Author Topic: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series (Part 2!)  (Read 8993 times)

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Offline InsaneBaron

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InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series (Part 2!)
INFERNO

Inferno. One of HLP's biggest projects, in terms of size of the team, size of the ships, size of the modpack, size of the battles, and generally size of the ambition. Known for taking beam spam to its absolute extreme. Generally, it goes overboard trying to be over the top in the excessiveness department :P

Inferno is currently expecting a well-deserved reboot, titled Inferno: Nostos. The release date was missed a while ago, but the project is far from dead.

Inferno is a key project for HLP, both for its own popularity and for its massive modpack on which many mods are reliant. Without Inferno, we wouldn't have Ancient-Shivan War, Blue Planet, Shadow Genesis, Procyon Insurgency, or a host of other popular campaigns. In fact, my own FREDding project was built on Inferno assets.

Unfortunately, a series of computer problems have forced me to put my project on temporary hold until I can finish overhauling the modpack with newer versions of the assets. While I'm waiting, I feel I owe Inferno a review.

After the positive response to my multi-part review of Ransom's work, I've decided to do another Mega-Review of Inferno and Inferno-related campaigns. Part 1 will cover Inferno itself (aka Inferno R1), the first and only released act of the main Inferno campaign. Part 2 will focus on Inferno: Alliance, a prequel to Inferno set in Sol during the isolation. Part 3 will mix things up a bit by analysing Sol: A History, an alternate prequel made by Blaise Russel using Inferno assets. S:AH's plot leads into Inferno, but conflicts with Inferno: Alliance.

Disclaimer!

Quote
First, a little about me and my reviews. I'm a decently experienced pilot, but I'm not an HLP elite yet. Hence, these reviews are gonna be tailored for two groups of people. First, new-ish people who, to quote General Battuta, are looking for their “...First (or Next!) Campaign.” Not that I'm making n00b reviews, I'm just not making 1337 reviews. These reviews should be of interest to FS fans whether they play on Very Easy or Insane. Second, hopefully my reviews will be helpful to the campaign makers themselves, by way of feedback, encouragement, and a bit of constructive criticism.

I'm going to organize these reviews into four categories. First, PLOT. Characters, story, scary or funny moments, et cetera. Second, GAMEPLAY. Balance, fun-factor. Quality of any new ships and weapons. Clarity of mission goals. Challenge. Third, AESTHETICS. This will barely apply to some simpler campaigns, but this includes cutscene quality, the artistic appearance of new ships/weapons, voice acting, music, spelling... the “look and sound” of the campaign. Finally, TECHNICAL STUFF. Was it easy to set up? Did I run into bugs? That sort of thing. This last section will naturally be incomplete, because I'm no beta tester. I didn't try to break any missions (“really, I wasn't TRYING to break it! It just happened!”). So the only bugs I'll catch are ones that will come up in a casual playthrough- but those are probably the most dangerous type.

Now, down to business.

It's 32 years after the battle of Capella. The GTVA has made massive strides in shipbuilding, allowing it to field an armada of ships that makes its Capella-era fleet look weak by comparison. However, all is not well. When the GTVA completed GTI Melia, a Knossos-derived subspace gate linking Delta Serpentis back to Sol, they found Sol under the rule of the oppressive Earth Alliance. The EA struck out at the GTVA, throwing them out of Sol and invading Delta Serpentis, Ross 128, and Beta Aquilae.

As Terran and Vasudan ships of immense proportions tear eachother apart in beautiful displays of beam weaponry, the Shivans bide their time....

INFERNO

First of all, PLOT. So many people were involved in Inferno that instead of writing my own credits I'll just copy-paste their credits list at the end.

PROs of the plot!

ROGUES GALLERY: The GTVA seems to be facing a few too many enemies at once! (note to self: in Inferno there is no such thing as "too many"). Obviously, there's the Earth Alliance. And it doesn't count as a spoiler to say that the Shivans are going to show their ugly heads sooner than later. Then there's
Spoiler:
an odd rouge Vasudan faction, possibly an HoL resurgence of some kind
Interestingly, the mod includes an extensive pack of Ancient ships, with tech descriptions indicating them to be hostile to the GTVA, but they were never deployed in R1.

PHEAR TEH RED SHIPS: Despite the brute-force nature of its plotline, Inferno succeeds in upholding the reputation of the Shivans. The Great Destroyers remain just as enigmatic, and even more frightening. As you would expect, they top the Sathanas fleet.
Spoiler:
Four Times :eek: : Shiamak, Amritaya, Vinaashak, and... Gulp

THIS AINT NO FENRIS: A shining moment in Inferno's plotline is the portrayal of the EA's flagship, the EASD Nemesis. It's an elite superdestroyer, with well-arranged, devastating weaponry, no real weak spots to laugh at, and an intelligent Admiral who pulls of some impressive tricks. Living proof that real men's ships can look like the Orff. :P

THE ENDING: The final mission will leave you thinking
Spoiler:
O CRAP!
You'll very desperately wish for an INFR2.

CONs of the Plot...

NEEDS A LITTLE OOMPH: Well, here's the thing. Inferno's plotline is overall... kinda weak.

Here's the thing. Sync and Transcend, as I discussed while reviewing them, had good plots (great in Transcend's case) but weak gameplay. Inferno is the other way around. Inferno is mainly about big, epic space battles. Story takes second place.

Now, the story isn't dumb or anything like that. It makes sense, it's consistent with canon, and it has a couple good moments. But it doesn't have any real characters. In a sense it's even more of a cog-in-a-machine story than the original FreeSpace, which at least has a handful of genuine characters (Petrarch, Snipes, Bosch). There's also no major shocks or revelations; it's somewhat predictable. At the end of the day, Inferno is really about big ships blowing eachother up; the story's job is to set up the big battles.

I say this with one reservation: This is just the first act of what would have been a much longer campaign. Inferno R1 is a fragment of a larger story, and from what I've seen it looks like the story would have picked up had it ever been finished. The team apparently had some pretty neat plans in that regard. There are plenty of ships in the techroom that don't appear in R1, some of them pretty impressive. The Ancients would have joined the war, possibly as a third faction opposed to both the Alliance and the Shivans. Some of the techroom descriptions seem like spoilers for INFR2, like the Icanus. Ah, what might have been...


