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Review by: Chris Harding
Published: June 26, 1999
I knew the challenge of reviewing BattleCruiser 3000 AD v2.0 would be a unique experience. As one of the few who purchased the original and valiantly attempted to play it, I had an idea of what to expect. And considering the title’s infamous history, the game is ultimately what I thought it would be. With more than seven patches and a completely new retail release, the true question is whether or not version 2.0 is everything the original was intended to be.
For most of us, controlling a massively capable spaceship would be the fulfillment of a boyhood fantasy. Does having fighters, shuttles, mining drones and the command of troops at your eager fingertips sound fun? There is no doubting the appeal of a concept like the one inspiring BattleCruiser. It’s infectious. Influencing generation after generation are such science fiction reveries as Star Wars, Buck Rogers, BattleStar Galactica, Wing Commander and Babylon 5, so it’s no wonder we all drooled when we first heard about this game. Some might say, after reading its extensive list of features, that BattleCruiser’s appeal is all-natural, like baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.
And it’s hard to argue against those claims. The game includes full control functionality over an on-board crew, and gives you the ability to fly fighters, pilot shuttles and drive an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) on countless planets. As the commander of the previously mentioned behemoth in space, you are well-equipped to deal with just about anything the universe can throw at you. As supreme commander, your responsibilities include personnel management over a full crew and all the inventory equipped on your ship. As a member of the military, your ship is fitted for battle with weaponry that includes mines, missiles and lasers. Operating equipment includes a hyperdrive, a tractor beam, probes, transporters and a cloaking device.
The support ships contained within your vessel include four interceptor fighters, four shuttles, four ATVs and four mining drones. Awaiting you is an enormous galaxy that consists of 25 star systems, 75 planets and 145 moons, all of which are fully explorable. While there are multiple types of gameplay, including free flight and an action-based melee mode, the main component of the game is the Advanced Campaign Mode, where you take on the role of a GALCOM BattleCruiser commander. The primary focus of the gameplay exists here, as you are assigned missions and given orders from GALCOM command. To the say the playground for this title is huge would be an understatement. The overall evolution of these missions and how the many worlds interact with you and their own variables is an impressive feature. Much of what goes on during gameplay is by nature unpredictable, thus creating a dynamic atmosphere that truly gives the player a sense of awe.
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