Simply out of the box fun beyond ones imagination.
Man was an idiot I was for not having bought this game before then. I don't know where to start, the story was absolutely addictive. It took some doing to get used to the keyboard/mouse commands but once you had those down you were issuing orders without even thinking about it. Ordering squadrons to attack the enemy ships hanger bays while you picked off their bombers. The game was just a joyous thrill ride from start to finish. An instant classic in not a master peace. While the game had no multiplayer, a real shame in my opinion, the game had a solid heart, story, game play, and the interplay name behind it. While my copy of this game has long since been lost, I still miss the days of the old joystick / keyboard combination as I swung my fighter about and attacked an entire quadrant of fighters. The medal features was also a cooling thing to behold, albeit I was more interested in piloting the various fighters over winning metals.
This game should be considered as one of the ten all time best games ever made.