Ok, now for the fun part. GAMEPLAY:

PROS of the gameplay:

NU STUFF!: Even if Inferno itself was as lame to play as Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (and it sure ain't) the community would still be indebted to it for its modpack. Inferno is packed with new ships and weapons which have found their way into other mods.

With other mods, I've often tried to list all the playable fighters, bombers, and weapons and my opinion of them. With Inferno... well, there's too many, and because we only have one act many of them are never issued to the player. However, I'll toss out a couple that I found particularly interesting to use.

GTF Vesuvius: A very neat multirole fighter. Quite fast, and not exactly delicate. Two twin primary banks and no less than three secondary banks of decent size. Primary arrangement is weird, but not too bad. Capable of carrying the Assassin light bomb, making it useful against smaller capships.

GTF Cyone: How would you even classify this thing? A heavy interceptor maybe? Supposedly a cross between a Hercules and a Loki, it's very fast, with OK maneuverability and hitpoints. Bizzarely huge missile banks – Ares-level – give it a punch, although it only has the basic 2+2 primaries, with a weird arrangement that works fine when fire-linked but makes them hard to use separately. Biggest drawback: poor weapons compatiability. I don't know what to call it, but I flew it on my favorite mission in the campaign.

GTB Sabus: The new heavy bomber, a sort of Super Boanerges. Improved armor, better compatiability, and Herc-style primaries correct the weaknesses of it's predecessor.

GTB Danaus: Medium bomber with 4+4 primaries and decent missile capacity. Would be a decent dogfighter if the primary placement was better.

GTW Subach HL-12: Name says it all. Capable of competeing with the Prometheus. Compared to the Prometheus it has slightly higher hull damage, more spray-factor, and better power efficiency.

GTW Prometheus: The newest of the family. Most of the time you have to choose between it and the HL-12. Of the two, the Prometheus has a little more shield damage, more salvo-factor, and better range and velocity.

GTW Hastor: Upgrade maxim. Fun :)

GTM Shocker: A heat-seeker, vastly better than the old Rockeye. It can actually hit its target! Damage is low, but it seems pretty good at weakening sheilds, allowing for a followup salvo of Hornets (which, yes, are still around with a moderate accuracy upgrade.)

GTM Arrow: Upgraded Harpoon. Interestingly, it also has an EMP effect, giving you a practical method of delivering EMP to one target and doing damage at the same time.

GTM Assassin: A mini-bomb, smaller than the Cyclops and compatible with some fighters. Works against cruisers, or turrets of larger ships.

GTM Stiletto III: A Stiletto that works! Absolutely devastating to any subsystem.,

GTM Sniper: The new Trebuchet. Awesome on bombers, not too bad on turrets. If you like the "Moar Trebs Solution to Everything" you'll like the Sniper.

For the sake of completeness you'll also get to fly the Perseus Advanced (name says it all) and Menelaos (modified Herc 2), and use the Advanced Disruptor (obvious), Hurricane (new Tempest), and Hammer (a weird remote-detonated dumbfire anti-bomber bomb). The Cyclops and Helios are still around. There's other equipment in there, but since you don't get to use it I'm not going to spend time on it.

OTHER NU STUFF: The other factions have their own packs of new fighters and bombers as well. Some of them are... pretty intimidating. If you want to skip ahead to mission design, go ahead; this section takes a while :P

The Vasudans have the Apis (Vesuvius counterpart), Ennead (basically an armed afterburner), Reshef (elite heavy fighter), Mihos (Super-Ulysses, very good dogfighter), Petbe (fighter-bomber) and Imset (Sabus counterpart).

The SOC is given it's own arsenal of strikecraft: The Banshee (Very light interceptor), Opion (upgraded Vesuvius counterpart), and Horae (very powerful heavy fighter), plus some other ships that don't appear in any missions.

EA pilots fly the Claymore (Dragon-like space superiority fighter, watch out :eek: ), the Claymore II (Assault variant, deadly to transports and cruisers), the Stentor (well-armed interceptor, quite dangerous), the Peregrine (medium bomber, more mobile than it looks), and the fearsome Gagana (massive heavy bomber, difficult to kill and vastly overarmed)

The Shivans have been hard at work as well. You'll have to face the Hydra (weird "recon" fighter, slow and poorly armed but well-sheilded and so small you can hardly hit it), the Serpent (Ares-style missile boat), the Chimera (a Shivan Stealth fighter :shaking: ), and the Gorgon (the Demonic Spider: durable as a heavy fighter, nimble as a Space Superiority ship, secondary supply of a medium bomber and very powerful primaries). And don't forget the Durja bomber. That thing packs plenty of Shivan Ultra Bombs (anti-superdestroyer weapons) and is an absolute damage sponge. And there's still stuff that wasn't used.

BIG NU STUFF: Yup, this is what Inferno is famous for: its Capital Ships. They're big, they're new, and there's a ton of them.

(the fact that it's taking this long just to give a brief list of ships that appear IN MISSIONS should give you an idea of how much work went into Inferno)

The GTVA Terrans have the GTC Alcyone (upgraded Aeolus), GTCv Alexandria (light corvette with great point-defenses), the GTCv Phobos (great heavy corvette based on the Deimos), GTD Iceleus (Basically a Hecate II), and GTD Boreas (heavy brawler destroyer). The biggest ship they deploy in INFR1 is the GTCa Warlock, a Superdestroyer-sized carrier with an insane fighter complement and a very powerful forward beam array. Your homeship is a Warlock-class ship, the GTCa Independence. The Terrans also have switched from Green beams to more powerful Blue ones.

The Vasudans use the GVC Sai (well-armed but poorly-armored cruiser), the GVCv Mandes (frontal-assault medium corvette), the GVCv Patchet (heavy corvette for close-range brawling), the GVD Apothess (extremely effective artillery destroyer, toast at close range or without it's main beam) and the GVD Asarte (powerful heavy destroyer). They top it off with the Warlock's counterpart, the GTCa Tannen, and the unique and highly effective Het-Ka superdestroyer.

