Thursday, June 02, 2005

Vega Strikes Out

Vega Strike has been out for quite a while now, but during the Vendetta Online beta, there never really seemed to be a good reason to download it. Vendetta has been in the commercial realm for quite a while now, so I can't play that anymore. It started to seem like a good time to give Vega Strike a try. At around 200MB the download is pretty hefty, albeit still dialup-able for someone with the time and patience. Is it worth it? Read on.

I'll be honest, I find myself trying to like Vega Strike more than I do actually liking it. Hey, it's got promise. Decent 3D engine, space - you know, the prerequisites for a modern-style space flight simulator are all in place. What isn't in place is the controls. I like to use the WASD keys for control, not the arrow keys. I'm sure there are better buttons to use for speeding up and slowing down than the + and - keys. Why the hell did they make the secondary fire button the enter key when the primary fire is the space bar? I find myself hitting the wrong keys constantly, and there is (as far as I know) no way to remap them.

The controls are my main aggravation, but there are other nuances of the game's design that I just don't like. I know space is big, and that stars don't fly by you super quickly, especially in a small spacecraft. I'm sure most people know that. You know what, though? That hasn't stopped every other space sim in the fucking world from flinging them at you with vigor. You know why? It gives you a sense of movement. In Vega Strike, there is no sense of movement at all until you get to some of the highest speeds available with your SPEC drive, and it's annoying.

There are things that I do like about Vega Strike. The open-ended gameplay is nice, no missions crammed down your throat when all you want to do is fly around for a while - maybe trade some cargo. Um, wait a sec. There's more. Like, um... space?

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