A long winded post abounds.
I remember i downloaded the modification several years ago. The fact that i caught wind of people still keeping the game alive through campaigns and modifications made me dust off the CDs and try it one more time. Inferno was the biggest thing for Freespace 2 then, and it reminded me of Half-life...people still keeping the game going strong despite it's age showing.
For it's time, Inferno was exactly what we wanted. Freespace 2 for all it's upgraded glory, still had missions where there would be two (at best four) large capital ships present in one mission. And people wanted more. The story was the biggest thing for me. Contact with Earth is finally possible, and in standard Freespace fashion, not everything is sunshine and rainbows, and really depressing **** happens. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this mod then.
Unfortunately, Back then (for me at least) the original game handling total conversion mods was pretty wonky, and i was lucky to make it past a mission without receiving some puzzling nameless error that would boot me back to the desktop. I remember the EA installation base where you meet the shivans for the first time was that exact mission where i received the dozenth error message and decided to give up entirely out of frustration.
So fast forward years later, 2010, with SCP fixing several things wrong with the original, and i get a chance to try it out in it's entirety. So now that i am older, what did i think of it?
I know what it was trying to do, but some aspects made me wonder how it was possible to win some missions without relying on luck or without playing it beforehand. The mission involving the Independence versus several EA capital ships, with your wing being charged with disabling the station took me several tries, and it was because the Independence made some crucial misses with it's beam cannons. My successful run ended with the Independence having 3 hull integrity left.
It felt like in some missions that you needed to be absolutely perfect to succeed. Even in the battle for Earth (which was bar none the best mission for me in the mod), you had very little time to destroy the extremely durable beam cannons off the Nemesis. And to have these last minute objectives get you felt a little disheartening.
But it was a Total Conversion mod, and it did the best it could to keep the Freespace 2 feel, and at the same time keep things fresh. A more specific example for me was the newest Space Superiority fighter (Vesuvius, correct?) for the GTVA made dog-fights feel even quicker and more adrenaline pumping than before...And all the capital ship designs were completely new and fresh. I'm sure i failed a mission because i was busy looking at how unusual and awesome the EA ships were, especially the Destroyer.
It Isn't a perfect mod, no mod ever is, but it is a great modification that offered fans what they wanted, and it was to carry on the legacy of Volition and Interplay, because as sad as it is, a Freespace 3 will never be made, and lord knows i can't contribute to a mod to save my life, so all i can do is cheer for the mod makers still soldiering on.