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 Home -> Reviews -> Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos
Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos By John "Award" Del Percio, September 19, 2001
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Developer :Particle Systems
Publisher :Infogrames
Release Date :
Late August 2001
Demo Available : No
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Easy as Docking in a Mine Field

Independence War 2 runs hot and cold. On the down side, it's an insanely difficult niche game where only the most intense space sim players will be able to play and not be frustrated to the point of hurling their joystick out the window, and shows the signs of being a ported console game. On the positive side, though, intense space sim players will find it to be the absolute best, most rewarding sim out there, unlike that "simple action game" Freespace. Purely from an objective angle, the game is exceptionally well designed, it is a very long game (there are over thirty missions, plus the non-linear pirating missions you do on your own), it is a continuous world so you can transit from one point to another with no breaks between. From an opinionated angle, it's just too difficult for people who aren't hard-core space sim gamers. I do happen to be a fairly dedicated player, and I even found the game a touch too difficult. When it comes to the question of if you should buy it or not, ask yourself if you found X-Wing Alliance or Freespace 1/2, hard when using the maximum difficulty setting. If you did, you will either dislike I-War2, or you will just have to do a lot of training. If you do think you can learn it, I advise you try though, because if you don't you'll be missing out on an incredible storyline, and some great gameplay.

Rating

Personal Note

Graphics - Sound - Gameplay - Depth - Multiplayer  Reviewed by John Del Percio
GRAPHICS
100 %

The Flux engine is absolutely stunning. Never before has a space sim been seen with this level of graphic detail. Stellar objects such as nebulae are beautiful, especially if your video card supports hardware T&L, as are the ships and bases. If there's something to complain about in the graphics, it is that the LDS drive shows your transit by shooting green lines across the screen. I think a bit more could have been done with this, but that's not really really much for a complaint, is it?

SOUND
99 %

The sound effects are incredible, and the spacialization for anyone with a surround sound system is great. You truly feel as though you're at the helm of the ship, and the thrusters are all around you. Most other sounds are incredible as well, the voice overs are quality, and the music is extremely good. There are a few different styles of music used for each act, and each is truly fitting. One thing that did get annoying with the sound, though is the LDS drive. It makes a sort of high frequency shrieking noise like a vacuum cleaner on overdrive. This can be truly annoying when you're going extremely long distances, especially before you get a capsule drive.

GAMEPLAY
94 %

The gameplay is both good and bad, depending on who you are. The overall design and theory behind it is great, and of course the true Newtonian physics model ads a new dimension to the gameplay that most games leave out. Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to play, partially because of the physics model and partly because of the shielding and damage percentages. The concept of going from system to system is also great, though, the non-linearity can also lead to confusion with some already vague mission objectives.

DEPTH
93 %

In terms of the story depth, you are placed at the center of Cal's life, and through the prelude and the first act, you truly feel as though you're a part of the story. Unfortunately, once in act two, the story is dropped for a while in order to provide some non-linear gameplay. In terms of gameplay depth, unlike Freespace, there are relatively few buttons you'll need to get used to, and the entire keyboard isn't mapped out like it is in other games, but getting used to the Newtonian physics model takes more in-depth consideration than any other game. Consider zooming at an enemy, ready to fire, only to realize that now you keep drifting a few hundred, even thousand, kilometers in the opposite direction because of your forward momentum. Now picture that while being shot at by eight enemies.

MULTIPLAYER
90 %

Unfortunately, I could barely even try multiplayer. There are an extremely few number of games running at any given time currently, and most of the ones that were running were far to lagged for me to even consider connecting to. This will change as the game becomes more wide-spread, though, I'm sure. In terms of the contents of multiplayer, it's pretty much like every other space sim multiplayer game, though with a far more interesting physics model. It should definitely prove interesting to see when it does become more populated.



I do apologize for the lack of many screen shots available. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the in-game screenshot button overwrites the previous game's shots each time you re-start the game (obvious bug), so after I've spent two weeks in play-time it seemed quite counter-productive to return for more screens. There are plenty of shots up on the official game site at http://www.independencewar2.com, though. I-War 2 is most certainly nominated for the 2001 Top Pupil awards for the category of Best Sim.

Overall Rating

 



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