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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Origin


You are Ser Lev Arris. You were in a cyro-pod which was pulled from the wreckage of the crashed freighter Canera. Preliminary investigation concludes that the pod was old, perhaps in excess of 20 years. Although the pod shielded you from serious injury, the damage to the pod started the thaw cycle so you were partially revived before proper medical attention could get to you. The result was amnesia.

Other investigation revealed that you are indeed Lev Arris and that your ship you were in was stolen while you were in cryogenic sleep. You were cleared of all charges in that matter. You have a healthy account on file and have been released from the hospital.

Welcome to your new life.

The Review:
Privateer 2 is the sequel to Origin’s original Privateer. I never had the chance to play Privateer so cannot directly compare the two for those of you who played the original and were wondering how it held up to the new one.

Privateer 2 opens with the crash landing of the freighter Canera on Hermes, one of the major planets in the Tri-System area. You awake in a hospital with no memory of who you are. The doctors tell you your name is Lev Arris, but it does not sound familiar. Fortunately, there is a tidy bank account on that name so you have money. You purchase a star ship and learn that you know how to fly and fight. And are very proficient at them. So begins you journey through the variety of worlds and people in the Tri-System area in a search for the answers to your past.

What this basically comes down to, is you are in a system that contains 8 major planets (major centers for trade, jobs, and ships modifications), 10 minor planets, and a ton of space stations which serve a variety of functions from repairs to commodities trading. Landing on a planet or space station ends the simulation and allows you to save your game, review your log entries, repair your ship, hire wingmen, etc. You can trade commodities, or accept mission contracts to earn money to fund your quest for your past. Along the way you run into a variety of characters, some want to help, some need some "persuading". As you earn more money, you can buy better ships, better weapons, better missiles and better equipment "extras" to give your ship that fighting edge. Unlike the Wing Commander games, your guns are limited by the heat they generate rather than the power they consume. So if you buy guns that generate a lot of heat, you had better buy that level 3 cooling unit to compensate.

To begin with, I will have to say that Privateer 2 has, hands down, the best graphics I have ever seen. They were of an incredible quality and crystal clear (although I suppose that depends on your system). Quality sound accompanied this spectacular visual display. Secondly, Privateer 2 has the same appeal that made Mechwarrior 1 so addictive, you can forever just accept contracts and build up your ship and bank account in addition to playing along with the story line. This is a feature I would have liked to see in Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries. In addition, the cast had a notable actor or two such as Christapher Walken (who has stared in tons of movies). The simulator was outstanding, with detailed, sharp images of ships, fighters, space stations, and planets. Several ships are available for purchase to allow you to pick which attributes you like best in your ship. Also, there was a large variety of weapons, missiles and equipment you can pack your ship with to make it totally custom. These goodies include warp shields, nuke bomb, virus transmitter, and auto-repair units to name a few.

All right, the first and foremost negative I noticed was the incredible amount of times the game crashed. This is additionally frustrating when you cannot save during a mission, only when you land, so a 20 minute grueling mission is lost when the game crashes during the landing cinema clip. Okay, that aside, Privateer 2 is a pretty solid game. The story was interesting, but I think it was not nearly as consuming as the story in the Wing Commander series. I think there could be some story improvement here, it sort of came off like a so-so ‘B’ movie. In addition, the in-flight music was completely annoying and I shut it off after the first few missions. And when you taunted an enemy, your character did not audibly say in like in Wing Commander 3 & 4. Finally, every character besides Christopher Walken has a British accent. Not that this is a big deal, but it seems odd that everyone scattered on some 20 planets all have a British accent.

--Brent Hegarty