I’ve just been generously donated a large pile of old PC magazines for the price of postage. There are no PC Zones so it won’t help with that particular project and it was instead mainly CD-ROM Magazine, PC Answers and PC Home from around 94/95. I only bought a handful of these at the time when the cover CD was particularly appealing. The main reason for this is that they weren’t 100% games but they were still a lot less serious and more entertainment oriented than the giant tomes like PC Plus used to be.
The first thing I have to do with any old magazines like this is look through them all for articles on Origin games. I found a small number of them to get through starting with this preview of The Darkening, back before it became Privateer 2. It’s a brief article which is frustrating given that the author apparently got a full tour of the studio as well as meeting the cast. It does however include a gruesome photo of one the actors in burn makeup that I don’t recall seeing before.
I’ve just spotted a further page with a Clive Owen interview which I ‘d managed to miss entirely first time around :-
This is a review of Privateer 2 from the November 1996 PC Zone. I immediately side with the reviewer (Chris Anderson) when he starts out by saying how fed up he is of having to defend Wing Commander over X-Wing. There is plenty of room for both series which I’m intending to point out in the final part of my X-Wing playthrough if I ever actually finish it. Anderson goes on to conclude that Privateer 2 is better than either of them. Not sure I’d go that far but it’s certainly a classic and seriously overdue a GOG rerelease:-
This review comes courtesy of Magnus Björkbom who quickly responded to my last post with a couple more PC Zone scans for issues #41 and #44. Both of those are now available in full on here getting the archive past the halfway point in terms of scanning the first 110 issues. I also uploaded the cover CD for the first of those new issues while I was at it + the previously missing cover CD’s for #102. I’ll add another scan of my own soon but not before I settle a score with a certain Death Star.
I’ve not had time to play any more Freelancer so to tide over the baying legion of Origin fans, here is another review of Privateer 2 scanned from the February 1997 PC Home:-
It’s another great score for The Darkening. The reviewer has a point about trying to spot all the minor British actors in this game and figure out where you’ve seen them all before, I expect most of us over here would be guilty of that when playing this. I also like the description of Clive Owen given how his career went after this.
It seems that Chris Roberts can’t go anywhere these days without breaking servers. I was going join in his reddit AMA but it crashed about 30 seconds after I joined. Maybe Star Citizen is just too popular for its own good but it’s still not a bad bit of publicity and puts the trouble with the RSI site in context.
While I give it a chance to come back online, here’s a scan of a Privateer 2 review from the January 1997 PC Format:-
You may notice that while Wing Commander 4 got a rough ride for its copious use of FMV, massive budget and unoriginality, Privateer 2 gets universal praise despite being just as guilty in all departments. I’m sure the fact that it had a British cast has nothing to do with it…
I love both games of course although unlike the reviewer here, I’d regard the combat as one the weaker aspects. It definitely wasn’t the most expensive game ever made either, despite the line at the start, as Wing Commander 4 cost over twice as much. Privateer 2 was filmed before WC4 though (despite coming out later), so may have held the title at some point during production.
I scanned this in a couple of weeks back with the aim of posting it while I was away. That never happened but it’s finally making its way on here, a preview of Crusader No Regret from the November 1996 PC Format. It’s positive on the whole but takes the obligatory swipe at Wing Commander near the end:-
And from the same magazine a double-page Privateer 2 advert:-