STAR WARS Starfighter
Review of STAR WARS Starfighter
The graphics in the game are nothing short of spectacular. The level of texture detail in the scenery and the design of the various spacecraft are very high. However, there is a bit of a drop in frame rate in some areas of surface based missions on planets - the outer space missions though are very smooth. This small frame rate hit doesnt detract from the gameplay - there is just so much happening at once sometimes it is easy to ignore and many wont even notice it at all.
The look of the weapons and explosions is simply amazing. If its one thing we know for sure, the PS2 can do particle effects. It is wonder to watch ships blow up into pieces that scatter randomly about, followed by a burst of bright red flames. Lasers and other weapons will also leave visible pockmarks on the landscape.
The ship models are nice and smooth in appearance with good to great texturing. During surface-based missions you can see a small amount of draw-in way in the distance but you really have to be looking for it. Overall though, the graphics are stellar…probably the best I have seen on the PS2 so far.
The CGI cutscenes are definitely some of the best ones made for any game. The quality is sometimes equal to some of the computer-animated cartoons on TV and they really help in advancing the storyline.
Sounds effects are excellent too. From the blast of the lasers to exploding craft and other effects, all combine to create an amazing atmosphere that will have your heart pounding. The musical score of the game is another plus for this game. It has the distinctive John Williams-type score that the movies are known for.
There is an extensive amount of voice acting in this game, both during the missions and in the cutscenes. Overall the acting is quite good, if somewhat derivative at times. You will get tired of hearing your wingmen saying the same phrases rather quickly.
The game leads the player through a total of 14 missions. As each is completed, the next is unlocked and progress is automatically saved. Each mission has several bonus mini missions which earn medals that are used to unlock bonus missions.
Most of the missions are either destroy certain targets, or protect ships from incoming enemies; which does get a tad repetitive.
There are 3 difficulty levels to choose from: easy, normal and hard. This can be changed from mission to mission, so if you are finding things a litle too easy when playing, it is possible to up the difficulty for the next mission.
Control of the ships may seem somewhat complex at first, but you will soon get used to them. Each button has a function, even the D-Pad. There are several control configurations to choose from, so players should have no trouble finding a favorite. Also, there is a choice of flying in 1st person mode or a behind-the-ship 3rd person mode. I found 1st person easier to use for flying as the bulk of the ships tend to block out the view sometimes when looking for the targets. This is easily switched back and forth using the select button.
The HUD (Heads Up Display) is simply laid out and easy to follow. There are indicators for health (both yours and the selected target), secondary weapons, a yellow pointer leading to the mission objective, wing mate commands when applicable, and another pointer (red) to indicate the current selected target. The target can be changed with a quick press of the triangle button, which cycles through available targets. One item that is not available and would be handy is a radar screen to show incoming targets. There are times when a radio transmission warns of incoming ships, but without looking around there is no way of telling which direction they are coming from. A quick scan of distant objects is easily done with a press of the R1 button, which zooms in for a sniper view.
One other little problem I had was it was very easy to get knocked into a totally different direction when colliding with objects. A quick press of the R3 button will get the ship back in an upright position, though, and the target indicator will keep you on track as to where the current target is.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'STAR WARS Starfighter' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Lyndon McLeod © Absolute PlayStation
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