Hey friends, sorry I’ve not done one of these in a spell, just been SO. Busy. I’ll be catching up with the summaries that I missed these past weeks soon, but I’m glad to get back on the horse with one of my all-time favorite games, I-War, or Independence War here in the States. This game is a fantastic blend of capital ship control, Newtonian physics and fantastic story, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here we go…
How Easy Was it to Get Into?
Like both games in this series, this isn’t a game for chumps. You can’t just jump in and expect to do well, you need to both read the manual and do all the tutorials (YES ALL OF THEM I SAID). This isn’t a game that’s easy on the player, from the myriad of controls to the puzzle-like nature of many of the missions, this is a game for serious ship jockeys. This game can sometimes be so obtuse I actually had to…guh…use a walkthrough…ugh…to pass one of the missions. One of the EARLY missions. While the game is more streamlined than, say, Rules of Engagement 2, it never lets you forget you’re flying a capital ship and not a fighter. If you’re a new player and hope to dive in, just be know what you’re getting into.
What Did You Think of The Game’s Usability?
The game is fairly usable, but also a bit obtuse, as I said. For example, I’d forgotten that cycling to a target in the target list doesn’t actually select/lock that target, it just means you’re looking at it. While I TOTALLY get this (i.e. you can look at other targets while still having the formation autopilot locked to one target, for example), it goes a bit against the usual convention of targeting in space games. Regardless, while there is a hill to climb here, it’s worth it, as the control you have over power, systems and the like is nearly unmatched.
Was the Gameplay Challenging and Fun?
A hearty yes on both counts, especially the first one. Given, again, the puzzle-like nature of some missions and the intricate control scheme, this game is DEFINITELY a challenge to both new and experienced commanders alike. It’s also a TON of fun. These missions are wonderfully crafted, and the story is a BLAST, so yes, this game is fun. I mean, it’s one of the very few games I’ve actually finished, if that tells you anything!
Did you Find any Glaring Flaws with the Game?
Besides the crashing issues (mostly due to me running it in windowed), the only big problem I had with the game are, again, it’s puzzle-like missions. You don’t see it so much in these videos, but later in the game the missions get way more intricate and some have a very specific solution that can be difficult to suss out. It’s great when you finally do, but yeah, wow it can be annoying.
How Did it Look and Sound?
Gorgeous all around, even in software mode. This is a game that prides itself on its looks and sound, and one can tell a lot of work went into these elements of the game.
Are you going to Keep Playing It?
Yeah, it’s been a while since I played it so I wanna go through the campaign again. It’s a great story.
Which Were Your Favorite and Least Favorite Parts of The Game?
Favorite parts were pretty much EVERYTHING. Least favorite parts were the crashes.
Should I Buy It?
Yes, ABSOLUTELY YES. There really hasn’t been a game like this since. The closest is MAYBE Klingon Academy, but while they’re both cap ship sims, they both offer different flavors of such. Regardless, this is definitely one to own.
I-War is just such a fantastic time, it’s been a real treat revisiting this old friend. I’m excited to dive back in and go through the campaign on my own, as it’s just such a good time even with its foibles. This is definitely a wonderful game, and if you don’t own it, you should, especially since you basically get two games in one with the GOG package. I’ve not dabbled with Defiance — the game’s Indie-focused expansion — too much, but I should totally jump in. Regardless, this is a great series that definitely deserves a place on your digital shelf. Thanks for reading!