Frontier Elite 2


Title		Frontier Elite 2
Game Type	3D Combat Sim
Players		1
Compatibility	All
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Review
It's worth remembering that this game had to follow one of the most
successful games in the history of the home computer, and do so many years
after most of us had ceased to be spellbound by a bunch of 3D routines
mimicking a universe. Tricky.... Well, most people would agree that
Frontier did not surpass it predecessor in terms of enjoyment and wonder,
but nevertheless it is a very good game. Very good, but flawed in some
simple ways, which if corrected would have propelled the game to classic
status.

Mr Braben has been pretty serious in trying  to create a living, breathing
universe where different ships ply the space lanes, each going about their
own individual tasks. An achievement certainly, but this approach does
cause some problems. When you are attacked in Frontier, it is almost
always by lone ships, this is because the attacking ships really have
travelled great distances to reach you and have separated slightly during
the voyage. Now a random ship generator would have solved this problem but
it would be far less authentic .....but possibly more fun.

Another aspect of this "too real" syndrome occurs with the missions. Now
some serious work has been done on the missions, since Elite, and there
are lots of different choices, although they do basically break down into
just a few mission types.

The problem is that you don't get a sense of being anyone special. The
missions are generated for you, as one of thousands of pilots, and you
never really feel like a "Star Hero", just like one of many pilots, doing
a job of work. Very realistic, but a more simplistic approach might again
have been more fun.

The same is true of combat. In the orginal game you weaved around in
simplistic but exciting dogfights, often outnumbered 3:1, but here your
single opponent and you often seem to be tied to opposite ends of a piece
of elastic, and you continually "joust" each other, overshooting and
correcting. Now given the relative velocities, and Mr B discusses this in
the manual, this may well be very realistic, however...... you get the
idea.

I seem to have ended up slagging the game off, but I'm a nostalgia junkie
too, and my hopes were very high. Aside from a few minor bugs in Frontier,
it's actually very playable, and it rivetted me for 6 months solid. It is
a very good game, but it did fall victim to the success of it's
illustrious predecessor.


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