Simple but enjoyable sci-fi sim
This is the fairly obscure sequel to the equally unknown Solar Winds and while it is not without its flaws, it is actually a highly engaging sci-fi adventure game, which might appeal to followers of Elite, Wing Commander or Freelancer. The game does follow on from the original, so it is worth checking that out first if you are interested, just to make sure the story all makes sense. The story is set in the distant future, where an oppressive government rules with an army of robots, but who are involved with a race of aliens and who treat all other species as their playthings. This sequel picks up things where the first game left off, and sees adventurer Jake Stone making his way through the galaxy in his attempts to destroy the portals through which the aliens travel, while also infiltrating the government so that he might free those races affected by the aliens' actions. Gameplay is viewed from a top-down perspective, with Stone's ship exploring the universe and engaging in combat with the various alien craft that he encounters, and with occasional opportunities for diplomacy, although this ultimately makes little difference to the outcome. Solar Winds 2 is certainly quite ambitious, and is enjoyable enough as a straightforward slice of space-faring fun. Don't expect anything too complex though, as while the story is compelling, it is highly linear, with no real opportunities for true exploration and with everything playing out in a fixed fashion, with your decisions having little overall impact. It is quite enjoyable however, with a strong narrative that keeps you engaged and with some surprisingly slick action, so it is worth checking out.