Saturday, September 29, 2012

Number 6: Star Control 3

This was the first Windows based game that really stuck in my mind. It was a very hybrid game, you were free to zoom around the galaxy as you saw fit colonizing worlds, exploiting the worlds for resources and fuel to power your ship, not only this but it had an awesome story that was told by fully animated conversations between you and alien races. Add to this there was a space combat component that you could take control of yourself or opt to have the CPU play for you.
These space battles were, in my opinion, quite often some of the weaker sequences of this game. There was often times where the AI would take in a faster ship than yours and absolutely refuse to engage, basically creating a never ending cycle. Some of the dialogue was hilarious and there were some truly wacky alien species. While the FMV does feel a bit dated, it is actually quite well done and still holds up as one of the better examples of the use of FMV. The game does an excellent job of giving you the feel for a galaxy on the edge of war, each race having their distrust of each other and their motivations.
FMV that was passable at least, more than you can say about most of the FMV of the era
The game was really quite open ended, in that often you could spend hours colonizing, harvesting and never actually advance the story.
There were a few flaws though often to advance the story there was not a very clear direction, and even if you do have proper direction, searching for the system among the hundred or so systems could be a major feat.
There was also a possibility that you could run out of fuel and be stranded for literally an hour or two waiting for a colony to build a fuel depot, then provide you with fuel as you could guide colonies to build based on preferences but you had no direct input into the management of each individual colony.
Base building and space ships. what's not to love?
There was also the problem that you could spend several hours colonizing planets with a certain species, only to have them get shitty at you and leave the alliance, making your efforts for naught.
Despite these issues, it hooked me. I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for game that have a more open ended nature (if you hadn’t already guessed). At that time this was the first game that I had played that was open to do as you pleased but still incorporated a strong story. I’d highly recommend anyone to grab a copy of this, if you can still find it (*cough* *cough*).

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