Author Topic: A review of Blue Planet  (Read 5043 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fury

  • The Curmudgeon
  • 213
A review of Blue Planet
General Battuta asked me to write up a review of Blue Planet. I'm trying to avoid spoilers since Battuta mentioned this review might be used to lure people to play BP. Blue Planet happened to be the first mod I played after four years and I had high expectations from all the hype. :) I used one of the newer Blue Planet 3.6.10 betas. And now on to the review...

At first I was slightly annoyed by lack of voice acting (I hate that synth voice), but given how difficult it is to get a campaign voice acted, I put that little issue aside very quickly. However, I can see that some progress has been made in getting the campaign voice acted. Definitely a good reason to play it again once voice acting is completed. Without proper voice acting messages are difficult to time properly and while BP team did good job, many messages were difficult to read due to timing issues. But there is a chance these timing issues will be fixed by the time final version of 3.6.10 compatible BP is released. Listening to synth voice gets tedious after a while, so some people may want to turn it off from the launcher.

From the very first mission I was impressed. BP uses in-game cutscenes very carefully, managing to emphasize important events without blatantly overusing cutscenes. "Camera" use was also brilliant at times, adding rather good cinematic feeling into the mix. I think other campaigns could take a note or two from BP in this regard. Several times cutscenes bugged a bit and did not give me my HUD back along with controls, restarting the mission solved it though. Missions were all very well designed, I don't think there were a single mission that was bad. There were very few actual mission designing errors and no show stoppers, at least I did not encounter any.

I liked how much attention there was to the details, missions felt very alive and made it feel like the player wasn't alone in the space. Better yet, in BP the player is an actual character instead of nameless Alpha 1. BP sports quite a number of actual characters and tries to build on them. When I say tries, I merely mean that character development falls short on super cheesy character lines. If you have played the campaign, you know what I mean. If you haven't yet, you will. While there were super cheesy lines and lots of them, take it with humor and enjoy rest of the campaign. BP is too good to be missed because for this reason alone. Mission difficulty was well balanced. I played on medium and I got a fair amount of challenge at times, but my skills were rusty after four years of not playing FS2 at all.

While not exactly unique to BP, new terran ships fits BP setting very well and are very beautiful in their own right. Many FS2 ships differ quite a lot from their FS1 predecessors and considering that BP takes place later in the (FS2) future, differences in designs are plausible. While I did say I try to avoid spoilers, you see (and hear) Balor in the very first flyable mission. This is only my personal opinion, but Balor doesn't sound all that good because the sound engine has difficulties in handling sound effects at such rapid speed. Balor's rate of fire could have been lower to compensate this shortcoming. This wasn't a big issue by any means, but it got a bit annoying to listen to the weapon in the long run, as good as it was especially in the early missions. Other than that, I don't really have complaints about new ships or weapons. They are all well designed and put into good use in the campaign.

The bottom line is there are some good character developments, plot twists and generally just good mission designing going on that anyone will most certainly enjoy the ride to the very end, where you will be greeted with another plot twist and a cliffhanger of sorts. And all this makes you crave for a sequel. :)

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
  • 214
  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Thanks, Fury!

We've considered redoing a few lines, but since a lot of them are already voice acted, we might just preserve them in their current glory.  ;7

 

Offline Dilmah G

  • Failed juggling
  • 211
  • Do try it.
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Quote
General Battuta asked me to write up a review of Blue Planet. I'm trying to avoid spoilers since Battuta mentioned this review might be used to lure people to play BP
As if there are many people who haven't played it :P It was one the first mods I "experienced" as well so I know where you're coming from there, just the release thread makes it sound awesome x10

Quote
BP uses in-game cutscenes very carefully, managing to emphasize important events without blatantly overusing cutscenes. "Camera" use was also brilliant at times, adding rather good cinematic feeling into the mix.
Bottom Line: Cutscenes are coooooooool :D There are some people I notice who didn't like the addition of cutscenes but like you I'm all for them, improperly used (which I'm guilty of) and they became a hindrance rather than 45 seconds of awesomeness.
Quote
I liked how much attention there was to the details, missions felt very alive and made it feel like the player wasn't alone in the space. Better yet, in BP the player is an actual character instead of nameless Alpha 1. BP sports quite a number of actual characters and tries to build on them.
Yeah, that's one of the real selling points of BP, it'd been done before by Ransom for example, but the "Chosen One" angle really allowed Darius to flesh Sam out as a character and tie you to him, rather than a pilot who fights, comes home safe, story finished. In which the addition of a player character really serves no purpose.

Quote
I merely mean that character development falls short on super cheesy character lines.
I've heard/seen Darius say before that he used "Sophisticated/Different language" to convey the fact that in the 24th Century or whatever English as a language would've progressed from it's current 21st Century state. He also mentioned once he cringes at some of the lines in AoA :P It's nothing show-stopping and as you said you can't pass this campaign up because some of the dialogue seems cliche or whatever. Some of the CB "Quotes" were amazingly well done on the other hand.

