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Wednesday 26 February 2003

Freelancer [slim]

Gosh it's fun :) Reminds me a lot of Hardwar (remember us wooting about that all those years ago?) mixed in with a single player Earth and Beyond. You've got back story, places to visit on planets, trade, all the kind of things you'd expect from a modern elitealike. There's a load of background info around, and the news system keeps the plot nice and complex and also touches on the trading system too, giving suggestions on what might be welcome in certain areas, etc.
You can do all the other stuff you'd expect to, take missions and jobs, trade, buy equipment and buy new ships etc. Visuals are nice, but not cutting edge. Do the job though. Acting's actually pretty good too, amazing.
Seems to have three main modesof play. A plot mission mode, where you're doing stuff that advances yourself and the games plot, where you're fairly tightly on rails doing certain things. A freelancer mode where you can do what you like, and a mission mode where you've taken a mission and you're off to sort that out.
There are some oddities. Like generic scripts where you talk to people, they say this standard dialog acted out, then say 'here's what you're after' and you get a screen full of text. Bit cheap like, but I suppose it's needed if you've a huge amount of info/missions.
Flights a bit Earth and Beyondie too, but a bit more interactive thank god. You sort of point the mouse where you want to go and the ship follows. You can turn on regular flight too if you need to with a quick keypress, handy to switch between normal flight and combat like this. Combat is fun, nice and fast, old elite style silly phyisics dogfighty stuff rather than frontier, but it works well. Nice clear hud and targetting system too.
So far a woot, hope it stays that way.


  1. I'm really enjoying it so far. Mutliplayer seems to have a lot of potential. Its much like a mmorpg but on a small scale. The users host their own servers. Apparently the game can support upto 128 connections at one time but the recommended max is around 30->64. The server keeps all the info about the players.
    The only downside to this is that if a server you are playing on dies/gets removed then you lose your character. Its therefore probably wise that we organise our own private server before people get too involved.

  2. I like it to and I've desperately wanted a good game in this genre. I'm afraid my private jury is out on this game so far, they're still deliberating over the simplistic weapons system and how long the combat will remain fun. I almost had to disquality one of them for constantly pointing out how the graphics aren't up to EnB and bloody well ought to be since it's been in development for centures. We'll see...

  3. I was thinking about the weapons system today. On my heavy fighter I have 5 slots and 1 turret. My recommended power level is 2. The max 4.
    Now, I have 6 lvl 3 fast blasters and they sap all my power in no time. But I could have 4 lvl3 blasters in 1 weapons group for taking out fighters and then 2 lvl 4 Heavy (slow) blasters for capital ships.

  4. I use one of the shield zappers and 2 regular lasers. They're grouped so I don't fire the shield zapper when their sheilds are gone. Took me awhile to figure out how to do that.

  5. Yeah, its not the most intuitve of designs. They should have taken a leaf out of the rts's control scheme.
    I played quite a bit more last night. Went through some tuff missions and battles. I like the story, its quite involving and I'm always eager to want to do the next bit. In a way it makes it frustrating that you have to level between them before you can attempt them.

  6. Aye the missions in between the plot missions are a bit samey. I've been using those parts to explore the place and find spots for raising different factions, as the faction groups seem to hang out in particular bases. I've not really tried mining yet, trade is quite easy, with the game telling you where the best port to sell up is. There's probably better trade routes that are hidden from you though.

  7. I too have a love for this game which started back in the days of Privateer, X-wing, TIE Fighter, et al. A bunch of us played MP religiously when it first came out, and it of course found its way to the back of the hard drive once something new and exciting came out. Well, after a FPS overload, we once again have fired a server up if you guys are still interested in playing this gem.
    You can find us on the 'ManInTheFreelancer' server. Hope to see you there!