Descent Freespace: Silent Threat

Snap406_1FreeSpace began amidst the ongoing war between the Terrans and alien Vasudans, continued with the unveiling of a mysterious and aggressive third race (the Shivans) that threatened everyone and concluded with the spectacular destruction of a Shivan juggernaut in mid-flight towards Earth. In short the narrative, despite having more than a fair share of Wing Commander and Star Wars, was captivating enough to warrant going through it all. The game had a sense of urgency and purpose, both of which are unfortunately missing from Volition’s only official expansion pack – Silent Threat.

The game comes with a campaign of twelve missions that has you flying sorties for an intelligence division of the Galactic Terran Alliance (GTA) The cloak and dagger stuff has its moments and gratuitous space massacres, but neither the mission design nor story in general really manage to inspire any tension. The rushed job of it all is evident throughout, from music that inexplicably stops playing to almost no in-mission speech files and a pointless ending.

At least there’s some new gear thrown your way. New ships include an extremely fast recon craft limited by a sparse missile loadout – the Loki – and a faster, more destructive if still quite bulky bomber called the Zeus.

On the business end of your ships you’ll face a Shivan super-bomber and a new Terran destroyer class. A couple of special purpose missiles and a shield-draining cannon slightly enhance the tactical approach you can bring to certain missions as well. Alongside the official campaign we also have thirty bonus user levels outsourced by Volition for the purpose of the expansion. Most of these are actually pretty good, but lack any sort of voice acting, new units or weapon. In the end, this here’s only a decent expansion pack, and will likely only suit the most diehard FreeSpace fans.

System Requirements: Pentium 133 Mhz, 32 MB RAM, Windows 95/98

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