Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
I got a little carried away the other day, and installed the Beyond the Red Line demo, and I’m really enjoying it. I am old enough to remember the 1970s television show, and a friend supplied the newer series for me a few years back, and I thought it better than the original.
The game evolved, as I understand it, from the fan base, along with Volition’s code for the old Freespace 2 game. There’s a native Linux client, and I’m willing to try any game that has a native Linux version. This isn’t a very good screenshot, but it’s enough to give you an idea.
If you remember Descent and Freespace and all that came with it, you’ll probably really enjoy this one. Graphics are top-notch, sound effects match the show perfectly, the voiceovers are very professional and gameplay is extremely fast. And you don’t need a top-of-the-line machine to run this; my 1Ghz is doing just fine with it, and that’s at full resolution.
The only problem I have with this game is the same one I had with Freespace, all those years ago: Controls are a bit difficult for me. Ship movement is via the number keypad (unless you remap the entire game), so laptop users will almost need an external keyboard to keep up with all the combinations. Mouse control is an option, but a joystick is what’s really needed.
And the game is tough — which is a good thing. I died repeatedly on the first scenario, mostly because I couldn’t inflict enough damage to progress through the plot line. (In other words, I got killed. Plain and simple. )
But it’s very addictive and if you can get the controls to a satisfactory state, you’ll have fun with this one for hours. Runs great for me in both Arch and Ubuntu; the download is self-installing but needs GTK1.2 for the old Loki interface. Have fun!