The SOC has a big collection of capships, many of which don't appear in-mission. They include the SOC Orc (upgraded Alcyone), the SOCv Phobos Advanced (holy cow, that thing's powerful!), the SOD Segomo (powerful all-around destroyer), and their mighty flagship, the SOSD Olemus. Let's just say it's a nice ship to have on your side :)

The EA uses the EAC Aesacus (anti-fighter light cruiser), the EAC Eclipse (heavy cruiser), the EACv Darkness (heavy corvette), the EAD Telemus (an extremely heavy destroyer designed for brawling, but with pitiful point-defenses), and the EAD Lindos (weirdest-looking terran ship I've ever seen; obliterates ANYTHING in front of it, but highly vulnerable from behind.) And don't forget their flagship, the EASD Nemesis. The Nemesis excels in all areas, with frightening point defenses and massive anti-capital power in every direction direction. And some subspace tricks up its sleeve. Watch out. I have warned you.
Interestingly, the EA's beams are silver.

And the Shivans. These guys have the SC Abel (the new Cain), the SC Raguel (Heavy armor, insane weaponry), the SCv Scylla (vastly improved Moloch), the SD Kismat (Well-armed, well-armored heavy destroyer with no fighterbay), and the SD Iblis (A destroyer with massive forward firepower but weak point-defenses). Many of the really big Shivan ships are only visible in the techroom, but you'll get to fight the frightening Diablo superdestroyer and... Gulp.

Ok, it took Three "pros" just to cover the new ships. Get the picture? :P
Now for the actual mission design.

THE MANY BATTLES OF ENDOR: This is what makes Inferno so... Infernoesque. The prevalence of huge battles between huge numbers of huge ships. Beam spam, big explosions, and all that that implies.

A few examples: In second mission, "One Step at a Time", we see a whole EA destroyer and its cruiser escort vaporised easily by the Independance, as the GTVA captures a huge installation. "El Diablo" pits a large friendly fleet against wave after wave of Shivan cruisers and corvettes in a node blockade; the mission then red-alerts to the aptly-named "Showdown", which involves a two-on-two duke-out between large capships, including three ships of Superdestroyer size. "Fenced In" pits you against a whole fleet of EA ships as they rush your blockade. The list goes on...

However, Inferno does have some mission variety. You'll get a few smaller skirmishes and escort missions. "Gateway", in particular, is a very tense stealth mission... made tenser by the sheer number of huge enemy ships in the mission :P

THE MISSION OF AWESOMENESS: "Nemesis", the second-to-last mission of the campaign, is arguably one of the best fan-made missions of HLP history, up there with Forced Entry, Hail Mary, Aristeia and White Noise.

Spoiler:
The goal: take out the EASD Nemesis as it orbits Earth, guarding the EA's HQ. At the start, you're covering a team of warships lead by an Iceleus destroyer, the Ramanaya. As you advance over a very lengthy distance towards the Nemesis, the EA throws wave on wave of fighters and bombers – numbers in the hundreds – at your assault force, with the occasional capship mixed in. You have to keep your battlegroup alive as they march forward into the full fury of the Earth Alliance. The EA is making it's last stand, and they know it.

Bombers and fighters of all classes pour in on the GTVA strike force. A cruiser/corvette team, and then a Tereus destroyer, warp in to block your path. But thanks to your cover, the Ramanaya and its escorts are able to push through the EA defenses and battle their way to the Nemesis...

And then warp out. The plan worked. The EA has spent its reserves and its backup ships, and the the Nemesis is on its own. The task force, comprised of smaller ships and in no condition to survive the beam cannons of the Nemesis, departs, while the mighty GTCa Independance warps in on the Superdestroyer's flank and opens fire. The two superships exchange one of the most impressive two-way salvoes in FreeSpace modding history...

And it's the Nemesis's turn to jump out. But it's not retreating. It's making a nanojump to flank the Independance. It warps back in, and the duel resumes.

That's where you come in. After a frantic rush across the battlefield, you have to knock out two of the Nemesis's seven main beam cannons before they rip the Independance apart. These beams are wickedly well armored, and you'll have to evade the Nemesis's point defenses. Not to mention the sheer amount of Beamz flying around you as the two flagships struggle for victory.

The ending is not what you would expect...
I flew a Cyone on the mission, as it's high-speed missleboat abilities seemed perfect. I armed it entirely with Prometheus cannons and Sniper missiles, and went missile crazy on the attacking waves. Then I nearly failed the mission when I found that the entire Sniper capacity of a Cyone
Spoiler:
was not enough to destroy both beam cannons on the Nemesis! One beam cannon was still functioning.
And I was out of missiles. And the support ship was 15 kilometers behind me. And I had one wingman remaining. Gha!

Hard to believe it, but I still pulled it off, just battering away with Prometheus cannons as the support ship tried to catch up. It helped that Delta arrived right when I needed help the most.

I'd love to hear some "here's how I beat Nemesis" stories!

Inferno might be worth playing for this mission alone. Wow.


If you're a fan of massive battles, you could do a lot worse than INFR1. But...

We've got to discuss the CONS of the gameplay.

BROKEN MISSIONS: Sigh. Unfortunately, three out of INFR1's 14 missions cannot be completed without cheats. Normally bugs like these would fall under Technical Stuff, but in this case they're truly mission-breaking, so I'm putting them under Gameplay.

Thankfully, Inferno's cheat-checking appears to be disabled. So on the following missions, go ahead and cheat.

SHOWDOWN:
Spoiler:
After the initial salvo, the Olemus's beams repeatedly miss the Diablo. I'm not sure the cause, it could be low AI level, miss-tabled beams, the Diablo's contorted target profile... or something else entirely. After a few minutes the Olemus will be history. Once the Olemus arrives, make it invincible and `k the Diablo to death to complete the mission.

TAKING THE GATE:
Spoiler:
It's simply impossible to complete this one. There's too many threats and not enough wingmen; you won't be able to protect the Hathor. On top of that, the Hathor often misses its targets. This mission really needed more testing.

Just make the Hathor invulnurable. When you get the order to destroy the fourth weapons subsystem, use cheats to make sure weapons subsystems 1 through 3 and the one Telemus destroyer in the distance are destroyed.

GIGAS:
Spoiler:
The most embarrassing of the three. The final mission is broken, not because it's too hard, but because it's too easy. The SSJ Gigas is supposed to fire a beam at the GVD Hathor. Once the Hathor is destroyed, you receive an RTB directive. However, the Gigas never actually fires the beam, forcing you to use physics-defying cheats to betray the Hathor in order to complete the mission.

