A fantastic template for the Game of Dreams, but falls way, way short for the Game of Now. So Huge, So Empty, So Tragic!

User Rating: 4.5 | Universal Combat PC
I found this game on the shelf of my local Best Buy for $20, getting my only preview by the Back of the Box description. The idea behind this game seemed too good to be true (a great cliche for UC). I took it home, loaded it, and began my adventure of Universal Combat! If only I had known...

I have to just say before my in-depth schpeel about this game is that it is a horrible game and NO ONE SHOULD BUY IT. Since I am an optimist, I continued to give this game chance after chance.

You begin your journey in the world of UC as one of many many races and you can choose many jobs. The basic character would be to be a Human Ship Commander, since commanders have the best ships and Humans start in Earth if you want. Controls are numerous, clunky, and difficult. It took awhile to get going. Apperently you control a ship of hundreds even though you seem to be only able to control the ship like a first person "XWing Tie Fighter" game. The universe of Universal Combat is probably the largest "universe" there is of any game, hands down. Not only is it Flight Simulator-esque real time flying from planet to planet (yes, I said real-time) but all of the planets are scaled as such (we'll get to this later).

You go around the UC Universe looking for something to do, which is like watching TV in GTA IV waiting for a new season of The Men's Room. Once you do find an enemy, RUN! Run as fast as you can. They will find you and shoot you down and takeover your ship in no time, as you don't know the controls for "Kill that Mother Faster!" After spending hours upon hours worm holing through the galaxy, finding ships in red and dying within minutes, even I was tired but still fascinated by how little I had discovered. I also found that you could be a Freighter Captain or a Research Vessel, but this made DYING EASIER as you have NO WEAPONS OR DEFENSE from those superships.

I then attempted to become a Marine or other characters that spend their time on one planet, apparently using several land, air, and sea vehicles to protect their precious planet from the enemy. I soon found that this enemy was Boredom and I spent a long time trying to find my very own Wilson to keep me company. I searched for friendlies, as there are multiple cities on each planet, which further amazed me about this empty sandbox. Traveling around on these planets are also like Real-Time! Imagine flying from New York to Shanghai in Flight Simulator in a Piper Cub or biplane. This is traveling around in the planets in UC.

What I saw in this game is the potential for a spectacular game. I wonder now if I even remotely bought it because I thought it would be good. The point I realized is that I seem to have scouted this game and have come to a realization the potential this could have. If Derek Smart gave the rights to EA, EA takes a couple years and many people's lives to slave away many hours into this game, you could have a potential MMORPG that many space sim and MMORPG enthusiasts would wait in line for. The sheer size of the environment and number of choices given to the player is somewhat of a dream for many players. The lack of control of those choices and the environment makes this game a waste of time, but with enough time for a developer, this style of gaming could be a goldmine.

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