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Written by  :  WizardX (117)
Written on  :  Jun 09, 2000

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Summary

Equally influential follow-up to one of the most influential games of all time.

The Good

It used an upgraded version of the same engine that powered the first game, so the nearly-perfect gameplay is still there. The addition of the Speech Pack, adding full speech to all the radio transmissions during flight, gave it an element of realism no game up to that point had. (it was not at all uncommon to start talking to your computer in the heat of battle, when one of your wingmates calls to you) Plus, its use of cinematics and storyline were ground-breaking at the time - no other game had an immersive plot like this, although you had little control over it, outside of the branching mission structure. The first time many of us saw this, with full speech over the opening story sequences, was something of a religious experience.

The Bad

They altered the ship characteristics slightly so that everything took less damage to blow up. This meant more, faster-paced dogfights. I appear to be one of the few people in this world who prefered the slower-paced, more realistic battles of the first game. (less bad guys, but you could spend 10 minutes jousting with a Gothri trying to kill it) Also, the game was a bit on the buggy side, ESPECIALLY with the Special Ops 2 add-in, which appeared to have gone through approximately half an hour of rigorous testing before release. Finally, if you're one of those who viewed Sound Blaster as the evil dictator of the computer sound industry in the 90s, here's the game to blame - it's almost universally agreed that no one program inspired more people to go buy SBs than this one.

The Bottom Line

A definate classic. Not *quite* as good as the original, but darned close, and gameplay wise, probably still superior to everything that came after.