Starglider 2 was met with pretty much universal acclaim when it was first released in 1988. And – as a 3D shooter – it broke new ground in a number of different areas.
For starters: it looked amazing. The polygonal objects, ships and creatures were much faster, more detailed and more numerous than had been seen before in other games.
The player could fly through space, enter a planet’s atmopshere, explore the surface and underground caves, all seamlessly, without any loading. That was innovative.
The ship controls are very good. In fact the game is arguably best played with (and designed for) a mouse.
Mission-wise, Starglider 2 is open-ended. The ultimate aim is to destroy an enemy space station with a neutron bomb, but you have to make the bomb first (not only that, but you have to find someone who can assemble it as well). Starglider 2 is deceptively deep. It’s not just a mindless shooter.
The controls take some getting used to. Swishing around using the mouse is fun although joystick works fine too.
To get anywhere in Starglider 2, though, you’ve really got to know what you’re looking for. Visit planets and collect things with your tractor beam. Find an online walkthrough if you’re having trouble. It’s worth reading the manual too. Starglider 2 is actually worth learning to play.