Freelancer (Windows)

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Written by  :  Riamus (8520)
Written on  :  Nov 17, 2003
Rating  :  4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great game, but too linear and too short...

The Good

The controls for the ships were one of the best parts of this game. To make a real-time space game easily be controlled without a joystick is not a simple task, yet that's exactly what this game does. I love to use a joystick, but this game had great controls without needing the joystick and that really helped. There aren't too many space sims out there that have good controls... and this is one of the top.

Graphics in the game were also very nice, though they could use some work in various areas. The fact that you can fly through a planet's rings is a first (as far as I know) in space games. Usually the rings are part of the background.

The missions themselves were very nicely done as well, though there were too few.

The Bad

The thing I disliked most in the game, and the reason I went from playing constantly to rarely touching the game almost instantly was the ending of the story. The story just stops and leaves you hanging. Perhaps there is meant to be a sequel or an expansion... if so, great! However, the ending of the story could have been handled better.

The game was too linear for what it was supposed to be. Sure, once the "game" ends, it is no longer linear and you can do anything you want. But for the main part of the game, it is very linear. In a game that is supposed to be so open, the game should allow you to start out and act in whatever manner you want and follow that in the story. For example, the advertising on the game says you can be a pirate and prey on unsuspecting ships. That's great.... but until you finish the story, you really can't choose that option. The same for if you want to be a trader... or anything other than a mercenary.

Multiplayer also could use work... Unless the server you are playing on stays running, you always start out at level 1. This makes advancing to high levels difficult unless you're playing on a stable server.

Also, for a game like this, I would expect most things to be destructible. After finishing the story, I wanted to act like a pirate and really go after the big stuff. First target I chose... a pirate base. I easily defeated their fighters (even the wave after wave that just come out of nowhere... which is unrealistic). But the base turns out to be totally invincible. What a let-down. The same goes for all bases and major ships other than mission-based ships. No taking out battleships in the game unless you're in a mission where there are battleships you can take out. Granted, that's not an easy target... but neither are the SDs and SSDs in the TIE Fighter/Xwing series of games and you could take them out if you were good at avoiding being hit.

The Bottom Line

This is a great game to play if you like Space sims. You will love the game until you finish the story and then you'll feel cheated. This game starts out as a great game with great potential, but it really feels like it was supposed to be completed at a certain time and they ran out of time, so they just threw together what was completed and sold it as-is.