Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Who is Reading My Mind?

When I was younger, my friend Dave and I played a game called Wing Commander: Privateer. It was the ultimatge addiction. he game was fun because it let you run around the galaxy in your own ship, accomplishing pretty much anything you want. If you want to be a space pilot hero, all power to you. Of course, the real fun was being a crazy pirate who was chased around the galaxy. You needed a fast ship for that.

Not a single game has recaptured that magic for me. Origin made a Privateer 2 but the game became too complicated and lost its charm. Microsoft brought out a game called Freelancer, which was close to Privateer, but ultimately not free form enough. I've clamored to find that one perfect game that recreates the Privateer experience.

Which is why I'm so excited about Space Rangers. This game, developed by a small software company in Russia, has eveything I want. It's as if they went inside my head and tailor made the game to me. I'm still finding cool things in it.

The most exciting thing for me is that the game allows you to just fly around an enormous galaxy and do whatever you want. But it's so much more than that. The missions you are assigned to are incredibly diverse. You could be running trade routes with your ship on one mission, and on another land on a planet and deal with an alien infestation RTS style. Plus, the RTS in the game isn't some wonky, cheesy minigame. It's a fully realized game in itself with features I've never seen in other RTS games.

Of course, what I really love about this game is that the missions don't take hours. My rationale for playing games has changed and now I play games when I need a distraction. So it's nice to see a game that I can play for a bit, feel like I've accomplished something, and return to whatever it was I was doing. Check it out.

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