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Reviewed: Allegiance
Author: Paul Scherbak       Date: June 14th, 2000
Page: 2

You can pick from several types of play, including conquest, CTF, Prosperity, and others. All of these are teamplay oriented, even deathmatch! Conquest is a match for whoever controls all of the bases first. Capture the Flag, is, well, Capture the flag. I donít know much about it because there arenít any CTF servers. Prosperity is whoever has the most money at the end of the time limit. You can also criss-cross the different styles, so if you wanted you could have a CTF/Deathmatch game where the team with the most flag captures and kills wins.

The game is free to play, unless you want to play in the Allegiance Zone, which costs $9.95/month (you do, however, get a monthís worth free for buying the game). The Allegiance Zone features special events, massive games, and other really nifty stuff.

Leaving Base
Very Cool After Burner Effect!
The Engine Sports Some Fancy Graphics

The game itself is spectacular! Playing all of the ships is a good idea for a newbie so the player can get a feel for what he/she wants to do. And there are so many options. Iíll start with my favorite, which is the fighter pilot. Iíll hang around the home sector and shoot down the baddies that come in, or Iíll tag along with a constructor (which are very vulnerable) and make sure it gets where itís going. Flying escorts for one of the big capitol ships is also a blast and the fighting gets VERY intense (if a capitol ship makes it to your home sector, itís all over Ďcept for the crying). As a pilot, you can go wherever you want, and most the fun is charging into enemy territory blasting away! Not a good way to live long, but great fun, nonetheless.

Another position you can play is a turret gunner. This is an excellent place for someone who just got the game to get a feel for shooting down other players. Turret gunners donít have to fly the ship, and their turrets move completely independent of the ship itself. Some of the capitol ships can have as many as 4 turrets (which make them all but unstoppable)! This too, is a very fun place to be in a dogfight, but you donít get to actually fly the ship, so most donít stay in a turret too long. Another down side is the fact that you donít have very much control over what happens to you. If you get an idiot pilot, thereís nothing you can do about but sit back and try to save the ship.

Rear View is all but Useless if Using the Afterburner
It's Always Good to Have the Home Sector Heavily Probed
A Shot of the Extremely Slick Voice Menu

Something else you can try is being a capitol ship pilot. Cap ships are very slow moving and turn painfully slow, but they pack some real punch! Most cap ships have to be built at a special facility (shipyard) and are only acquired through research late in the game. It is fun, however, to be in a capitol ship, knowing youíre the biggest thing in the game has its high points, and blowing up bases will bring a smile to anyoneís lips. Capitol ships are very costly, and must be approved by the mission commander, so getting one is pretty much on a first come, only served basis. There are other cap ships, not built in the shipyard, which cost considerably less. The bomber and the gunship are very common sights in a game, and at around 500 credits a pop, not too expensive.

Thatís not all, however. The last role you can play is the commander. There can only be one commander per team, and you must be very good at it, or be ready for a barrage of flames for doing a bad job. The commander is a tough job, as you must appease the pilots or risk being known as a bad commander (which people loath).

Flying into an Aleph
Ship Configuration Bay
Inside the Base

The manual is also a high note, it is short and to the point. It explains what needs to be and leaves out other stuff. Also included is a ĎSurvival Guideí with ship/weapon descriptions and pictures of everything. This booklet makes playing much easier! The Real action, however, starts in the Allegiance Zone (Azone). This is the greatest part of the game. But it does cost $9.95 per month, but it IS worth it! It features massive servers (up to 70 people per team with 4 teams) which make for incredible battles. When you get a lot of people in one area, and a capital ship or two, you got yourself a space battle that brings Star Wars to mind. Most of the old BETA players are on the Azone, so most of the people on it are not new at the game, making the quality of players much better then the Free Zone.

The Azone also gives you the option to start an official squad. There are matches, tournaments, and an on going war. Itís all quite interesting, adding a nice touch to the Azone. The Azoneís higher quality of players allows for some amazing dogfights. One that comes to mind is chasing an enemy fighter just inches from the hull of an enemy outpost with friendly bombers raining powerful missiles at the dying base. Then, looping in and out of the bases projections, ripping out as it blew up. This was one of my most memorable game experiences.

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Added:  Thursday, June 15, 2000
Reviewer:  Paul Scherbak
Page: 2/5

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