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Independence War 2
Gorgeous graphics. Absolutely stunning. Easily the best graphics of any of the games I've played. The flight model is believably space-like, though easy to get used to for someone used to arcade models like myself. There's a healthy balance of combat vs. non-combat missions.

As I play this game more, I find it a little disappointing. The story line leaves you hanging sometimes, so you just have to fly around and be a pirate. The flight model gets more irritating the more I play it. Also, a couple of the Marauder missions seem dang near impossible without cheats. The method of enabling cheats in this game is by far the strangest I've experienced (You have to edit some of the games config files before launching it). Finally, Cal's character doesn't seem very convincing. Interaction between characters is minimal, and Cal seems distant and detached from everything around him. His motivations are hard to infer or connect with. There is a fiercely loyal community around this game on the Internet, and it's definitely worth of a look. Not everybody out there finds it as hard to get into as I do.

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