Review was well-done Fury  :yes:

 

Offline eliex

  • 210
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Dilmah G's post sums up my response entirely.  :nod:

 

Offline Rhymes

  • Galactic Mediator
  • 29
  • Fatum Iustum Stultorum
Re: A review of Blue Planet
And as for the Balor, it may sound terrible, but it's a freakin chaingun!  I honestly thing it's the best weapon ever designed for a mod that a fighter can use.  Powerful, yet incredibly fast.
If you don't have Knossos, you need it.

“There was a button," Holden said. "I pushed it."
"Jesus Christ. That really is how you go through life, isn't it?”

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
  • 214
  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
Re: A review of Blue Planet
I concur. As a player weapon, or as a weapon in the hands of opponents, the Balor is simply unmatched.

 

Offline eliex

  • 210
Re: A review of Blue Planet
If the Balor's AoA weapon stats are going to be the same in WiH, the GTVA fighters will have no hard time killing UE fighters and convoys. Look, I even shredded a SF Dragon in less than 5 seconds only  with the Balor.

 

Offline Dilmah G

  • Failed juggling
  • 211
  • Do try it.
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Well, I'll try not to give away a lot but you'll be pleasantly surprised when you see what the UEF has for you. I daresay it's as if not more awesome than the Balor :P

 

Offline Darius

  • Moderator
  • 211
Re: A review of Blue Planet
The balor's been toned down in the 3.6.10 version (damage per shot reduced to about half).

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
  • 214
  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
Re: A review of Blue Planet
I tested it in AoA, and it's still a pleasure to work with. It still feels very powerful.

 

Offline Dilmah G

  • Failed juggling
  • 211
  • Do try it.
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Yeah, I played AoA through for the second time a few weeks ago using the new tables, I agree with Battuta that it's still powerful, but it just doesn't blow Shivans out of the way anymore, you actually have to look at them for more than a few seconds now :P But it was kind of "Too Pwnage" before, and would've been a real b*tch in WiH if it'd been the same.

 

Offline Rodo

  • Custom tittle
  • 212
  • stargazer
    • Minecraft
    • Steam
Re: A review of Blue Planet
since everything I was thinking about was already said but this: maybe cap ships could use normal maps... I don't recall seying any the time I played AoA...

a review is all I can give you:

Balor  :yes:

Cutscenes  :yes: :yes:

Story-plot  :yes:

Character weight  :yes: :yes:

Ships  :yes:

Music  :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:  ;7


el hombre vicio...

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
  • 214
  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Er, how many thumbs are those out of?  :p

 

Offline Rodo

  • Custom tittle
  • 212
  • stargazer
    • Minecraft
    • Steam
Re: A review of Blue Planet
let's say 3  :yes: or 3  :no: are the respective maximum options
el hombre vicio...

 

Offline Mikes

  • 29
Re: A review of Blue Planet
let's say 3  :yes: or 3  :no: are the respective maximum options

This s confusing  :lol:

 
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Yeah. You rated a bunch of stuff too low.

BP is great, no question. It's taken a place alongside campaigns like Derelict and the Procyon Insurgency. Though, does/will lead to bias in either direction.
Sig nuked! New one coming soon!

 

Offline Mikes

  • 29
Re: A review of Blue Planet
At first I was slightly annoyed by lack of voice acting (I hate that synth voice)

You really want to do yourself a favor and turn that off, the synth voice that is ;)
It's an utter immersion killer, no matter what campaign you play.
At least i, find it much better to read the lines instead and allow imagination to do the rest,...
i doubt i could have enjoyed campaigns like Sync, Transcend, Homesick et cetera. at all while listening to the idiot voice all the time LOL.


The notable exception to that rule would propably be JAD... there the mindless monotonous rambling of the Microsoft voices actually fits the atmosphere almost too perfectly and gives it an almost surreal character LOL.
(O. M. G.  Zombies O. M. G.  Zombies! :p)

BP is great, no question. It's taken a place alongside campaigns like Derelict and the Procyon Insurgency. Though, does/will lead to bias in either direction.

I enjoyed the campaign quite a lot myself, mission design was outright epic sometimes and the rollercoaster ride the story took you on worked quite nicely as well;

That is, with one notable exception:
I really do not like what was done with the Shivans at all. It's spray painting them into a quite narrow corner and definitely going way off canon... and imho worse, it makes the Shivans come off as utterly ridiculous.

Spoiler:
So like to mentioned in some other thread...  i was quite happy to see that the sequel doesn't appear to dwell on that point and hopefully it was all just part of some twisted alternate reality and it was the last time that we ever saw not just a talking Shivan leader, but worse, one that gets sent off like a pouting schoolgirl by a higher power lol ;) That would be my hope anyways :p
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 02:23:26 am by Mikes »

 

Offline eliex

  • 210
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Playing 'scary' FreeSpace campaigns like Transcend with the synth voice activated really gives it a real touch on the second playthrough however . . .  ;7

 

Offline Mikes

  • 29
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Playing 'scary' FreeSpace campaigns like Transcend with the synth voice activated really gives it a real touch on the second playthrough however . . .  ;7

Blasphemy!   :hopping:  :nervous: :eek2:  :lol:

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
  • 214
  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
Re: A review of Blue Planet
Hey Mikes, on the Shivan front, you might be interested to know that Darius has said the Shivans don't have a 'leader': that was more of a collective will or force expressing itself. And it could just as easily have withdrawn to plan its revenge rather than to sulk.