" Yes, by golly, it is good…But the best epic since Starwars…Umm…No."
Title: Colony Wars: Vengeance
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: "With over 15 minutes of cinema quality rendered footage and detailed voice-overs describing an intricate unfolding story, Colony Wars immerses the player in the most believable and detailed space epic since Star Wars. Colony Wars is a non-linear, 3D space combat epic. Colony Wars features stunning high resolution graphics, realistically modeled and scaled solar systems, a dynamic music score, extensive in game speech, and over 50 intelligent craft spread over a non-linear mission tree of 70+ missions." Psygnosis Press Release. Yes, by golly, it is good…But the best epic since Starwars…Umm…No. Everything else they say is pretty on the level.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: All right, lets get this started with a bang. The graphics, in two words, kick ass. Clean, sharp, pretty, bright, and exquisitely rendered, visually it is a delight to play. The only problem I had with it at all was what I felt was insufficient shadowing. (Okay, so it’s a minor nit-picky bitch, but it’s my review so Thpppt!) It was tricky at times to actually make out what all was happening in this 3D environment, but it was still killer none the less. Also, the cut scenes were fun and smooth with great animations. Definitely a fare look at some of what the Playstation is capable of when the developers get off their duffs. 5 out of 5.
Game Play: Did you ever play the original Colony Wars? If so, imagine taking everything you liked out of the controls and game play, making it better, and including it here…Cause, they did. Good 3 dimensional battlefields (unlike the plethora of games that claim it’s 3D just because people attack from a low line), simple control interface, great ship designs, etc. The only problems are that: A. They don’t give you clear enough instructions for missions (often you won’t know who to attack or defend). B. The difficulty is at times ridiculously hard. C. Often there is not enough time in a mission to complete your goals, and D. I hate the fact that you have to shoot with one type of laser to drop your enemy’s shields and then another type to hurt him. Not that it’s a horrible design, but it gets boring having to blast him one way until his shields are down then another way to kill him. Overall, though, fantastic game play and I’m still addicted to it. 4 out of 5.
Multiplayer & Replayability: Here’s where we run into some problems. Vengeance doesn’t support multi-player and though the plot line is indeed non-linear, the missions are still similar/identical enough that aside from getting to see different cut scenes you won’t have much cause to keep going. Though, if you’re like me and love the non-linear scope of possibilities, you’ll enjoy it. 3 out of 5.
Story/Dramatics: The story was exceptional and I often honestly felt like I had some reason to accomplish my mission. Even better is that Vengeance is told from the opposite character perspective as the first one (you’re playing the "bad guys" in this). The only thing that killed it for me is that, as happens all too often in these games, they spend time/money on the cut scenes and cockpit stuff, but they leave the briefing/debriefings as the typically droll still screen. Oh well. 4 out of 5.
Instructions, Installation, and Real System Requirements: This game is great on the Playstation and finally starts pushing some of the hardware limits. The instruction book is adequate with good background and story elements, though I would have love for the entire manual to have more of a game "feel" to it like many of the PC flight simulation games do. 4 out of 5.
What you have here is a killer space flight simulator for the Playstation (boy, I never thought I’d say that). Good graphics, good game play, and a smart story…Definitely a must have for space combat fans.
The Good: Graphics, story, game play, combat engine. All around good things.
The Bad: A little too hard to be taken wholly seriously and could have used a few more combat tweaks.
The Overall Ugly: Great game. Buy it, and have fun with it.
What it's Worth: Whatever going price is.