While many simulations purport to accurately re-create real-world vehicles and real-world settings, another type of simulation applies these same principles to a fictitious premise. Science-fiction-themed simulations used to be much more common in the early and mid 1990s, though they certainly still exist, and several very good ones were released even this year. However, even the best of these performed relatively poorly at retail channels, which begs the question of whether there's a chance that this once-prominent genre will regain its former glory. Regardless, these are the nominees for the best science-fiction-themed simulation released in 2000.
With its emphasis on cooperative piloting tactics, Microsoft's online-only space sim has a steep learning curve, but its combination of real-time strategic planning and ship piloting makes it a unique and highly enjoyable game.
Set in an alternate version of 1930s America, Crimson Skies' pulp-fiction atmosphere combines with brilliant voice acting and an engaging story to create possibly the most immersive sim of the year. A variety of mission objectives and an action-oriented flight model make the game a nonstop thrill ride from start to finish.
The legendary MechWarrior series has seen several different approaches to gameplay, but the latest combines superlative graphics with outstanding multiplay to create a game that will appeal to novices and veterans alike. Some changes to the basic MechWarrior system set it apart from its predecessors to make MechWarrior 4: Vengeance a unique experience.
Digital Anvil's compelling story-driven campaign creates a space-opera setting for the eruption of a new East-West conflict that spans the solar system. The immersive graphics and sound effects make for an experience reminiscent of Chris Roberts' Wing Commander series, while simultaneously forging new ground. An epic campaign and deliciously complex missions bring StarLancer's story to life.
NovaLogic's space sim has action, a large branching campaign, a good story, and voice-overs by Bruce Campbell. It also features an excellent multiplayer mode. Its wide-open gameplay and broad range of missions make Tachyon both fun and challenging.
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