Colony Wars Vengeance
If Psygnosiss first Colony Wars gave you light-years of thrills, this sequel will warp you to new heights of space-combat excitement. Already impressive even at this early stage, Vengeance locks on with combat inside planetary atmospheres and in deep space. Gorgeous new graphics, all-new missions, and tons of slick refinements ramp up the gameplay.
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Colony Wars: Vengeance surpasses the original in nearly every way. Visually, it's another jaw dropper. The new weapons--including homing energy blasts, laser cutters and helper pods-are all killer. Plotwise, the game is even more engrossing, packed with Psygnosis' trademark stunning FMV. Best of all, I've never seen missions this innovative. Instead of the blah escort and patrol missions of most space-combat sims, CW:V's 40-plus sorties have you doing crazy stuff like grappling asteroids and hurtling them into enemy bases, remote-guiding energy missiles into distant targets--even taking on Boss-like ships. The ground-based missions make a great addition, too, with yojr dropship featuring new flight dynamics to master. But-and here's my major gripe--as difficult as Colony Wars was, it was kitten play compared to CW:V. You'll come across missions so supremely hard that you'll replay 'em for days before you can beat them. Your wing-men still aren't very helpful. You can save more frequently now, but not always after every mission (arghh!). Failure still kicks you into new missions, and it's easy to reach the unhappiest of the six endings. But sit down, take a deep breath and prepare for endless frustration if you want to beat enough mis-l sions to see the best endings.
A truly "epic" game that really shows what the PlayStation can do. As a feat of game design CW:V is a shining example to other "space opera" action games. Graphically it's incredible. The team has achieved what would seem to be impossible and has outdone the original. Missions are well thought-out and the sense of progression you get is very satisfying. It can get really tough though, especially on those land missions.
The first Colony Wars wowed me to no end. Now the sequel is out and I'm equally impressed. The only drawback is how ridiculously hard the missions are but I can't deny how much fun I have trying to complete them. One thing I don't understand are the voices-more specifically, the lame-ass screams and such when you kill enemies. Would trained pilots scream like this? No. Overall, a must-buy for the fly-boy.
It seems impossible for the original Colony Wars to be outdone, but the sequel does just that. Better graphics, intense play and objective, diverse missions are just a few of the new elements of Vengeance. The story of your character took a backseat to the overall space opera in the last game, but it's a very integral part of the drama this time around. Space shooters don't get any better than this. Much tojgher this time, though.
Psygnosis wants to make one thing abundantly clear about Colony Wars: Vengeance. It is not a glorified mission disc for the highly acclaimed original. "We've totally rewritten the Al routines, we've rewritten the collision routines, and we've optimized the code so that you'll see a 30 percent increase in speed," said Lol Scagg, the game's producer, adding that the leaner graphics engine will allow for far more ships and weapon effects to appear on screen.
And that's just the beginning. Colony Wars team--which has doubled in size since it finished the first game--is adding three new solar systems that'll be packed with more asteroids, more background nebulae and even distant black holes. Your ships' heads-up displays have been revamped with new shoot-assistance cues and enemy-status readouts. You now get 22 weapons, instead of the original's 15. The improved Al means your wingmen will actually help out this time around. And Psygnosis is throwing in more surprises that'll be revealed in the coming months.
The story and six-ending mission tree have been heavily tweaked, too. Vengeance continues the plot established by the original's fifth ending, which saw the League of Free Worlds sealing the wormhole to Earth. Cut off from the riches of the galaxy and with its own resources dwindling, Earth became embroiled in global civil wars until a hot-shot pilot named Kron united the planet's population. Kron's goal is simple: Use Earth's navy of space frigates and fighters to seek vengeance against the League forces.
You play a battle-hardened Earth pilot named Mertens, who'll be introduced to other supporting characters through the game's nearly 30 cinemas (there's even an enemy ace, whom you'll chase in several missions). Each mission now features multiple objectives, thus upping the game's overall length. "We tried to expand the amount of time during the missions," Scagg said. "Where they used to last between two and three minutes, they're now a minimum of five. There won't be any more missions than the original, but they'll be just as many and they'll be longer." Fortunately, you can save between each mission, unlike in the first game.
