Outpost 2 is a wake up call for gamers forced into their sleep chambers by the boring routine of colony management sported by the original Outpost. The plot is basically the same. Survivors from a dead Earth seek a new world. Only this time, the groups really hate each other.
At its heart, Sierra’s Outpost 2 is a top notch war game. It’s as good as Dune II and Command and Conquer, and your units are intelligent and highly detailed.
Outposts 2’s laser-equipped attack craft are much more fun to watch than Mars’ Pathfinder as their six wheels slowly spin and bump around the barren landscape. And like the movie Eraser, blue curly smoke spins behind shots fired from rail guns. A good user-interface lets players take the action as fast or as slow as they choose while mission by mission campaigns ease colony leaders to battle.
The game’s best feature is perhaps the most unique. Day slowly turns into night as the planet rotates. You can actually see the blurred line between light and darkness approaching. And with nightfall comes new tactics and increasing dangers. Real opponents over the Internet will turn their vehicle’s headlights off to slowly creep toward your base. And even the computer seems to increase its attacks as the sun falls over New Terra, the desert world you live on. Like in Aliens, they mostly come at night, mostly. The only escape is to install huge halogens around your compound. It’s best to sleep with the lights on.
Also both the Eden and Plymouth colonies you can control have competing philosophies, so the units they field are different based on those beliefs. Eden wants to conquer the new world with terraforming, Plymouth wants to live in harmony with the wasteland. There is still some colony management features like in the original, but that only goes to support your warmongering or defensive infrastructure.