Category Archives: Space simulator
As a small desire of trip in space?
Title : Privateer 2 : The Darkening.
Genre : Space simulation.
Date : 1996.
Developpers : Origin Systems.
Origin Systems was at the origin of big games as Ultima and Wing Commander. Privateer is “Space Opera” in the lineage of Wing Commander, but who, besides proposing some spatial fight, offer many other possibilities, of which trade.
Further to a crash, the main character, amnesic, ends up alone… He just has enough money to charter a vessel and dash by chance… From there ensues a scenario which is going to be of use as main thread to the whole game. Although shelf space, the story is rarely binding, what lets the free player make about what he wants.
Bars are places of meeting which we often find in role-playing games (everything begins and ends in the inn as would say some people). It is often a key point for the exploration of a planet, the meeting with certain protagonists or for special missions 😉
The main mechanism of progress of the game passes through vessel. This one is endowed with characteristics (speed, handiness, armor plating, shields, location of equipments, missiles and weapons). The more there is, the more it is expensive. Thus the money is once again the sinews of war. Certain models propose compromises… It belongs to the pilot to choose according to his budget 🙂
The vessel is a tool of precious work. It is necessary to pamper it, to improve it… No, it’s not a question of putting to it alliage tires, sound system or neon under wings 😉 It is necessary to make it the most effective possible 😀 It passes by diverse equipments: afterburner, repair robots (R2D2???), decoys, electronic war tools, artillery, missiles, etc.
Once the formalities on the ground were settled, direction spaces! Sink, cold… But in complete 3D what is not bad for time! The view of the cockpit is very simplified, synthetic material, a small window appears to show the interlocutor during the conversations. We can move of planet in planet thanks to mini jumps following beacons which establish roads. What we make in the space depends on what we planned before the take-off: we took a mission, we bought goods which we want to resell somewhere else to benefit from it or then we want just to go somewhere.
On the other hand the space is not empty. Well, when we leave for mission which stipulates that we are going to cross of the world, all right, it is normal to cross of the world… The rest of the time, we always cross somebody… And often pirates! Well, there are bonuses, but at the end of some time of game, we say to ourselves that we settled their account all the same to a good many of them and that there is always so much 😉 Has part it, the combat system is very clear, does well: taken into account by the drift, the detection of collision of missiles, counter measure… It is possible to travel with winger to which we can give simple orders, even cargo boat, which being useful to transport goods from planet to planet (also has a not insignificant fire power) 😀
Past the landing sequence, we can move on planets on various key points positioned on the mini map. It is often to advance the main story. The peculiarity of this game, it is the presence of real actors. Scenes on the ground are a mixture of movies and computer generated images (big speciality of Wing Commander). The dialogues make unwind various sequences. And then they are not discount actors… Split Owen, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, David Warner, Mathilda May, Jürgen Prochnow, David McCallum…
An important point of the game is the trade. The price of the goods is not the same from a planet to the other one. That is why he can be interesting to load a carrier (cargo ship) to trade. It is even possible to make some illegal trade… More lucrative, you risk all the same to put yourselves the police in back…
Although the course of the goods is fixed (it fluctuates according to the supply and demand), certain random events can disrupt(perturb) him(it) in a sporadic way. It is then possible to seize certain opportunities. It is necessary to read news to every stage on the ground 😉
Finally, the game includes an encyclopedia which complements itself according to the progress. Protagonists, stories of planets, vessels, equipments, factions… There is of what to read 😉
Although it is not the best game of space fight which is, or if games as Epic makes more in the field of the exploration and some trade, Privateer 2 is an excellent synthesis of fights, trade, story, graphic quality… An enormous freedom but which remains accessible in term of complexity!
It is simple, nowadays the games of this kind evolved in two opposite directions: either an interventionist scenario and almost no more freedom, or a binding scenario but a system which becomes too complex to be entertaining.
See you soon for new adventures!