SummaryA unique experience.
The GoodThis has to be the best space sim I have ever played. The story is completely absorbing, with lots of interesting characters to meet and help. I always felt a part of the story; there were no inconsistencies that reminded me that I was just playing a game. The plot is exciting; you always feel motivated to continue and surmount the immediate barrier in order to see what happens next.
The graphics are excellent. Colors are vibrant, and everything from the ship models to the planets to the game interface feels like it "belongs" in the universe. I especially liked the seamless flight between systems. There's no apparent loading between sectors, and flying through nebulae was probably one of the most startling and unique experiences I've had in a game.
The Newtonian physics and detailed flight systems make combat feel very realistic and tactical. The ship controls take a lot of practice to master. You don't simply point and shoot. You really feel like you're juggling a number of different subsystems and crew members. And, trying out the different ships to see which is the best is a blast.
Missions are challenging and take a lot of planning. They never feel repetitive or contrived or like "filler". The story is also tightly integrated into each mission, making the game very immersive. Missions will feature the occasional twist where objectives suddenly change and become something unexpected.
The BadThe only complaint I can think of is that some of the later missions were too tough, resulting in me not being able to complete the game. But, this is probably due to the fact that I was playing with a gamepad instead of a real joystick. I will definitely replay the game and try to complete the final missions once I get a real joystick.
The Bottom LineThis game is very polished. From the graphics to the combat to the story, everything is top-notch.