So here we have Inferno's biggest problem. 21% of the missions require cheats to complete. (Incidentally, if the missions worked for you, please tell me.)

DIFFICULTY: And be warned. Even on the missions that do work properly, Inferno is a hard campaign. Missions tend to be long, and there's a tendency to have a hard part right at the end that can send you back to square one. If you find it hard to stay organized during a Battle of Endor scenario, you'll probably find Inferno pretty frustrating.


That brings us to AESTHETICS!

PROS of the aesthetics:

MUZAK: Inferno comes with three mission packs of neat custom music. It's pretty good. The "Second Reality" set is pretty jarring, good for tense moments (humorously, Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius borrowed this track, possibly because of the title). The "Hidden" set is actually scarier in its ambient form, the proper battle music is more upbeat. My favorite is the "Decisive" pack: very tense, but not so "in your face" as to drive you crazy. Keeps you on your toes. Perfect for long, epic missions like... well... Inferno missions in general :P (Nemesis in particular.)

SPELIN AN GRAMMAH: Inferno gets an A.

PERSONAS: Interestingly, the Inferno team did the work to write pilot personas.

CONS of the Aesthetics:

MODELING & EFFECTS: Regarding the graphical works in Inferno, there's a pretty big variety where quality is concerned. On some of the ships (Diablo, Menelaos, Asarte) you can practically count the polygons. Other ships are in better shape, like the Perseus Adv, Claymore, and Jotun.

Inferno was made over a long period of time by a lot of people with different levels of modeling skill who got better as time went on. It's also very old, and it doesn't use MediaVPs; in many ways its visual quality is closer to FS2 retail than modern FSO.

In my book, graphical quality is less important than plot and gameplay. But this remains another area where Inferno shows its age.

NO VOICES: Inferno is not VA'ed.


Finally, the TECHNICAL STUFF section. Rather than use pro-con organization I'll just summarize.

Inferno was originally intended to be played over Retail FS2. The standard Inferno VP file (possibly the biggest VP ever made) goes in your root FS2 directory. Nice and easy.

To play Inferno with FSO, you need the Inferno SCP Patch VP as well. There are two ways to run it. According to the readme, you should stick both Inferno VP files in your root FS2 folder and use the launcher flag "-mod INFR1". The drawback to this is that you have to remove these VP files in order to run other mods. What works better IMO is to stick both VP files in a folder labeled something like "INFR1" and select that mod folder like any other mod.

If you're really 1337, since the two VP files are somewhat redundant you can actually break them down into ordinary folders and then merge them, overwriting Main files with Patch files. I did that myself after playing it (mainly because I was considering using INFR1 files to make my own campaign). But if you just want to play the campaign that's just a waste of time.

OVERALL:

My reaction to Inferno was... strong, but mixed. The plot was sensible but not particularly powerful. The assortment of ships and weapons was huge, but many of them were unused. The missions ranged from spectacular to broken. The models were numerous but many lacked polish.

Two things to take away. First, Inferno is ambitious but unfinished. The amount of work that went into it is staggering, but much of it ended up unused. The plot breaks off somewhat abruptly. Some missions would be great with some easy revision. Had it been finished... just imagine it.

Second, it's old. By today's standards the models seem clunky, although we're probably spoiled by Blue Planet and Shadow Genesis. You won't find FREDing "stunts" like Vassago's Dirge or The Antagonist.

I'm going to need a few more days to complete my agonization process before I can give percent scores. But if you want my recommendations:

You may or may not want to play Inferno. If you're willing to put up with the broken levels in order to reach the epic ones, you're okay with old graphics like I am, and you're in the mood for gameplay rather than story, go for it. Otherwise, Warzone or Shadow Genesis will give you fairly big battles with fewer bugs.

Put another way, Inferno is prime material for a reboot. It's cons are big enough to make a reboot necessary, but it's pros are big enough to make a reboot appealing. I'm eagerly looking forward to Inferno: Nostos.

Stay tuned for Part 2:
Inferno: Alliance

Inferno Credits:
Project lead: Woomeister
Senior Staff: Darkage
         Venom
         Sadistic Sid
Other Staff:  Alikchi
         Knight Templar
         Phreak
         RoachKoach
         Roy Fokker
         Sesquipedalian
         Si|eNt(\/)inion
         Spicious
         Stealth
         StratComm
         Tiara
         Untouchable
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 10:49:50 am by InsaneBaron »
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline InsaneBaron

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
INFERNO: ALLIANCE

Inferno: Alliance is the "Official" prequel to Inferno. Unlike Inferno R1, it's a completed campaign in its own right, although there may have been a sequel in the works before Inferno began it's reboot process. Apparently it's to have its own remake, but not any time real soon.

Fifteen years ago, Sol was isolated from the rest of the GTA by the destruction of the Lucifer. No one knows if the Terran and Vasudan species outside survived the Shivan incursion. No one knows when the node will be reopened.

But as it becomes clear that the node isn't reopening any time soon, different GTA factions start looking for a chance to make a power grab. Civil War threatens. Planetary governments begin to operate more and more independently, a move which Earth does not look kindly on.

Welcome to the GTA Mars Fleet, Pilot. This isn't going to be easy.



Here goes!

PLOT:

Rather than organize the plot into a Pro-Con system, I'll just discuss it.

Inferno: Alliance, while technically in the same continuity as Inferno proper, doesn't tie in with it very directly. It's very much it's own campaign.

The premise for the plot is that the GTA in Sol has evolved into a looser confederacy of planetary governments, with no strong central government. INFA plays on a recurring theme of FreeSpace: without an outside enemy, the different GTA factions start to become suspicious of each other instead. Some of those suspicions are correct.

Earth's government is becoming power hungry. However, they can't assume control over the system yet, because Mars still has a significant navy of its own. You get the impression that Earth and Mars are engaged in a sort of "Cold War" at the start of the campaign. :nervous:

Unfortunately, the Martian fleet contains some traitors. And any agressor nation needs an excuse to invade, right?

