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Publisher: Strategy First    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.2.8    CPU: G3 @ 1000 MHz    RAM: 384 MB    Graphics: 32 MB VRAM

Vendetta Online
August 25, 2005 | Joseph Cadotte

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Vendetta Online is a massively multi-player online role-playing game set in the far future. The player pilots a ship on various missions, earning experience and money that can be parleyed into better equipment and better standing. The universe is composed of numerous star systems, each with a variety of environments and threats. Players can assist each other or compete directly, depending on their standing with the thirteen factions available.

As a player, you pilot a spacecraft on a variety of missions. You select each mission from a list at whichever space station you are docked at. You can choose between mining, trading, and various combat missions. You gain access to better missions and equipment as your license levels increase. You gain experience to change your license as you perform missions or kill other ships. This is a nice way to level up, and in certain pirate systems, you can even purchase equipment beyond your license levels, helping establish feeling of lawlessness.

All the ships perform differently, and you must balance cargo space, weapons loads, and speed, in addition taking into account your license levels. The ships are fairly generic looking, much more like planes than actual spacecraft. The weapons, energy systems, mining equipment, all have a nice variety and balance.

I didn't really feel that there was a story to this game. Perhaps I hadn't advanced far enough, but, as it stood, the quests, while well-designed and enjoyable, did not seem to relate to each other or anything else. Having said that, there is a long and comprehensive back story, about two nations isolated from Earth and at war. The Serco (a race of cyborgs), are fighting against the Itani (some Nazis that ended up as hippies). In addition, there are smaller nations, the Union of Independent Traders (to which I belonged) and a collective of pirates and companies. You have a faction standing which determines how you are treated by the AI from the thirteen groups. This is especially important if you chose the Itani or Serco factions at character development.

All of these struggle against hive queens, the masters of a collective of robots, originally designed to mine ore from asteroids but since have gone rogue and attack any ship that enters their territory. These bots offer a large variety of challenges and they behave in a fairly realistic fashion, with some swarming you and some concentrating on mining. A recommended and effective way of gathering some loot is to kill bots and harvest their remains, which makes even the most basic task fairly fun.


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