How do you make Independence War, one of the best space combat simulations of all time, better? Offer an expansion pack that lets players play out the campaign from the enemy's perspective. How do you improve on that? Bundle both the original game and the expansion together, call the product Independence War Deluxe Edition, and sell it for under $30. Perfection.
For those of you who never had the chance to play Independence War, here's the lowdown: The strait-laced Navy is fighting an epic battle in space against the wily Indies. In a welcome departure from most simulations of this type, you command a large capital ship instead of a fragile fighter--it's a little like being in command of the Enterprise, only your ship is much more maneuverable.
Independence War was hailed for its realistic physics model. Thrusting in one direction requires an equal amount of thrust in the opposite direction to stop, since neither friction nor fictional sci-fi braking systems exist in this game. This approach makes for a game that is a little tough to get used to in the beginning, but it allows for some really cool tactics as your skills build.
The Defiance expansion pack bundled in the Deluxe Edition lets you play out much of the original campaign again, only this time you command an Indie ship and see how things looked from the other side. It also comes with all the other goodies add-on packs are famous for, such as new weapons, improved graphics, and gameplay additions like the ability to issue commands to other ships.
If you like space simulations, Independence War Deluxe Edition is not to be missed, but there is one catch: The absolutely beautiful graphics this game is famous for will reveal their full glory only if you have a 3-D accelerator card that supports Glide. But for space sim fans who have a video card with a Voodoo chipset, or those who can live with some toned-down graphics, your spaceship has come in. --T. Byrl Baker
- Unsurpassed feeling of space flight thanks to the advanced physics model
- Fun multifaceted missions with an epic sweep
- Defiance add-on lets you see the original campaign from an entirely new perspective
- If you don't have a Voodoo-based video card, you won't see the prettified graphics
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