Written by  :  Kasey Chang (4617)
Written on  :  Apr 21, 2004

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful

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Too much and too dynamic, absolutely overwhelming for most gamers

The Good

There are a huge number of systems and planets you can explore on your own. The world is dynamic and every time you visit you may run into different people who will react differently to you. There's bazillion different components and items you can trade among the systems, dozen different factions you can start from, even pilot one of the shuttles or fighters and go from orbit to land... Then jump out of the vehicle and shoot enemies on foot with your laser rifle... It's all possible.

The Bad

Passable graphics doesn't exactly wow you. Some of the "legacy" features from older versions are too entrenched to change... Thus, some of the indicators are in text, rather than the expected "graphical" representation, adding to the "out-of-date" feeling. The complexity is absolutely overwhelming. Newbies wouldn't even know where to go or what to do, not that there is a real "purpose" in the game. There is no scripted campaign except "ACM" mode, which is for advanced players. The regular "roam" mode is completely sandbox play... do anything you want.

The Bottom Line

BCM-Gold is the latest patched version of BC-franchise, with multiplayer. You are in control of this battlecruiser (or some other ship, it's your choice) and join one of the various factions in the game, and participate in this universe where you take out enemy stations, engage hostile ships, rescue friendly ships, make a bit of money, outfit your ship, and basically keep going. You can explore the dozens of systems, hundreds of planets (each one simulated down to the square mile (though not all of it fully detailed, of course) to your heart's content.

If you think that wasn't challenging enough, try the Advanced Campaign Mode (ACM), which gives you specific missions you must complete before a certain deadline.

Need yet more challenges? Try enlisting as someone lower in the command chain... Say, a fighter pilot, or a space marine, and limit your participation in the conflict to a little corner of the galaxy...

While the game is a lot of fun if you use your imagination a bit, the lack of narrative or a clear objective (which happens to a lesser extent in advanced campaign mode, but still happens), there is no measure of "success" so to speak. You can't really 'win" in this game, which adds to the frustration. The enormous amount of freedom in the game is also very confusing to new players.

Still, BCM-G is a unique experience not found anywhere else. You may not like it, but you have to admit, it's certainly unique and ambitious.