Microsoft. King of the Operating System/Environment. Meister of the office applications. The business leader in the information technology age. One must ponder over what forum the colossal corporation has it's eyes set upon next. Could it be the Internet? They're already establishing a stronghold with Hotmail and MSNBC. Could it be set-top boxes? We've all heard about the incredibly powerful X-Box.
No, no, no. Yours truly has discovered the hidden agenda in Microsoft's next step towards world domination
err.. I mean peace:
Space Combat Simulations.
What's that you say? I've lost my mind? BAH!!! Can you not see? Just a couple months ago, we saw the first ever Massive Multiplayer Space Combat/RTS title Allegiance, hit the shelves. At this year's E3 expo (as well as last year's), FreeLancer was on display in all of it's ambitious glory. At this moment, however, we're here to give you the low-down on Microsoft's latest space epic, StarLancer. While Microsoft's own Microsoft Research Games crew brewed up Allegiance, StarLancer is developed by Chris Roberts and his team at Digital Anvil. For those of you who don't know, Roberts was responsible for the Wing Commander and Privateer series, which blew the doors wide open for the space combat genre.
Wing Commander was famous for its dramatic storylines and full motion video cut scenes, even hiring real Hollywood actors. With StarLancer, they've opted to go the route of fully digitally animated cut scenes. Don't fret
the image quality is incredible, though the scenes themselves are somewhat repetitive. During missions, there are also short cut scenes that are run by the game engine itself.
The storyline is reminiscent of a World War conflict, except that the battlefield ranges across our entire solar system. The Coalition of Eastern nations has unleashed a brutal surprise attack upon the Western Alliance, kicking off a war that will forever change the face of humanity. Out-manned and out-gunned, the Alliance is forced to call upon any citizens with space flight experience to aid in combat. As one of those brave citizens, you board the ANS Reliant as a member of the 45th Volunteers, a rag-tag outfit with a little mettle and a lot to prove. From there, what happens is largely dependent upon what you do, or do not, accomplish.
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