Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I picked up Escape Velocity Nova from a friend a couple days ago, and it's ten shades of awesome. A year or so ago my uncle gave me a game called Freelancer, which claimed to basically dump you into a unvierse of planets with a lame little ship and let you do whetever--become a great pirate, get filthy rich trading, join the space navy, whatever. In reality it was a half-decent space shooter with a very linear plot that you could either advance or go off and do piddly nothing-missions for no real pay and accomplish very little. But that game's premise and most of its design was very clearly stolen from EV Nova. Seriously. The plot is different, the governments and arrangement of planets are different, but the games are essentially the same in most every aspect of gameplay, and the only advantage Freelancer has is that it's 3D. EV is by far the better game in every other area. There is no one plot. You really can become a great pirate or an admiral in either of two navies or just make buckets of money trading goods or any number of other possible threads. Or you can just take the same piddly nothing-missions, except here even those generally turn out vastly more interesting. The whole thing is just badass.

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