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SummaryGood, but not Great
The GoodThe gameplay is immersive. This is one of the few games where it's more fun to avoid the main plot and just concentrate on exploring, trading, and upgrading your ship. Getting to play blockade runner with a hold full of illegal drugs by dive-bombing a planet on full-afterburner with a half-dozen confed ships on your tail is still possibly the most fun ever offered up in a WC game. Plus the idea of being able to switch "sides" at will between several competing groups is nice - it's theoretically possible to be allied to the pirates, the Kilrathi, and Confed all at once. And the music was some of the best MIDI work they had.
The BadThe gameplay is blatantly ripped from Elite. I'm still amazed David Brabden didn't sue Origin - every aspect of the game EXCEPT the plotline is straight out of that classic, even down to most of the specific items you can trade in. Also, it got mind-bogglingly difficult towards the end of the plotline, with missions that took more than an hour to complete and far more bad guys than was really necessary. (and the add-on mission pack took that difficulty and upped it further. I know VERY few people who managed to complete it.)