Volition FreeSpace 2 Review - Page 6

The Visuals Department
Combat visuals are top-notch and do not disappoint. Players of the original FreeSpace will realise that the graphics are basically the same with a few minor improvements. One notable improvement is the rippling of shockwaves from bomb impacts and capital ship explosions. The original just had a growing blue sphere as a shockwave. Beam weapons being fired from capital ships and flak cannon bursts are evident additions. Explosions are beautifully rendered.

There She Blows!

Capital Ship Combat

Nefarious Nebulae
Striking nebulae environments are an addition to the game. They are not just beautiful cloud-like backdrops of cold space. You can actually fly in a nebula and do combat there. Flying in one is like a semi-blind walk in a thick fog with little visual information on whatever's going on around you. This is where the audio factor that I mentioned earlier kicks in. There was once, after destroying a Shivan fighter I had been stalking, I found myself disoriented and lost with no other target in sight. All of a sudden, an anti-fighter beam cuts across my field of view, narrowingly missing me. To my disbelief, I realised that I was just 400 metres away from one of the biggest Shivan cruisers I had ever seen!
"Holy Mother of Moses!", I thought. "Now the sh** has really hit the fan!"

Doing Battle In A Nebula

Holy Mother Of Moses!

Size Does Matter...
For those of you who have never played the original FreeSpace, be prepared to be enthralled by the sheer size of the capital ships. For those of you who have, if you thought those in the original were huge, wait till you get a look at the Shivan Sathanas and the Terran Colossus. The Colossus is 6 times the size of the Lucifer and the Sathanas is of a comparable size! Wait till you see them do battle with each other! Holy cow! I don't have that many eyes!

The Shivan Sathanas... 5000 metres away

Travelling Alongside The Terran Colossus

Holy Bernoulli! You Mean They Can Fly?
Ships design models are unique to each race, with the exception of those created through cooperation between the Terrans and Vasudans. Terran ships have a sleek and "flyable" look which can possibly allow the Bernoulli Effect. Vasudan ships have a rather reptilian look and appear ready to shed their skins anytime. Shivan ships appear to be a cross between the ships of the Shadow race in Babylon 5 and an insect. The distinct appearance of each race's spacecraft makes the FreeSpace universe all the more credible. Be ready for a visual fest, especially in the single player campaign.

Capital Ship Comparison. From Left : Terran Hecate, Vasudan Hatshepsut, Shivan Ravana

Fighter Comparison. From Left : Terran Medusa, Vasudan Nepththys, Shivan Astaroth

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