Space Interceptor: Project Freedom Review (PC)
For a game with a rather lame name, Space Interceptor: Project Freedom isnít too bad at all, especially for a budget game. Although lacking the sky-high production values of recent high-profile releases, this game provides an exciting arcade experience that should keep you entertained for the entirety of its five hour campaign. With the lack of decent (or any) space shooters as of late, this game is a welcome surprise.
The graphics in the game are impressive for a budget title. When youíre flying out in space, youíll see distant planets and asteroids, which are all nicely rendered. When youíre flying above the surface of a planet, youíll be treated to decently rendered landscapes and other land scenery. Special effects such as explosions look good, but not spectacular. Unfortunately, your first person view mode has a heads-up-display that literally takes up a third of your screen. You do have the ability to switch to third person view mode, but as any half-serious space sim fan will tell you, first person view mode is the only way to go. The disappointing part is that only a small part of the heads-up-display even serves a purpose; the rest of it is just eye candy.
The gameplay is where the game truly shines. Although mostly straightforward, the action is fast-paced and satisfying. The controls for your ship are amazingly simple and yet effective. The default setup has you controlling your ship with the mouse, which works amazingly well. You have the left mouse button to fire lasers, and your right mouse button to launch special secondary weapons. Then, you have a button on the keyboard to cycle through available secondary weapons and youíre all set. This kind of streamlined control system adds to the fun and playability factor of Space Interceptor: Project Freedom.
As is par with games of this type, the AI in the game is pretty much useless. Your wingmen donít seem to serve any purpose other than to comment on your shooting. Itís kind of annoying that the game bothers to point out exactly how many allies you have per mission, since these allies rarely hit anything. The game somehow thinks that adding to the number of allies will make the missions any easier. The enemy AI isnít much better, but they sure do put up a fight in sheer numbers. This is to be expected for games of this type, though.
This wouldnít be a problem if there was some kind of multiplayer, or something else to keep you occupied. Since the upgrade system in the game is simple (you could get all the upgrades on your first way through), there is virtually no reason to play the campaign again. There are different difficulty settings, so that may give you a reason to play the fun-filled missions again. Unfortunately, the differences between the difficulty levels are not very significant. The lack of multiplayer is a big disappointment, as this game would be simply superb as a multiplayer experience.
Space Interceptor: Project Freedom is a fun little game while it lasts. If youíre a fan of the space shooter genre, you will undoubtedly like this game. Itís just a shame that it doesnít last longer. If you donít mind shelling out 20 bucks for a 5 hour joyride, pick this one up. Those looking for a game that will last you for months to come, look elsewhere.