I've played a few missions of this (up until the City of the Sun mission) and it's really impressive and ambitious technically, but I don't enjoy this story at all. Everything is ludicrously, preposterously, unnecessarily grimdark all the time, to the point where it's distracting, base, and ugly. The Sol forces apparently have such an unquenchable murder-boner that
they won't even wait to finish taking the Rim forces into custody before commencing the mass executions
, thereby ruining their own plan by tipping off the ORS! The Shivans aren't given any of the respect as some sort of cosmic force of nature that FreeSpace has always given them, they're "bugs", "insects", objects to shoot at and nothing more. And then the City of the Sun. Hoo boy.
This is a really cool mission technically, evocative cutscene, dramatic visuals, quite good gameplay. But then:
Somebody blows up something inside the City to force all the hatches open so all the civilians could get out instead of just a select number of rich "valuable to society" people. Hooray! Wait, I have to kill them? I have to MURDER thousands of my own people in cold blood to keep from "overcrowding" the Abraham? I, seeing that the people in the shuttles were probably much more like my character than the high-ranking officer giving the order, stood down, and ordered my wing to do the same. Of course, this failed the mission.
No. I will not accept this. This is not a "desperate measure" required by a "desperate time". This is a contrived situation cooked up to get the player to revel in doing something everybody
knows is evil. Worse than being a bad mission, it is a reprehensible
mission, one that appears beautiful on its surface but has extremely revolting themes--the only difference between this and "Dealing in Extremes" from Descendants of Sol, on a narrative and thematic level, is a layer of self-righteous rationalization. If this
cowardly, selfish, criminal act is humanity's response to the Shivan incursion, it means no one in this universe has learned anything
from the Great Wars. It means that humanity are no better than the Ancients were, and, frankly, if that's what it takes to preserve humanity from the Shivans, then extinction is what the people of this verse deserve.