Modding, Mission Design, and Coding > FRED Contest 2005

Review: ngtm1r's Come As You Are


Come As You Are : War Start

Description Like so many others this starts off as a typical patrol. Details of minor pirate activity lead the player into believing that this might be a standard pirate takedown mission but it soon becomes clear that the player is being drawn into a Vasudan civil war.

 Storyline : 3
The mission suffers slightly in that it's obvious that this is the first mission in a campaign and as such there is no resolution to the story. There are several references to something going on in the GTVA that isn't made quite clear. I won't hold that against it though.
 The idea of a civil war is nothing new but it's nice to see a non-HOL one for a change. The mission never managed to envoke in me the full horror of the sudden shift in power that had occured though. At no point in the mission did I feel worried that Athens station was under threat.
 The only real problem I had was that apart from the initial change from pirate hunt to defence there was little in the mission to surprise you. As soon as the enemy ships jump in you can pretty much guess what's coming next.

Balance : 3
The first enemy wave encountered in the mission was pretty easy to take out. The second wave was more of a challenge though. The player has a significant number of wingmen to help him through the mission which may mean that some find it a little too easy. I found that the vasudan corvettes died quite quickly and inflicted minimal damage to the friendly Deimos class too.

Design : 3
 Going to have to knock a few marks off here. First of all I'm always warning people about the danger of missing the AWOL debriefing. This isn't just due to me being pedantic either as this mission gives a shining example of exactly what can happen. On jumping out you're told that Athens base was destroyed even if you left before any hostiles actually arrived.
 In a similar fashion the second mission goal was actually left blank. leaving the player with no clue what it actually could be. Admittedly this goal can only be seen once the mission has started getting hot by pressing F4 but it's still the sort of thing I don't like to see.
 Apart from that FREDding was of a reasonably proficient quality (the two bugs I mentioned above look more like oversights than a lack of FREDding ability).

Gameplay :
 Definately a playable mission although it's a little hard to determine how much impact the player had on the situation. The only problem is that it has nothing that really makes it stand out from other missions like it.

Overall Rating : 3

 Sad to say it but the best word to describe the mission is average. It's certainly fun to play and it probably leads to more unique and more interesting missions further on in the campaign but there is nothing to make it memorable.

Storyline: 3.5
A pretty straightforward plot -- you start out on a regular patrol but fend off a surprise attack.  Nothing we haven't seen before, so this submission needs something to make it stand out -- and it mostly delivers.  This mission introduces the novel idea that the Vasudans want to start an internal rebellion to depose Khonsu II and reinstate the Vasudan parliament, but want to keep the GTVA out of it.  It's something original that we haven't seen before, since the HOL, the NTF, and most 3rd-party rebellions fight indiscriminately against both Terrans and Vasudans.  It's also a fresh look at Vasudan politics, and a tantalizing foretaste of what has the potential to become a fascinating political turn of events.  Unfortunately, we don't get to see much of it in this short mission.

Balance: 3
The standard loadout would probably work well enough, but I swapped it out for a Myrmidon for the four-gun bank.  As it turns out, I probably needn't have bothered.  The mission plays out more or less automatically, and there's not much opportunity for either the player to dish out damage or the enemies to inflict it.  The capship battle looked like it had the potential for some real action, considering the premise, but it was over pretty quickly.  There's nothing strictly wrong with the balance, since it worked well enough (in fact, the player has more choices than he needs), but it felt rather more like an interactive cutscene than a challenging mission.

Design: 3
The design works pretty well; there were no dead ends or plot holes, but not much that was remarkable either.  There were, however, a few nice touches: the Aten Mark II and the PVN instead of GVN prefixes, for instance.  There were a number of spelling and grammar errors, and "Christ on a crutch" seemed like an inappropriate turn of phrase for the occasion.  I only found two significant flaws: first, one of the mission goals didn't have any descriptive text, so it wasn't clear what the second primary goal was until I looked at it in FRED; and second, the two capship fleets started a little bit too far away from one another, producing about 30 seconds of dead air before the beams started flying.

As a postscript, this mission was submitted under the SCP/no mods category, but there doesn't seem to be anything in the mission that actually requires the SCP.

Gameplay: 3
The word for this is "meh".  It worked; it was fun, but there wasn't really any motivation for me to play the mission more than once, either for better or for worse.  This mission is more suited for an interlude during a larger campaign than as a single mission by itself.

Overall: 3
Fun, but not really remarkable.  I'd like to see the rest of the campaign, though.


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