Space Interceptor: Project Freedom

2_1In its home country of Poland, Space Interceptor goes by the name Starmageddon 2, where it’s marketed as the sequel to a Homeworld-style strategy game called Starmageddon. So it’s got that going for it. But since Starmageddon doesn’t have any brand recognition in the rest of the world, the game is called Space Interceptor once it leaves Poland, except in the US, where it goes by the aggressively bland moniker of Space Interceptor. This is presumably to confuse Americans with the choice between Project Freedom and Terrorist Takedown, another mindless shooter by the same developer.

Space Interceptor screams ‘casual’. Of course it’s visually more stunning than older games such as Freespace or X-Wing, but don’t expect a fraction of the complexity you or finesse found in those games – Space Interceptor is just a really good looking, brain-dead shooting gallery. It’s hard to imagine what the market is for this glib, superficial exercise in drawing vaguely sci-fi-shaped stuff on the screen. This is what PC gamers used to think of when they made fun of console games: steer a cursor around and press a button when there’s something under the cursor. There’s no sense of “oomph†to the light or sound, which are small and withdrawn, usually drowned out by gratuitous lens flare and bad voice acting.

One of the voice actors, bless her heart, had the presence of mind to correct the script by proclaiming “What a shot!†when the script clearly says “What a shoot!†as we can see by the subtitles and hear by the other actors just charging ahead and reading what they see, as if they don’t know whether they’re doing work on an action game or a fashion shoot. You know a game is in trouble when little details like this are far more interesting than watching stuff politely blow up, or dutifully upgrading your ship between missions, or finding yourself dropped into yet another escort-the-freighter mission with ten bombers coming in at point oh six one three zero, whatever that means.

System Requirements: Pentium III 700 MHz, 128 MB RAM, Win98

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