This is the finest FSO campaign I've ever seen. Full stop. No quantification.
Now I'm just dying for part II... "join the club", I suppose.
Oh, man. Where to start? Meh, no specific order needed.
1. The characters. This is what made AoA good, and it's what makes WiH legendary. I felt for pretty much everybody involved, except the GTVA asshole COs. Them I wanted to see pasted, but that can't a unique feeling. Speaking of which- during the last few moments of the "Delenda est", as the UEF battlegroup is getting slaughtered, I was legitimately upset, venting my frustration and impotent rage on the forces attempting to block the Indus' escape. No game, and only a few works of fiction, have ever stirred that kind of response before.
Laporte I found especially compelling, not particularly because of her sensitivity to "Ken" (and thus her existence as the protagonist), but because her personality (and transformation) were believable. Beginning with the first mission, her thoughts when scoring a kill: "Sorry mate, better you than me", "Hey, this is kinda fun"; then everything else from that point forward (the diary entries, the things she says during missions and briefings) created somebody that I could almost cross paths with in reality.
To degrees consistent with their significance to the story, all the other characters were done just as well, and to expound on each would take way too long.
2. The writing. Brutal. The plot to me was nightmarish, especially when emotional investment with the characters was so well done. There were two moments in particular, when rescuing the Vasudan logistics ship, and the first part of "Delenda Est", where the writers actually allow us to feel a glimmer of hope. Which is promptly shat upon, viciously in the latter case. I'ma go out on a limb and guess that General Battua had a pretty big hand in crafting the plot. Regardless of whether that's right or wrong, major kudos to whoever developed the plot- it was pretty much unpredictable, and really jerks the player around by their heartstrings.
3. The music. This deserves its own section. AoA's soundtrack impressed me so much that I include it on my everyday iPod lineup, and WiH will have that honor as well. Once I get around to extracting the thing, that is. One case that particularly stands out in my mind was the use of Apocalyptica's "How Far" during the SOC fight. Ditto with the use of "Lacrimosa". Don't get me wrong- all the music was spot-on, and kick-ass.
4. The Graphics. Beautiful to a T. Granted, a lot of that was probably the 3.6.12 MediaVPs- hats off to the MediaVPs staff, by the way- but all the Blueplanet-specific assets were all amazing, especially the Luna sequence. Atmospheric flight, here we come?
5. The Ugly. I want to say this campaign was perfect. I really do. But even legends can have flaws, and here are a couple that stood out for me. The dogfight at the conclusion of "Intervention" kicked my ass several times. Figured out how to win eventually (the trick is to not get shot), but the process frayed my patience a bit too much to be fun. But don't get hung up on this complaint- maybe I just kinda suck with the Kentauroi,
The only other "low" was the closing cinematic following "Sunglare". I could hear my computer crying, and it maintained playable framerates throughout the rest of the campaign, even the soon-to-be-storied "Delenda Est". On the other hand, the graphical assets are due for optimization, so this prolly won't stay a problem. By the way, do all the scenes in that closing cinematic exist in one "mission zone"?
Whew. Congratulations, Blueplanet team. I think you lot have made history.