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funky-penguin.co.uk: Review: Terminus, the Linux Space Sim

Jan 14, 2001, 12:31 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Risto Varanka)

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"Terminus is a new heir to the tradition of freeform space combat and trading simulations, started by the legendary game Elite. Terminus runs on Windows, Macintosh and Linux, inludes an engaging non-linear story and RPG elements, has realistic physics with a Newtonian flight model, allows the player to customize her ship from the ground up, and can be played in various DM and campaign modes. Sounds good? How well is the hype delivered?"

"At the first sight, Terminus seems to lack the smooth polish of your typical big-name commercial game. For example, many menus look outdated by 2 years, or more. Everything is in a bit crude 640x480 resolution. Pilot faces don't look as cool as you'd like them to. However, things change when you get in-flight. There is this curious, enticing feeling about it. The feeling of a game which will reveal its secrets to the aspiring gamer, one by one - a game you will come to love."

" Terminus uses a Newtonian flight model. This makes maneuvering challenging and very different from your average space shooter. Your direction of facing and direction of travel are properly decoupled: You can face one way and slide the other way. There is no friction, and you have to apply thrusters if you want to change your flight path or slow down. It is easy to overshoot targets and waypoints. This makes the game more slow-paced than shooting games like Quake or Unreal Tournament, as you have to be careful, and take into account the time you need for countering your current inertia. Still, action gets pretty hot when there are a couple of bogeys on your radar."

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