INFA's plotwriting is similar to Inferno's. It's logically laid out, but... it doesn't really have that "spark" of narrative skill, originality, or emotion that makes, say, Derelict or Shrouding the Light or even original FreeSpace so popular after all this time. Again, there aren't any major characters to provide a human-level narrative, and the historical-level narrative (the war, strategy, et cetera), while by no means dumb, doesn't have the appeal that really draws the player in and makes it memorable. In a way Inferno's large-scale plot was more interesting, at least in scale; after all, fighting for humanity's survival against the might of the Shivans never really gets old. :nod:

Prior to the "real" beginning of the Civil War, you'll first work against Pirates and then begin investigating treason within the Martian navy. The mystery aspect involves a few good surprises, so points to the plotwriting there. This stage is mainly a set-up for the real war, which breaks out a little before the midway point.

The war is a short flare-up between Mars and Earth. Earth is power-hungry, Mars is on defense. Mars gains a certain degree of moral high ground: Earth was the agressor after all; Mars is careful not to harm civilians, Earth not so much.

One weakness in the campaign is that neither faction is really explored or explained. In many plot-driven campaigns, you have a good idea (at least by the end) of the goals of both sides. In Inferno: Alliance, it's not clear what makes the Martian government better than its opponent (other than better conduct in war); in other words, it fails to really create a sense of loyalty to the player's faction. On the flip side, we have no idea what kind of government Earth has, other than that they have an expansionist agenda. What's it like to live under them? Are they despotic? Tolerable as long as you don't oppose them? Loyal to their own people to the point of attacking others? It isn't clear.

In most campaigns the antagonist triggers a strong reaction, whether respect (WiH's GTVA), Fear (Shivans), Anger (HoL, NTF, Cerberus  Legacy), or even sympathy (Rare, but it happens. See Blue Planet or S:aH). In Inferno: Alliance... well, replace "Christmas" with "Earth Guys" and this song pretty much sums it up.

Spoiler:
Earth's supership, the GTD Megaera, was similar. It was a credible threat, to be sure, and a significant technological leap; it was even a fun challenge to fight. But the execution didn't really make it into a strong "Villian Ship". It didn't have a real character feel.

It blew up your home-ship, yes, but that happens in three out of four campaigns; it's no longer effective unless the writer makes an effort to make you care about the home-ship. Shadow Genesis pulled it off with the Equinox, War in Heaven pulled it off with the Indus, Silent Threat: Reborn even did a decent job with the Krios. But INFA just doesn't generate much feeling regarding the Leander.

Ultimately, the plotline just didn't trigger much of a reaction from me, whether positive or negative.

That brings us to...

GAMEPLAY:

PROS of the Gameplay:

NEW STUFF!: Yep, here we go again. :P INFA has it's own set of new equipment. It's a much smaller list than INFR1, but unlike it's predeccessor everything is put to use.

First of all, the gear you'll get to use. In the fighter department, the Martian navy still uses the Apollo, Valkyrie, and Hercules (oddly enough not the Ulysses). They have three newer ships to go with them:

GTF Enceladus: A replacement for the Apollo. It's not as durable as its predeccessor, but it has equal armament, better compatiability, and higher speed. It's insanely maneuverable- so much so, in fact, that many players have found it difficult to control! If you're capable of handling that kind of responsiveness, you'll find it a great option for Space Superiority. If not, the Apollo is still a perfectly good option.

GTF Angel: Remember the Valkrie's ancestor? Take a Valk, reduce its speed, and remove one of its primary banks (the better-placed one :rolleyes: ) and you've got the Angel. There's really only one mission where you should fly it; otherwise treat it as you would the Prometheus R. :no:

GTF Antaeus: My favorite of the new ships, the Antaeus is intended as a lighter Hercules. It has the same primary weaponry, it's almost as durable, and it handles a lot better. The only real drawback is the secondary capacity, which is smaller than the Hercules and combined into one bank. If you're looking for the heaviest fight around, you'll still want the Herc, but the Antaeus packs a wallop AND dogfights well. In particular, the Antaeus and the Herc are compatiable with the Banshee R cannon, which gives them a big advantage against other fighters. :yes:

In the Bomber department, you can still fly the Athena, Medusa, or Ursa. But you've got three new options as well:

GTB Apollyon: A heavier cousin of the Athena, the Apollyon has slightly bigger missile banks, is compatiable with medium bombs, and has quad-twin primary banks. However, it's only slightly more durable and it's a lot slower; in my experience it's survivability on long missions isn't great.

GTB Callisto: Halfway between the Apollyon and Medusa. It's not much slower than the Apollyon, and has a lot more hitpoints; wingmen seem to survive much better in these. It's got more missile capacity than the Medusa, but it's in two equal-sized banks, so if you want some dogfight missiles you have to sacrifice a lot of bombs. It's the lightest ship compatiable with the Ripper cannon, but with only one two-barreled primary mount it can't use it effectively.

GTB Hera: A heavy bomber to augment the Ursa. It's stronger and faster than the Ursa, and it has herc-style primaries. However, it has two secondary banks to the Ursa's three, giving it only the missile capacity of an Athena. Nevertheless, it's an excellent choice for the last mission. :yes:

Next, Weapons.

Avenger: It's back. Not terribly useful however, because of...

Avenger Mark II: The Avenger with a slight boost to sheild damage. On lighter ships it's the best on-its-own dogfighting cannon.

Prometheus: Back again. Like in FS1, it's got superior hull damage to the Avenger family, but lower shield damage, making it good in a pinch for killing cruisers. Try combining it with...

Shrieker: A combination Sheild-Breaker and Disruptor. Great at it's assigned role, but no hull damage. It's firing rate is agonizingly slow, but it partially compensates by having cyclic fire (surprise surprise, that flag predates the Balor by a long time).

Mace: Essentially the same as the Flail. Contrary to it's description, it DOES work well on Sheilds.

Banshee R: Unlike the Prometheus R, this thing is a massive Upgrade of the original. Akin to the Kayser, it tears fighters and bombers apart with ease. Compatibility is limited to Heavy fighters and Medium through heavy bombers. :yes:

Ripper: A short-ranged Maxim-like weapon. No sheild damge, but devastating against bigger ships.

And last but not least, secondaries. The Fury, Interceptor, Hornet, and Pheonix V are still around, with a few new additions.

Hunter: the most unique new missile, a heat-seeker with a lot of hull damage but poor shield damage. I didn't find much use for it.

