Review by Socio
"A fantastic game, tragically looked over."
This game is easily one of my favorite games of all time. The story is a very nice one. The game takes place several centuries in the future, and you play a human, otherwise known as a Terran. The Terrans have made an alliance with the alien species Vasudans, and together, you fight to destroy the NTF and the mysterious alien species called the Shivans. On to the review!
Graphics - 10/10
Magnificsent. Inspiring. Fantasgreat. Scrumtrulescent. This game has fantastic graphics, and in my opinion, is good enough to compete with other games even today. The lights effects on the lasers, the awe-inspiring explosions. Even if you get up close to giant ships, it still looks fantastic. You can't see the individual polygons. FreeSpace 2 sports some serious polygon counts. And I have a crappy graphics card, too, so that's really saying something.
Sound - 10/10
The sounds are pretty gosh darn good. Every weapons has it's own distinc sound when firing. After a short while, you will be able to identify the weapons with your eyes closed. They sound really great, too. Nothing like hearing your lasers blast into the enemy's hull, and the explosion moments later as it spins out of control. Chicken soup for the soul.
All the explosions and such sound very realistic and cool, though I doubt you would hear sounds in space. But hey, who gives a crap, right?
The controls are smooth and instinctive. Learning the basics takes no time at all. And hell, they even give you training missions about each combat role you would play in the game, so, it's all good. There are a lot of different things you can do with your ship that can help you in a dogfight, but they aren't necessary to complete the game, so, it doesn't hinder you any. In fact, it's fun to learn all of the commands.
The game flows very well. When you aren't in an intense dogfight with some enemy fighters, you're anticipating the attack, and boy, with your adrenaline pumping like that, it's almost as fun as blowing your enemy to bits...almost.
Your objectives are diverse. They will include taking out enemy fighters, disarming enemy capital ships, clearing out mine fields, blowing away sentries, performing recon missions, escorting cargo ships. The game is just plain out fun.
And one of my favorite things to do...destroying bombs! In order to protect ships, you will have to destroy enemy bombers...and their bombs in flight! This is one of the most fun things to do in the world! You have to target the bombs, and destroy them before they impact the target ship. Man, seeing that big explosion, knowing you helped out your team, it's just so darn satisfying.
One gripe I do have is issueing commands to your fellow fighters/bombers/interceptors and such. I mean, the system is fairly simple, but it will take a little time to memorize them by heart. Though you could always use the hotkey system as a shortcut, so it's all good.
The story is inveloping as hell. You feel the emotions going on as you play, and it really enhances gameplay. The voice acting is fantastic, and adds to the story. You feel the tension of your fellow pilots. You feel the confusion as a mission goes awry. *spoiler* You feel the horror as the most powerful capital ship in the entirety Terran or Vasudan history is destroyed, cluttering the area with anguished debris, the crew having sacfrificed themselves to help another ship escape*end spoilers*. The story is just plain great. It's so involving, you'll want to just keep playing and get back at those Shivan bastards.
The game the first time through is absolutely magic. You'll love FreeSpace 2 to death, and will go online looking for petitions for a FreeSpace 3(I know I did). Even playing the same missions over, with scpipted events, it's still fun as hell. And there are plently of stand alone missions to play, as well, and even another campaign!
And nothing beats blowing away bastard Shivans with some friends online.
Buy or Rent: You can rent PC games, so...definetely buy!
If you have the opportunity to burn, I guess you could, but I would prefer not to.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 02/16/03, Updated 02/16/03
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