out of the editor. The interface is helpful and easy
to use so you might want to customize a few missions
of your own. The game's lack of depth however is its
downfall. The dumber you are, the longer you will
be able to play this game. I don't say that to belittle
..yes I do.