This game is great! I think its the first 3DO game where the gameplay really shines above the (excellent) graphics. The terrain graphics are very good, admittedly a little mode-7ish around cities, but still better and smoother than strike commander on a high end pc. Thats not bad for a $400ish game console!
The gameplay is excellent. Fast and furious, with excellent control, no choppiness in sight.. what more could you want? Its one of those "Just one more try.." type of games that you end up playing for hours without realizing it. It really possibly is the best 3DO game yet.
I love following those light fighters as they twist and turn so smoothly.. its amazing. Seeing how fast and smooth Shockwave is, its a shame Super Wing Commander wasnt better.. if SWC had used polys for its ships instead of bitmaps, it would have been sooo much better now that I see what its like!
Its obvious from Shockwave the 3DO could do a pretty nice Microsoft-flight sim type of program. Hopefully someone will put in the effort and do it.
Oh, and the cinemas in Shockwave are great, too. Sure the acting is slightly cheesy, but its still pretty good, and the cinemas look great. They have a high production quality, and the best cinepak video Ive seen yet. Some of the scenes are nearly VHS quality. Outstanding. Others arent, but are still quite good.
The scary part is, from what Ive seen at CES road rash is even better!
Not that shockwave doesnt have a few faults, but those are minor: The save game/start game interface is somewhat non-intuitive, the sound for your ships laser is a little weak, and occasionally when you're near a large object some of the polys disappear. These faults are extremely minor compared to the fun-factor of shockwave.
A friend of mine liked the terrain-skimming effect of shockwave. In Total Eclipse he was always crashing into the terrain.. he played it for a short time and gave up in disgust. I showed him shockwave yesterday, and about two hours later he forced himself to stop playing :)