Jamie Wharton / Oct 6th, 2004 No Comments
It’s really nice to get games like Yager now and again, something unexpected, no big name behind it, no film license, no women in bikinis and no endorsement from an extreme sports ‘star’. This is just an example of a carefully put together, engrossing game that the developers should be proud of.
Yager succeeds as it is solidly fun to play and it has a storyline that sucks you in with its cinematic polish and quite passable voice-acting. You play as pilot Magnus Tide who is your stereotypical good guy with an attitude who works as a freelancer for the Proteus Corporation, you even get a love interest thrown in as the girl on your communications is your ex girlfriend, Sarah…resulting in some fun exchanges. The game really kicks off when you are sent to intercept some pirates who turn out to have some curiously expensive kit…you set off to find out where they got it from…and the rest you’ll have to find out yourself.
If you have played Battle Engine Aquilla then you will know how Yager works, you fly from a first or third person perspective around vast landscapes. The ship handles well and the controls numerous, but they can be fully configured to your liking, it doesn’t take long before you are zipping around the skies and flying through narrow canyons like a pro.
The first thing you will notice about Yager though are the graphics…absolutely sensational! Easily one of the most gorgeous games on the X-Box, the water moves fluidly and ships slowly break up and explode very satisfyingly. Seeing a fighter plough into the earth after taking a missile from you looks quite spectacular as a trail of fire and smoke follows them.
Having heaped on the praise, the very basic game mechanics are a bit old school, it’s the same sort of thing you played in Star Fox, but it is saved by the detail of the world you are in and the dynamism of the missions you get. The islands have lots of life to them, you can see other people flying around, going about their business…people chat to you over your coms link, there is lots to see. Missions branch out too, you will be given new orders and tasks as your missions develop as you meet new characters and discover new pieces of information. On one mission a giant Destroyer ship was making an unannounced arrival to my patrol, I knew this when I heard the pilot of a small vessel screaming about it over my communicator and then saw his ship falling from the sky in flames right in front of me! I had to do this mission a few times and didn’t see this everytime, it isn’t scripted, if I hadn’t been there I wouldn’t have seen it.
This is a key issue though as Yager is a hard game, you get three goes at a mission before you have to restart from the beginning and you will need them! Enemy AI is good, it tries to get behind you, pilots will double team you and all the while you have to be aware of AA fire. Enemies come in all shapes and sizes too, small fighters, giant freighters, aircraft carriers…there is plenty to destroy.
All in all there is little to fault in Yager, it does everything with a touch of flair and excitement, a very welcome addition to the X-Box library.
tags: review , yager