Penetrator: Basically just a Stilleto.

Hellstorm: Upgraded Tsunami.

Hellfire: The Big Bomb, very similar to the Helios.

CAPSHIPS: Capital ships have seen some progress too. Regarding weapons, they use upgraded versions of Terran Turrets for point-defense and Railguns for fighting other capships. Fairly effective overall; much more credible than capships from FS1. Beams have not yet been developed... right?

They've got a couple new classes. Fenris and Leviathan cruisers are still in use with newer weapons, but they're being slowly replaced by the Vidar-class light cruiser (a good bit better than the Fenris at least) and the Tyr-class heavy cruiser (very powerful, attack with care).

In the Destroyer department, there are only a few Orions left in Sol. The GTD Zagreus class, apparently an older design recently put back into service, is a lot more common. However, the refitted Orions are still considered to be the most powerful ships in Sol... right? :nervous:

AND NOW THE MISSIONS: Inferno: Alliance's mission design, while not fancy, is quite good. The mission variety is pretty good, with a good balance between fighter and bomber missions.

INFA missions tend to be... destructive.  :D If you like racking up high kill counts, you'll like it. However, it's not a mindless killfest. Many of the missions are sophisticated enough to require some strategy. The missions as a whole are pretty hard.

The first two missions require you to deal with pirate freighters, which warp out quite quickly, while under attack from a dangerous number of fighters. Charging the freighters gets you killed, but if you dogfight for too long the pirates get away.

A few missions later comes the very difficult "Strike". This mission consists of a very long bombing run on a pirate installation, made more complicated by the fact that you first need to help a marine team board the installation to recover stolen technology. The sheer number of fighters the installation spits out will drive you crazy; there's seemingly no limit to the waves of them, and it takes quite a while to destroy the installation. :mad: Once you beat this mission, take a break and have one of my secret-recipe chocolate sandwiches- you've earned it! :nod:

"Rebellion" is another fun one. Camp out at a rally point for traitorous cruisers. When a team of them arrives, give them a warm welcome. A fairly challenging killfest. What a debris cloud! :eek2:

Next up, "Pathway". Escort mission for a destroyer. What could go wrong?
3% Hull Integrity?!?. Either I really stink at this... or this mission is hard :shaking:

"Adamanthea" is fun to watch. Your job is to cover artillery cruisers from bomber attack as the smash the traitors' secret base to smithereens.
Boom! Boom! BOOM!
Yay! We won! ...right? :nervous:

"First Strike" is a very frantic pursuit mission. The war sure ain't over.

Spoiler:
"Leander's fall": yup, here comes the Megaera. Yup, the Leander is toast. The mission itself is pretty self-playing, but it's the high point of what narrative INFA has. The Megaera is clearly proven as a dangerous warship.

"Lifeline" is another one I found hard. You have to destroy an entire convoy before it jumps, despite escort cruisers and inordinate numbers of fighters. It's very difficult. Ignore the fighters and they'll shred you bombers. Spend to much time on the escort and the convoy will get away. What I found effective: fly a bomber, but have one of your larger banks loaded with Interceptors. Send you bombers to dogpile the cruisers one by one, while you play missile boat against the escort fighters until they've been eliminated. Then it's open season on the transports themselves.

"Battle for Mars Part I" is a fun one. A single friendly destroyer faces off against an Earth destroyer with a large cruiser escort. You need to level the odds. It's a well-done strategy mission which forces you to coordinate fighter and bomber strikes on multiple ships while trying to keep your wingmen alive. And, of course, there's plenty of nice big explosions :7

Spoiler:
Battle For Mar Part II: The climax. The Megaera moves to attack the Martian flagship, and you have the stop it.

First you have to knock out it's nav subsystem to stop it from getting away. Then you have to destroy it's forward beam- not easy to do when the thing is moving. Finally, you have to fight in a furball around the Megaera to prevent enemy bombers from reaching the flagship.

Quite a satisfying win.

There are, however, a few CONS to the gameplay:

DIFFICULTY SPIKES: the one major problem. The difficulty swings back and forth between missions, and there are several that are easy to get stuck on. Be warned, you're likely to get frustrated with this campaign at some point or another :mad:. INFA rewards patience, good dogfighting skills, and good wingman coordination.

RAILGUNS: A more minor note. INFA's railguns are better then blobs, for sure, but they take FAR longer to destroy an enemy capship than proper beams do. This has something of a domino effect. Many missions become quite lengthy as a result of this, and given INFA's habit of including large number of enemy fighters, longer means harder to survive. "Strike" is a prime example.

SCALE: And let's face it. Inferno: Alliance's battles can't compete with Inferno proper for scale. If you want hard missions and high kill counts, you'll get them, but if you want true BoE and beam spam you're better off with Inferno or even Derelict.

Now, here comes the AESTHETICS section!

PROS:

MODELS: Given their age, the models are remarkably good. Not on par with modern MediaVPs, but not shabby at all. The quality is pretty consistent as well.

Also, INFA seems to have some interesting lighting features.

BACKGROUNDS: Again, quite good.

MUSIC: Interestingly, it uses FS1 music.
SUBSPACE: INFA also uses a custum subspace effect. Call me odd, but I like it :)

CONS of the Aesthetics:

PUNCTUATION: Spelling is, for the most part, pretty good. But the in-mission messages have poor punctuation; in particular they're very short on commas. Some people won't care, but for me it has the effect of making the messages seem deadpan. It has a similar effect to low-quality, flat voice acting in that it breaks up the impact or emotion of the messages. :rollyeyes:

NO VA: Not voice acted.

And finally, TECHNICAL STUFF:

PROS:
GOOD RECORD: An overall shortage of cons. The missions work properly.

CONS:

ONE BUG: On "The Battle for Mars Part 1", the first time I beat it the "we won, return to base" even never triggered. However, I replayed the mission again and was unable to replicate the bug. It seems to have been a one-off glitch.

SETUP: is a little more complicated than it needs to be, involving 7-zip files inside of 7-zip files. Not a huge deal.

OVERALL:

Inferno: Alliance remind me more than anything of Warzone. It's got an agreeable plot that sets up a series of challenging and kill-heavy missions, with very few bugs or problems. At 20 missions it's not too long. And it's got some fun new ships and weapons. Overall, a legitimate use of a weekend.

