SummaryNot all the free-lancing one would expect...
The GoodGraphics were very nice and very detailed. Controls were extremely polished. Simple, yet functional and fit the game very well (not too many functions to memorize makes it easy to master). Being able to fight and trade for money and buy better ships/weapons is great, and this game allows it (to some extent). The universe is big and well-crafted.
The BadFor the kind of game it set out to be it's way too linear. Being tied to the storyline means the game chooses when to upgrade your ship (you have to travel to certain systems and planets, and can't go back. And if you don't buy a specific kind of fighter the missions become impossible to pass). All the way, even when you're set free from the storyline after completing the final mission, the game suffers from a felling of "been there, done that", only the ships and weapons change names and get more expensive. There is no "aspiring for the dream-machine" in this one, and it takes out all the magic from it. Storyline is not good, yet well executed. But character interaction is ridiculous (again, suffering from the same problems as before).
The Bottom LineDo not confuse this one with a Privateer-clone. It is a space simulation with a "freelancing" excuse. Look for other Privateer titles or a copy of Nomad, if trading and open-ended play is what you're looking for.