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  Allegiance - Preview

Graphics, Sound, and Interface

 

The graphics engine may not quite be the caliber of FreeSpace2, but they certainly hold their own. Although the HUD is basically the same on all ships, the exterior of each type of craft has it's own unique look, especially when comparing the model designs of each faction. The different structures that can be built are also quite smooth and defined. The swirling alephs have an almost hypnotic effect, and the fiery trail that's laid by a fighter's booster engines is impressive. You can cleanly see the effects of your weapons as they hit your enemy's shields or hull, and you'll DEFINITELY know when something is exploding.

The sound effects are as critical as they are cool. Once you become a little more accustomed to the different bleeps, sweeps, and creeps (name THAT movie kids!), you'll instantly understand the status of what's going on around you, such as whether or not an enemy craft is in your sector. A simple, quick voice menu can be accessed to relay prerecorded messages to your teammates, a la Starsiege Tribes. Some of these sounds also double as commands/requests, such as the "I need a pickup, help!" sound byte, which can be used when you are in a Life Pod, and will automatically send an order to teammates nearby that can be accepted or declined. This voice menu not only saves you a lot of typing, but pretty much eliminates the possibility of your teammates not catching the message. Also included, of course, is a slew of taunts to throw at the life-pods of your fallen enemies. The weapon sound effects are relative... heavier weapons sound more powerful, and if you have a force-feedback joystick, they feel heavier too!

In the cockpit, on the overhead screen, and in the various menus, the interface is clean and easy to use. Newer users can mostly point and click their way through, while more experienced players will treasure the hot-keys provided to quickly perform tasks. Unfortunately, when large battles heat up, the cluttered mess of information displayed on your HUD can become a bit confusing, and even frustrating. Navigating to particular areas is as easy as a push of a key or click of the mouse to engage the Autopilot. All of the controls are highly configurable, though you'll probably be best off with a joystick, preferably one with an r-axis feature.

Joining a game is fairly effortless. Although for now the game is only playable on The Zone, you won't have to go through the usual annoying process of having your web browser launch the game for you. Allegiance sports a built-in server browser, a feature quickly becoming a standard in the industry. The "Allegiance Zone" even sports a stat system to record personal and squad scores and rankings.

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Table of Contents:
Introduction | Overview | The Hardware | Graphics/Sound | Final Analysis

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"Singing the "I'm in a Life-pod far from home" blues."


"An enemy fighter storms from the aleph."


"This base just went bye... bye..."


"Easy-access communication."


"Allegiance Zone server browser."


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