However... it lacks the flair, the creativity, the... Epicness, you could say, that makes a campaign really memorable. It doesn't really draw you in the way the top campaigns do. Put another way, you're not likely to replay it (depending on your replaying preferences).

But all things considered, Inferno: Alliance is a good campaign. And don't let its age fool you, it's in remarkably good condition. If you're looking for a challenge, and you want a change from cosmic mystery stories, I recommend playing it. :yes:
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 07:08:03 am by InsaneBaron »
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline InsaneBaron

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
Reserved.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline CT27

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
One thing I slightly disliked about Inferno R1 is that it never really explained why conflict between the EA and GTVA developed...it just started with war between the two already begun.



 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
I would cut the arid passages of summary about ships and weapons, they're dry and kick the reader out. Work them down into some direct narrative about the most engaging content.

 

Offline bigchunk1

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
Quote
Now, the story isn't dumb or anything like that. It makes sense, it's consistent with canon, and it has a couple good moments. But it doesn't have any real characters. In a sense it's even more of a cog-in-a-machine story than the original FreeSpace, which at least has a handful of genuine characters (Petrarch, Snipes, Bosch). There's also no major shocks or revelations; it's somewhat predictable. At the end of the day, Inferno is really about big ships blowing eachother up; the story's job is to set up the big battles.

This is how I took inferno too. I remember feeling a bit let down when the "here's the super evil super big ship" plot revealed itself.  It had a bare bones story, but the gameplay was fun and it was impressively large in scope. Large battles are very difficult to make enjoyable to the player and that's where I think this campaign series shines. It has one of my favorite escort missions (yes I said escort mission) in it.

I found it worth my time and I guess that's all that counts in the end.

Edit: Sure it's old, but I remember playing it past its prime and still enjoyed it.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 12:28:51 am by bigchunk1 »
BP Multi
The Antagonist
Zacam: Uh. No, using an effect is okay. But you are literally using the TECHROOM ani as the weapon effect.

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
Quote
BROKEN MISSIONS: Sigh. Unfortunately, three out of INFR1's 14 missions cannot be completed without cheats. Normally bugs like these would fall under Technical Stuff, but in this case they're truly mission-breaking, so I'm putting them under Gameplay.

I'm much more willing to point the finger to FSO/SCP and say that somewhere along the line they broke something. Some AI algorithms changed due to code optimizations which had a domino effect on the missions. It has happened before even with FS2 Retail mission (of course, these are usually quickly found and  fixed, but in some cases they existed for quite some time!) All three of those missions were perfectly fine when I played it a few years ago with the SCP patch, played without a hitch. No cheating required.

INFR1 hasn't been touched in years. You can't blame them for not having tested their mod working on builds released years in the future. It's just that backwards compatibility isn't 100%, especially with non-retail which was never a focus for the SCP anyway - only maintaining retail behaviour is mandated.

As such, I find it pretty unfair that you're placing any amount of blame on the original INFR1 team for any of the problems you experienced with those missions, that they "needed more testing". You could have the entire population of China and India doing testing for a year and I'd still expect this to happen a few years down the line. Heck, I've had missions (in development) that I didn't touch for two months, come back, and suddenly it no longer works because some SCP features changed. Frankly, I'm amazed that ~79% of the missions still work completely as they should with a modpack that hasn't been maintained for years. The 'SCP" patch was written when the FSO version was something like 3.6.7. We're at 3.7.0 now, and counting.

Basically, it seems something to do with fire-beam (if it's used), or beam-free(-all) and beam targeting in general has changed over the years.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 02:40:49 am by Droid803 »
(´・ω・`)
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Offline niffiwan

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
This brings up an interesting point, namely that in most software development* if you change the software, you *will* introduce bugs. There is a constant struggle between the desire to have cool new features (which mandates change) and the desire to have a stable engine and consistent behaviour (which mandates less change).

Having said that, "pointing a finger" at the INFR1 team for those mission bugs is not fair, they should just be mentioned as "issues with using a 3.7.0 (??) build". If the same bugs existed when playing with 3.6.7 (or whichever was the current FSO release at the time) then you could have a case that more testing was needed, but it is ~6 years later.  It is simple not feasible for the SCP to test every campaign for compatibility with every release, heck it's hard enough to just test Freespace2.fc2 without any testing team! The best we can do is to encourage people to report all encountered bugs on mantis with good test missions and detailed information, and then squash those bugs as best as possible in the amount of time we have. :)

* no - the space shuttle software doesn't count as "most software"
Creating a fs2_open.log | Red Alert Bug = Hex Edit | MediaVPs 2014: Bigger HUD gauges | 32bit libs for 64bit Ubuntu
----
Debian Packages (testing/unstable): Freespace2 | wxLauncher
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m|m: I think I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Bmpman is starting to make sense and it's actually written reasonably well...

 

Offline InsaneBaron

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
Quote
BROKEN MISSIONS: Sigh. Unfortunately, three out of INFR1's 14 missions cannot be completed without cheats. Normally bugs like these would fall under Technical Stuff, but in this case they're truly mission-breaking, so I'm putting them under Gameplay.

I'm much more willing to point the finger to FSO/SCP and say that somewhere along the line they broke something. Some AI algorithms changed due to code optimizations which had a domino effect on the missions. It has happened before even with FS2 Retail mission (of course, these are usually quickly found and  fixed, but in some cases they existed for quite some time!) All three of those missions were perfectly fine when I played it a few years ago with the SCP patch, played without a hitch. No cheating required.

INFR1 hasn't been touched in years. You can't blame them for not having tested their mod working on builds released years in the future. It's just that backwards compatibility isn't 100%, especially with non-retail which was never a focus for the SCP anyway - only maintaining retail behaviour is mandated.

As such, I find it pretty unfair that you're placing any amount of blame on the original INFR1 team for any of the problems you experienced with those missions, that they "needed more testing". You could have the entire population of China and India doing testing for a year and I'd still expect this to happen a few years down the line. Heck, I've had missions (in development) that I didn't touch for two months, come back, and suddenly it no longer works because some SCP features changed. Frankly, I'm amazed that ~79% of the missions still work completely as they should with a modpack that hasn't been maintained for years. The 'SCP" patch was written when the FSO version was something like 3.6.7. We're at 3.7.0 now, and counting.