With the success of the original Colony Wars--which sold more than 150,000 copies in the United States--and with the obvious improvements in this stunning sequel, it looks like Psygnosis is building the best space-combat franhise in console gaming.
- MANUFACTURER - Psygnosis
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
Graphically, the original Colony Wars was hard to fault. It had some of the best graphics ever seen on the PlayStation--and even managed to wiggle its perky, well-defined young bottom in the face of a number of similar titles on the PC. As if that wasn't enough, a mere eight months later we now have a sequel well on the way in production ready for release before the end of the year.
A recent trip to Psygnosis' Liverpool-based studio in the U.K. revealed a significantly improved game. Comments made about the original have been noted and acted upon and we now find something that the team hopes addresses any of the complaints that people may have had the first time around.
We've discussed the story line to the new game in some detail in a previous issue of EGM (see EGM #107), so I won't bore you with that now. What you need to know about though are the new features.
The whole thing is now much friendlier to control--the HUD now includes a number of flight sim-inspired features such as weapons tracking, enemy shield strength and even a target indicator showing you where you'll need to fire in order to hit the zippy little League ships as they hurtle about the cosmos. The controls have been subtly refined too in order to make the new-style missions easier to accomplish.
While spending some time with the game we saw missions that required you to cut away sections of a capital ship before it explodes, and then collect tumbling items of cargo with your grappling hook which can be hurled at enemy craft in order to deplete their shields.
Most significantly though...you've probably already clocked the screen shot by now...there are planet-based missions this time. The producers have indicated that there won't be many--but players will be required to take out ground-based targets in a number of missions with a new Drop-Ship. Watch for more details soon.
There's no need to fear a sophomore slump with Colony Wars: Vengeance. The sequel to last year's highly acclaimed space combat game will rocket to the top of the charts with adrenaline-drenched action, lavish visuals, and silky controls.
Battling the League
Like the first Colony Wars, CWV delivers a rich story line that helps keep you absorbed in the action. Playing as a young Navy pilot named Mertens, you help mount an offensive aimed at reclaiming the galaxy from the now-evil League. Naturally, quite a few wrinkles show up as you progress--aliens, anyone?--and the tale unfolds through a fine but brief series of cinematics.
More importantly, the gameplay flat-out rocks. The glorious mayhem of these dogfights will glue you to the screen. The missions offer plenty of variety, too, with ground-based search-and-destroy action, the infection of enemy satellites with viruses--even the mining of asteroids (though, naturally, a few League ships show up to impede your progress).
The same branching mission structure of the original is back: Success moves you on to harder missions, while losses shunt you into easier ones. When you've reached one of the endings, you can return and replay anything you've unlocked in the mission tree, which nicely augments the replay value. Of course, the weapons have been souped up, too, offering cool new touches like offence and defence pods (which are robotic wingmen), a leech beam that saps enemy shields, and much more.
On the other hand, the same navigation/radar system returns, and though you can master it, it's not as intuitive as it should be. In addition, there are no countermeasures to defeat incoming missiles, which is a shame. Those are small flaws, though--the lack of a two-player game is CWVs only major shortcoming--but fortunately, the one-player game is strong enough that this won't matter to that many gamers.
peel the Force
Neatly sidestepping the pitfall of far too many space combat games, CWV provides excellent controls that are very easy to learn. New touches like afterburners and a crosshair that leads out moving targets only add to the depth of the gameplay.
The Dual Shock controller performs sweetly with this game as well. The rattle of afterburners and the jerk of arming missiles add a nice tactile sensation to the action, while the analog stick makes for fluid steering.
- To locate distant targets, watch for the tiny twinkle of the engine flares. League craft are marked by green sparks; Navy by blue.
- To locate targets more easily, keep a missile constantly armed so that the lock-on cursor alerts you to enemies.
- The plasma cannon packs a huge punch but fires slowly. It's perfect for thumping stationary targets, and if you learn to lead out moving targets (like fighters), you'll kick serious ass.
- Whenever you're equipped with the leech beam, use it to maintain enough shield strength to survive the mission. The safest tactic is to drain power from either the weakest enemies or stationary targets.
Colony Wars: Vengeance's spectacular visuals rock the screen with intense weapons Are, gigantic explosions, lush backgrounds, slick fighters, and humungous motherships.
