Written by  :  William Shawn McDonie (1183)
Written on  :  Jan 23, 2003
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Better than the first.....well maybe?

The Good

I think Interplay did a good job on this sequal. They tried to stay as close to the orginial as possible, while improving enough that it would justify the game and possibly another sequal. :-) On several fronts Interplay suceeded.

1. Graphics
The in game graphics were already some of the most awesome graphics around but somehow they managed to make it crisper and more detailed.

2. Game Map
This is probably the one area that actually made this game. In the orginial the map was small and not really believable. In this one the size of the map and the layout make it feel more realistic. I loved choosing one race and making it my mission to take every sector I could from them. Frankly it was a small change that made a big difference.

3. Missiles
In the orginial missiles were the top dog weapon. Without a doubt if you didnt have missiles you were not going far in that game. Here missiles have been seriously downplayed and photon torps are much more important. (and phazers for that matter)

4. Big and little ships
Ships feel more rounded, and it is much harder for DD's and FF's (small ships) to destroy Heavy Crusers and other large vessels.

5. Editor
In the editor, where you can create a one time battle there has been noticeable improvement. I love the fact that I can choose the enemys ships or have them come randomly.

The Bad

Well I think they still have the game too linear. If they would make the story missions OPTIONAL then this game would be much better. Also they elimated some of the options on the editior. (asterioids, planets, black holes) But the big complaint I have is that if you have been so lucky to get a fleet of large ships, then almost every system you travel into has, guess what.... 3-6 ships of similar class. Now once and a while I would believe that, but EVERY time? How many dreadnaughts do they have? After you destroy 8-10 of them you begin to wonder.

The Bottom Line

In the sequal Interplay decided to stick to the orginial game's mechanics and just try to improve each part and make the game more interesting overall. In this they succeeded. However the game is not as good as it should be, buy but buy for cheep.