|Volition FreeSpace 2 Review - Page 6
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
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!
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
The Terran Colossus
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
Fighter Comparison. From
Left : Terran Medusa, Vasudan Nepththys, Shivan Astaroth