Day 125 – Privateer:Righteous Fire

Its straight on to another add-on pack but this is the last add-on that Origin ever released for any of their games. Privateer isn’t the most obvious game to get a mission pack as the story was pretty much complete in the original game and you’ve already built up your ship. The first game was one of my favorites in this blog so far, however, so I’m all for more of it. I would like to see a bit more originality than SC-Tactical Ops.

There is a new intro which is more than SC-TO had. It’s not up to the standards of the original but isn’t bad for a mission pack. My fancy Steltek gun that I spent the whole of the last game acquiring has been stolen so the aim of this game looks like getting it back again. This sounds a little dull for a major plotline but I expect there will be more to it.

I start off the game with no idea of where to go. I can import a savegame from Privateer so I carry over all my equipment and money. This means I start the game with a fully equipped Centurion + 140,000 credits. However, its not a fully equipped Centurion any more. There is quite a bit of new equipment available in this game – my ship will now take shield and energy generators 1 size larger, there is a new gun type out (fusion), speed enhancers, advanced repair droid, new armor, shield recharger, gun cooler, etc.. In short its possible to improve every single aspect of my ship with these new parts. They are however very, very expensive. E.g. the gun cooler is 300,000. To buy the lot I’m looking at somewhere over a million credits which is going to take a bit of privateering.

Using my money from the last game, I immediately improve my shields, armor and generator. Even without all the other new additions my ship is seriously powerful now. I randomly take missions and check out every bar I arrive at to see if there is a plot character there. When I arrive at Perry naval base after a cargo run I run into a familiar face who offers me work. It’s a paltry 10,000 credits but I’m sure I have to accept all plot missions.

I blow a few Kilrathi up and its back for the next mission which is more or less the same thing at a different nav point.

Back again and this time its a patrol mission.

I return successful once more and get a final mission, another patrol.

I encounter some sort of new craft on this one. They register as unidentified and refuse to communicate so I’ve no idea who they are. The ships don’t look Steltek (they don’t glow green) but they do look a bit alien as they are all curves. I blow them up but I’m none the wiser at the end of it. They are quite quick but not too tough.

Thats the last mission for now. For plot missions, I’m not much the wiser – all I know thats new is that there are some new ships in the system. I do get a final mission of sorts to kill a Governer Menesche but I don’t know where to find him. For now its back to the random missions and looking in every bar.

In Pentonville, Taylor (another of my employers from the last game) is still around and has work for me if I want it. Its a pitiful 10000 again but its a short run. I don’t remember the Sherwood system being in Privateer – the sector has been expanded somewhat in this game.

Tayla meets me at the other end and has more smuggling work for me. This time the payment is a little larger.

I complete the run and get another even better paid mission.

One final mission, smuggling Brilliance. Despite what she says the Pyranees system isn’t that far off and no further than the last missions destination. I don’t complain about the 40000 payment.

I land with the Brilliance and another old face is in the bar. This guy tried to kill me in the last game – it seems a bit out of character not to take revenge at this point. He doesn’t have any missions for me as such but he also wants this Menesche guy killed and will wipe my records if I do it. This will presumably mean that everyone in the sector will be on friendly terms with me if he does this and would make life a lot easier. He will also do it for 200,000 credits but I think I’ll pass on that one, I’m still trying to outfit my ship.

That leaves me jobless again and still no nearer finding my gun. I end up at Oxford and find more work there. Going to all my old haunts from Privateer seems to be the best bet for finding missions. This guy actually says he will introduce me to his friend who should help with finding my gun which makes him my first lead since I started. In the meanwhile I get to fly a series of low paid missions for him.

I land with the shipment of books and see Murphy in the bar, who also has missions for me. I expect she is paying better so I take her mission before flying back to Oxford.

Next up she wants me to bust a blockade. These are the easiest missions as I just have to afterburn to the planet when I get there. When I land the merchants guild here has two missions paying 15,000 each to deliver cargo to Oxford. This is far too much to turn down when I need to go there anyway so I head back there next.

The next Oxford mission is a simple 3 nav point patrol. The Oxford missions seem easier than the others – I guess I should have gone there first.

Next its another delivery to Junction. I’m near to Murphys location so I stop off there on the way back.

Murphy has another delivery mission for me. Like Tayla her payments are going up each time so I’m starting to pile up the cash.

Her final mission is a patrol of the Metsor system. This place only has 2 nav points so how hard can it be. As it turns out its pretty tough with several waves of fighters at each nav point + more of those unknown fighters to deal with on my way back. My ship is pretty well equipped by this stage though so I’m close to invulnerable.

I complete the mission and get my nice fat payout. Thats all the work for now but she is also after Menesche. If I ever get this guy I can just travel round collecting all the bounties.

I head back to pick up the rest of the Oxford missions. Next up is an escort mission – its strange just how few escort missions are in Privateer.

I have to kill off quite a few waves of Retros – I’m not sure how much damage the cargo ship takes but this strikes me as a tougher than average mission and it looked to be taking a lot of hits. I have to wait for the cargo ship to fly the whole way to the jump afterwards which is probably why there are so few protection missions. Wing Commander coped with escorts and wings of fighters so I’m not sure why this isn’t in Privateer.

I have another delivery to make to Perry next which will have to wait for another day.

I’ve done quite a few missions but I’m barely any nearer to finding my missing gun and I can’t really say there has been any plot as such. In many ways, Righteous Fire has all the same faults as Tactical Operations. Its very much a case of more of the same with little overall story.

However, the concurrent plot mission structure works well and is highly preferable to the structure used in Privateer. I’m taking out non-plot missions at the same time to try to increase my income on each run and I feel far more like a privateer as I’m then using the income to improve my ship. Privateers plot was kind of an extra to start after you had the games best ship, I much prefer this structure where I’m buying the new upgrades as I go along.

I’ve got most of the upgrades available at this point and own the armor, gun cooler, shield recharger + 2 fusion guns. There are still speed and thrust enhancers + an advanced repair droid available. I could also buy more neutron guns but I’m not sure this wouldn’t drain power too fast to be useful.

I’m thoroughly enjoying playing this but there isn’t enough originality so far. Trying to get the new upgrades and the fact that I liked the original so much are enough for RF to get away with this up to a point. I’d like to see the plot get moving a bit after I finish the Oxford missions.

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