Basically, it seems something to do with fire-beam (if it's used), or beam-free(-all) and beam targeting in general has changed over the years.

I see your point, but don't interpret me as being too harsh. I'm not trying to assign blame for the problems; the fact is that some missions didn't work, for reasons I'm not sure of, so I pointed that out in my review. That's why I asked if they worked for anyone else: I suspected they may have worked at some point. Whatever the reason, they're a drawback to playing it today.

Regarding Taking the Gate, the problem is not that some SEXP is broken, it's that the mission simply isn't beatable. You don't have enough wingmen to protect the Hathor against everything that gets thrown at it (esp the Lindos at the end) and still get behind the station. So I commented that the mission needed a little more playtesting. The wiki article on the mission said the same thing.

When I call Inferno "Old", I'm pointing out that there are likely to be issues for which the original designers were not at fault.

@Bigchunk: Like I said, "Old" =/= "bad". Some of the missions rocked. The graphics aren't a huge deal in my book. I'm glad you enjoyed it; personally I'm glad that I played it too.

@Battuta: Ya, you're right :P Other mods I've tried to have brief summaries of the playable stuff, mainly along the lines of "this ship is great for this scenario". With INFR1 that got a little out of hand, obviously. But I had to say something about the new ships, or I wouldn't be doing Inferno justice.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline Macfie

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
You may also want to look at Solar wars which is also based of Inferno when you get to part 3 of your review.
Normal people believe that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it isn't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
The difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers is:
Mechanical Engineers build weapons.  Civil Engineers build targets
An optimist sees the glass half full; the pessimist sees it half empty. An engineer sees that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

 

Offline InsaneBaron

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
You may also want to look at Solar wars which is also based of Inferno when you get to part 3 of your review.

Solar wars... Hm. I've heard of it, but haven't played it yet. I'll look it up.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline Macfie

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
http://www.freespacemods.net/download.php?view.209
Just unzip the file into your freespace2 folder. You should see a folder labelled Solar_Wars. Just select this as the mod in the FreeSpace Open launcher. Several things are important for it to work. You have to have the Inferno mod in a folder labelled InfernoR1 or modify the mod file to whatever your inferno file is. You must have the Inferno SCP patch labelled INF_2Patch.vp in your inferno mod file. Don't use the unofficial inferno patch labeled INF_1Patch.vp because it will not work with it.
Normal people believe that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it isn't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
The difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers is:
Mechanical Engineers build weapons.  Civil Engineers build targets
An optimist sees the glass half full; the pessimist sees it half empty. An engineer sees that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

 
Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
One thing I slightly disliked about Inferno R1 is that it never really explained why conflict between the EA and GTVA developed...it just started with war between the two already begun.

Like the war against the vasudans in Freespace, or the war against the NTF in Freespace 2.

Even i am not sure if the latter was covered in the fs2 tech database.
But as far as i remember Inferno has also a lots of stuff in the intelligence section about Post-Capella aswell the Earth Alliance.
On the other hand, the war against the vasudans was not explained in freespace 1 at all.

For me was that one of the strong points in Inferno's plotline... that it shares a lot of Freespace 1&2's kind of storytelling.
Even it feels of course really pointless... but i think i would feel the same if i would stop to play Freespace and Freespace 2 after its first act...
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 07:14:17 pm by Deepstar »
Shivan here, Shivan there, Shivan everywhere.

My english isn't very well, so sorry for a few mistakes.

FreeSpace Let's Plays on my Channel:
| The Great War | Silent Threat | Operation Templar | Silent Threat: Reborn | Shivans - Phantoms | Shivans - Echo Gate | Shrouding the Light: Origins | Shrouding the Light | Cardinal Spear | Cardinal Spear: Vega | Awakenings | The Destiny of Peace | Between the Ashes: Mefistofele

 

Offline InsaneBaron

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
@Macfie: Thanks! At the moment I'm in the middle of Shadow Genesis (enjoying it so far, but halfway through I deleted my pilot profile by mistake and had to start over...), but I'll try Solar Wars next.

@Deepstar, CT27: I feel like there was an attempt, at least, to explain the origin of the war via the techroom. It seems the EA's reaction on seeing the node opened was "We must rule all humanity!". Sol: A History explores the EA's rationale in greater depth. So there's a better explanation than there is for the Terran-Vasudan war (although at TVWP we're getting to that :P )

Inferno deliberately opens In Media Res, because otherwise they'd never have gotten to the Shivan incursion.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
I think Inferno's storytelling is a bit like FS1's but not much like FS2's at all.

 

Offline InsaneBaron

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
I think Inferno's storytelling is a bit like FS1's but not much like FS2's at all.

An interesting point. The EA eventually signs a peace agreement with the GTVA, like the PVE but unlike the NTF which was ground into the dust. The Shivans arrive at the same place they emerge from in FS1. And they do seem (...seem...) to have a centralized bigbadship.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
Those are plot points, which I don't think are particularly relevant. I'm talking about tone, texture, and prose level construction.

 

Offline InsaneBaron

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Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
Those are plot points, which I don't think are particularly relevant. I'm talking about tone, texture, and prose level construction.
Hm... I suppose FS1 and INF have less of a "cosmic mystery" aspect to them than FS2. Do you have any specific examples?
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline CT27

  • 210
Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
S: AH, didn't seem to explain why the conflict developed between the EA and GTVA...to me at least (I did enjoy the campaign though).  It was primarily about how the GTA remnant turned into space Nazis.  IIRC, the EA didn't really say what they would do if they encountered what they thought was the GTA outside of Sol.

 

Offline InsaneBaron

  • 29
  • In the CR055H41R2
Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: Inferno Series
S: AH, didn't seem to explain why the conflict developed between the EA and GTVA...to me at least (I did enjoy the campaign though).  It was primarily about how the GTA remnant turned into space Nazis.  IIRC, the EA didn't really say what they would do if they encountered what they thought was the GTA outside of Sol.

It didn't explicitly explain how the war started, but by exploring the makeup of the EA I think it made it pretty obvious that the EA was sure to pick a fight with the GTVA. It may not have explained HOW the war started, but it made it clear WHY it started.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance