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A.P.I Review: Colony Wars 2:
Developer: Psygnosis OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Psygnosis 1 Player
Game Type: 3D Space Shooter Memory Card
Review Date: November 1998 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

War is most dangerous when it gets personal. Become involved, and you're sucked into a hideous conflict where, regardless of the outcome, the destruction reaches beyond a few battleships to your very soul.

Since the year 3095 AD, the Earth Empire has spread throughout the Universe like a sickness. Their power is formidable. Dedicated to sustaining life on Earth, it has colonized planet after planet with scant regard to the freedom of the local population or the well being of the environment and this has resulted in widespread famine, drought and death.

The League Of Free Worlds exists to offer resistance and hope. The famous Battle of Bennay proved that meticulously planned attacks could harm the Empire and it's colonial Navy. Now the movement has grown far beyond imagination and this is your chance to join the war and add your contribution to the struggle.

Vengeance picks up 100 years after one of Colony Wars' six endings left off. When the League closed the warp hole to imprison their enemy, they cut the population off from precious resources and consigned them to slow starvation. As competition for the remaining resources grew, so did civil unrest. With no leader to unite them, the people split into feuding tribes … until Kron emerged. A fierce pilot who seemed to rise out of know-where who effortlessly rose through the ranks inspiring and uniting the people. He creates a new Navy, prepared and eager to topple the League and assert their dominance in the galaxy.

You don the persona of Mertens, an idealistic young fighter pilot who believes in the cause of the new Navy. As Merten's piloting and fighting skills grow with the escalating conflict, so does his character and emotional depth. What starts out as a clear-cut choice of right side or wrong side becomes complex as the game progresses. Who, actually, is the enemy?


Colony Wars: Vengeance, Psygnosis' 3D space combat epic for the PlayStation console, is a real-time 3D combat game. It combines arcade action with an intricate mission system in a galactic adventure spanning several solar systems. It launches you into a space war waged in the name of justice, but is secretly about personal vengeance.


The game is once again dispersed with 26 epic, cinematic FMV sequences that serve to link the intricate unfolding story. The amazing thing about the Colony Wars games are that the in-game graphics are actually better than the cinema quality rendered footage. Psygnosis have again succeeded in programming visuals onto a 32-bit console video game at a high standard that was previously only possible to evolve from a 'big budget' special effects studio.

The brand new 3D graphics engine offers staggering high-res graphics with a more detailed and captivating space environment that is loaded with nebula, asteroid belts, comets, black and white holes, and mine fields. In fact if you could never imagine what it would be like to take part in a colonial space battle then this is your chance. The lens flare is amazing as every explosion reflects across your cockpit window, while flying into the sun is truly blinding experience. Planets now seem to have have atmospheres while crafts and space stations look distinctively advanced from their predecessors.

The game apparently features over seventy individual models and ships, all of which are new to Colony Wars: Vengeance. I cannot claim to have seen them all but those that passed my way were certainly not recognisable from the last adventure. I see no reason to disbelieve Psygnosis' claims that a new model format was used which provided an innovative way of grouping and storing model data for optimal cache processing, while the enhanced model renderer displays the model format 40 percent faster than in the original game. Additionally, collision is extremely accurate and runs four times faster than in the original Colony Wars.

Words will only fail to do justice to the effects that follow your encounter with an enemy craft. Everything seems perfect from the glowing trail that emits from an afterburning engine, through the brilliant bolts of colored energy which are fired from your laser turrets, to the most blinding and realistic explosion as the enemy craft breaks up. Colony Wars is as good to watch as it is to play.
There are three viwing angle which are cockpit, internal and external. Each has it's benefits.

Sounds and Effects

Climactic orchestral themes such as "large scale battle" and "chase" add emotional impact to the game. Dolby surround sound is used for the bold sound effects, like explosions, roaring engines and weapon firing, and speech samples convey messages and feedback from other pilots. Peripheral support includes analog joypads.


Many space shooters pretend to be flight simulations by offering a multitude of twists, turns, views and actions. When will development teams realize that this only confuses the average punter. Handling a Colony Wars craft is perfect because of it's simplicity. Controlling the craft using a standard joypad feels fine but the silky smooth analog mode is highly recommended. Shoulder buttons are used to roll left and right, accelerate and reverse thrust. Face buttons fire and change both primary and secondary weapons. Directional buttons or left joystick guide your craft smoothly through 360°. That's it! Simple but highly effective.

Colony Wars: Vengeance features enhanced game-play and technology from the original Colony Wars™. New in Colony Wars: Vengeance will be planet-based missions, where the dogfights and battles will take place across a range of highly detailed landscapes. Complex, multiple-objective missions are action-packed with more fighters, and the game's engine, AI, graphics and physics models all are significantly upgraded. The gaming environment is richer with more animated and detailed objects, and the characters have substantive personalities and pack a greater emotional punch. Numerous plot twists and multiple endings will keep you on the edge of your seat. Overall, Colony Wars: Vengeance is a more involving gaming experience from every angle.

Ready, Aim, Fire
In Colony Wars: Vengeance, Mertens must succeed in increasingly challenging missions for the new Navy and move up in rank, ultimately becoming an elite pilot. The action is viewed from four perspectives - one more than in the original Colony Wars. The different camera angles are 3rd person, 1st person with full or reduced cockpit overlay, and the new view, external behind the craft. The expansive gaming universe takes you through five solar systems - Sol, Gallonigher, Cronus, Alpha-Centauri and Boreas - each laden with unique and increasingly difficult enemies.

Like its predecessor, Colony Wars: Vengeance features six endings divided by 19 acts. A new mission tree focuses on ensuring that the player experiences more of the major incidents embedded in the campaigns greater depth of campaign. The non-linear structure allows a variety of player experiences and the player himself will determine the cause and outcome of the war.

As a new recruit, you start out with a basic issue Navy fighter. Every fighter is equipped with a Power Plant that supplies power to its engines, shields and gyros (these determine the ship's maneuverability), and you to decide how to distribute your power allotment. You earn new fighters if you're successful in missions, so you can end up with a fleet of four progressively more powerful fighters. Fighters carry up to five primary weapons that come with the ship and five secondary weapons that you choose. There are 22 total weapons, 50 percent more than in the original game, and flight control also is improved.

Virtually every technological element of Colony Wars: Vengeance is new or significantly enhanced, making the game faster, more intense and more realistic. An updated and optimized space combat engine increases mission populations significantly. Big ships, too, are improved with weak spots that you must seek out and fire upon in order to destroy the vessel. An enhanced physics model for objects allows fighters to realistically spin out of control when hit by missiles until you make corrections. Heavy damage to craft also will affect how they fly, and there will be a variety of unique death routines.

•Introduction of player and non-player characters for a more involving storyline
•Immersive, non-linear mission structure

•Includes new planet-based environments
•Craft upgrades available affecting shields, weapons and maneuverability
•22 powerful and deadly weapons
•Updated and optimized game engine

•Engage all craft in combat from small fighters up to the huge fleet ships with their animated sections and weak spots

Value for Money

SOUND: 0/10
VALUE: 00/20


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