When the first Independence War game was released in 1998, it was lauded for its original design and innovative gameplay. Independence War's distinctive style justly garnered attention, despite competition from then-recently released games in each of the Wing Commander, X-Wing, and FreeSpace space-combat series. Yet while Independence War's novelty was refreshing, it wasn't infectious enough to prevent space sims from declining so significantly in popularity over the past couple of years that most major publishers have now abandoned the genre. So, like its predecessor, the new Independence War 2 faces a battle for attention--except this time it's a struggle to generate enthusiasm for its forsaken genre. Fortunately, Particle Systems has once again crafted an impressive game that deserves recognition.