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PC Games in general
Member Name: rstoor
PC Games in general
Date: 04/12/00, updated on 04/12/00 (222 review reads)
Advantages: A fast, excellent graphiocs, great sound and music, long lasting gameplay and easy to pick up with an excellent multiplayer setup that is hard to beat.
Disadvantages: The lag on the zone is terrible when playing online against 8 people
This game, is in my opinion, the best space sim of the year 2000. Tons of action packed fun, good movie sequences and an ingenious and top-notch storyline makes this game very enjoyable. Made by the Wing Commander and Privateer duo, Chris and Erin Roberts, StarLancer is packed full of the same good old stuff which was originally released in the early nineties with Origin's classic WC 1. Though it is not set at the same time or even the same timeline, StarLancer is technically the sequel to Wing Commander Phrophecy. It also gives you a good old WC feel as you slowly progress through the game. In the next few paragraphs, I'll show you why this game is so good.
In-game you control a pilot flying for the Alliance's newly formed 45th Volunteers squadron. The game is based around a cosmic battle with you fighting the 22nd centuries Cold War equivalent, the Coalition. Unfortunately the Cold War is no longer "cold" as a the invasion has finally occured and both sides are pitched in a war for the supremacy of the solar system.
You have to fly many different missions to complete the game such as reconnaissance, search and rescue and all-out attacks at enemy coalition ships and bases. Though all missions have one same component, shooting waves and waves of enemy Coalition fighters. This is not bad but I think that more of a variety of missions would make this game even better. All-together there are twenty-four high quality missions which you have to complete before the end sequence is played.
There are many types of fighters so you get a large selection to choose from on each mission (fourteen in total). Also your enemy has a variety of ships in different shapes and sizes so you don't have to worry about the game just sending hundreds of the same fighter for you to battle. The ships are all well designed and are realistic which makes it worth shaking frantic
ally when you get hit :p.
The graphics are truly stunning when you start to play the game. The main features which amazed me was the great texture quality, effects and intricate ship models (all features are much better than games such as Tachyon: Beyond the Fringe and Allegiance). Graphics are one of the truly great features of StarLancer which you will experience if you buy it.
Texture qualities are very good in this game. So high quality that you can see numbers and other small details while flying past other fighters and capitol ships. Also the textures are realistic so it makes asteroids and other phenomenon look real and sometimes even touchable.
The graphics engine that StarLancer uses is very high-tech and ultimately great. It renders models quickly and efficiently while making sure that they look perfect if you decide to take a quick look. The amount of polygons used on capitol ships and fighters are more than other games but you can only really notice it if you play allegiance and then StarLancer. That's where you will see the greatness of SL and the poorness of Allegiance in the engine department.
Graphical effects are truly stunning as the boys down at Digital-Anvil and Warthog have added everything that you could conceive would happen when something explodes or does some other thing which needs the use of effects to make it look plausable. They're also plausable in size and very high quality as I saw from such things as missile trails and exhausts from damaged ships.
- Sound and Music
Though sound and music aren't that important they're still really good with no real problems.
The pieces of music which are played while you're in a capitol ship or flying in space are well mixed and composed. They're virtually all techno style so if you totally resent that kind of music (which I do normally) you should put o
n a good music cd or something but if you don't mind techno then they're perfectly suitable for SL. Though in multi-player the same one plays over and over so it can get annoying if you play it a lot but it isn't that bad.
The sound effects played while flying through space are very well timed and there are so many different ones that you'll know whenever something happens by just listening. There are not too many or too few sounds effects played so I think that they got it just about perfect.
This game is easily played as it tells you everything you have to do early on as long as you look at a few of the settings. Nothing is difficult and you won't get stuck trying to work out key combinations during an important mission. It's easy to set-up any type of controller but you'd better use a joystick because it will be a lot more difficult with keys. Also in multi-player it's very important to know all the keys positions as you will need them frequently as you battle against friends and members of other clans.
This game is quite addictive as I found out after playing for hours on end. You'll find that you will play quite a bit of Instant Action to try and improve your flying skills so that you can progress during the game.
- Movie Sequences
All the movie sequences are all high quality and a well spaced out between missions. They are also terribly dramatic as I saw in the first movie. They always portray the good-willed and patriotic Alliance as the good guys and the sinister Coalition as the slaughterers they really are. This adds to the feel of the game. Unfortunately all the people are rendered in 3d but thats nothing important as the game doesnt focus on the people, more on the events.
Multi-player is a large aspect to this game as ther
e are 6 types of online games you can play. SL is great at multi-player, find out why below.
Anyone new to online multi-player will find this game astonishing while playing it on MSN's Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com). Anyone experienced with multi-player will find it a fresh and new experience. When online you can see the massive difference between newbies and veterans though you get the elite few (like me of course :p).
Lag is the only real problem in this as unless you have broadband you'll experience a lot of it. It may be irritating but its worth it.
Here is a short one which explains everything:
BUY IT NOW because it is easily worth the money.