Developer: 3000AD, Inc.
Battlecruiser: Millennium official page: http://www.3000ad.com/products/bcm.shtml
Battlecruiser. Oh how many vivid images that spawns to anyone who was involved in the gaming scene in the mid '90s. Everything from endless previews in paper magazines and the requisite pre-order forms in the ad sections, to colossal internet discussion on newsgroups and the web.
Lens flare doesn't cheer me up
That battlecruiser looks foreboding
Then, in 1996, all hell broke loose. The long-anticipated Battlecruiser 3000AD was released in beta form by Take Two Interactive, the publisher. Fans worldwide were shocked by the massively buggy release which wouldn't even play on most people's systems. If you were lucky enough to get it working, it crashed too often to be playable.
The backlash was quite likely the first of its kind - in medium, magnitude and sheer ferocity. Derek Smart, the controversial mastermind behind the game, fought the backlash. Through sheer tenacity and force of will, he managed to retain a good part of his original fanbase. He and his team released multiple patches that took Battlecruiser from an unplayable wreck to a fascinatingly complex game.
At the helm
As you can see, it's kind of slow at 1000 max speed
Though I had the chance to pick up the original version in the store at release, my close friend working there warned me off. For a long time afterwards, Battlecruiser was only a word I entered into search engines to find some of the best flame wars around. Then, out of the blue, I saw on a news site that a free, downloadable version was offered. It was fully patched and completely playable. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I downloaded and tried the game.
BC3000AD was like nothing I've ever played before. Take a complex game like Falcon 4.0, put it in space as a never-ending free-running simulation and enjoy. You start with an independent capital starship, some crew, some fighters, some inventory - and from there you can do whatever you want. If you wish to continue playing, all you have to do is keep the ship and its crew in one piece. Though hampered by its primitive interface, DOS-only environment, and dated graphics, the game was truly different and, for many people, enjoyable. However, it soon became clear that a major update was needed. Thus, work on Battlecruiser: Millenium began.
What's so special about it?
BCM is the first Battlecruiser to be fully compatible with Win9X. It has a better interface, multiplayer, new career options, improved graphics, a large selection of ships to choose from, a much larger galaxy and more faction/race options.