AquaNox 2: Revelation

4_1Return with us now to the murky, seedy depths of the future, where mankind is forced to live under the ocean in huge self-contained structures, and pirating is a way of life. Aquanox, the sequel to the criminally under-rated Archimedean Dynasty, came and went without much notice, and featured dumbed-down controls over the Wing Commander or Freespace-type simulation gameplay of the original. On the other hand, it was a fast, fun, and gorgeous undersea shooter, and now, it has a sequel in the form of Aquanox 2: Revelation.

Using an updated 3D engine, but otherwise the same controls and gameplay as Aquanox, Revelation tells the tale of an absurdly naive lad named Drake, who is off to see the watery world after the last of his kinfolk die. Unfortunately, his freighter is almost instantly hijacked by a nefarious gang of smugglers. The gameplay is basically identical to the first game, which means that you face some incredible odds in a variety of armed submarines to complete the entirely too linear missions.

18_1Add to that the lack of an in-game save option, and way too many annoying babysitting missions, and there are some fundamental flaws here. On the particularly tough levels (of which there are many), failure means having to sit through the same plot twists and dialogue sequences repeatedly. The action is still highly distinctive fun, though, and for those in search of a challenge, Aquanox 2 definitely comes through. It’s also drop-dead gorgeous. Beautifully contoured ocean bottoms, phenomenal water and lighting effects, and even great-looking buildings all make the game a visual wonder.

With over fifty missions, a significant increase from the first Aquanox, there’s plenty of gameplay to be had under the sea, and since there aren’t many underwater sci-fi combat sims around lately, Aquanox 2: Revelation is in a gloomy ocean of its own.

System Requirements: Pentium III 600 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB Video, Win98

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