The accessible, fluid controls perfectly convey the white-knuckle excitement of dogfighting without requiring a pilot's license.
While the cool narrators of the original game have sadly been replaced by more ordinary voices, CWV gets the sound right when it matters with scorching combat effects and good tunes.
An incredible sequel, CWV's high-octane space combat and engaging plot make for an action-packed experience that every PlayStation owner should delve into.
It's a little puzzling that it took several years for the PlayStation to land a topnotch space combat game, but when Colony Wars finally arrived, it blasted onto store shelves with the kind of style and quality rarely seen in the first installment of any senes. Now Psygnosis is returning to a galaxy near you with Colony Wars: Vengeance, which promises to deliver an even more captivating ride with exciting combat in the air above planets, beautiful new graphics, and much more.
Navy vs. League
A cool story line played a big part in making Colony Wars a success, and Vengeance likewise builds its plot with depth and style. This time around, the action begins 100 years after the first game, which ended when the victorious League of Free Nations shut down the warp hole in the tyrannical Navy's system, effec tively imprisoning Navy forces.
Over the course of the next cen tury, the League became opulent and oppressive, while the Navy splintered into groups of feuding tribes that were only recently reunited by a charismatic leader. Kron. Playing as Mertens, a young pilot fighting for Kron and his new Navy, you set out to re establish the Navy's foothold in the galaxy...and only gradually become aware that things aren't quite what they seem. By having gamers assume an actual persona, the Vengeance team hopes to make the game more personal and involving than the first and to make the story line matter much more as the dogfight ing explodes across your screen.
But dogfighting's certainly the heart of the game, and Vengeance brings that to life in fine style. Pilots can now earn their way into five vessels which is fewer than the origi rial game provided-but Vengeance sports a spacecraft upgrade system. Successfully completing missions rewards you with tokens that enable you to revamp your craft's weapons load, shields, engines, afterburners, and gyros (for better handling). Fully upgraded ships will be able to carry five primary and five secondary weapons, chosen from an arsenal of 24. Some of the cooler armament include robotic pods that detach from your ship and fight for you, and of course the famous grapple gun, which you can now use for speed bursts by slingshoting off large objects like asteroids.
When it comes time to use your weapons, you'll fight with the new "predictive aim sight." Because most adversaries will be moving, this target ing cursor shows you where to direct your fire so that it intersects with your target. Also, each enemy craft will carry a C&C-style damage meter that lets you know how much blasting is left to do. Finally, large vessels, such as dreadnoughts, will have specific weak spots, like the engines, that you'll have to target. So some strategy will be required as you can no longer fire blindly to destroy mammoth ships with your tiny fighter.
Feel The Force
Like its predecessor, Vengeance will use a branching system of missions where wins send you down one path and losses down another. This approach beefs up the replayability of the game, which features 41 mis sions over 19 acts, six endings, and action in five solar systerns: Sol, Gallonigher. Alpha-Centauri, Cronus, and Boreas.
New to Vengeance, though, are five missions that go down inside planetary atmospheres, where you guide a low flying ship against League assault vessels. And whenever you complete all the missions in a solar system. you'll face off against a sentinel, a huge boss-type craft.
As far as gameplay goes, Psygnosis reports that the action in Vengeance will be deeper than Colony War's, meaning that the way to complete a mission isn't always to just blow up everything in sight. Now you'll have to figure out the craftiest path to suecess, and gunfire won't always be the key. Also, revamped A.I. for wingmen and enemies should make battles much more engaging as the updated combat engine will make a lot more happen around you.
Visuals Improved with a Vengeance
The best news on the graphics side is that Psygnosis promises much faster action with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. It's clear, too, that the Vengeance develop ment team focused on making space look prettier. Planets, asteroid belts, nebulae, and even explosions fill the stars with a gorgeous level of detail. Large ships now have moving parts, like radar dishes or docking bays that you fly into, and smaller ships spin out of control after sustaining damage.
The Navy Needs You!
Thanks to better compression technology, Vengeance will fit onto one CD, instead of the two required by the orig inal. There's little question at this stage of the game that true fans of science fiction, and even just plain old shooters, won't want to miss out on Colony Wars: Vengeance when it docks with store shelves this November.