Gonna send off a Christmas card to AEG (Freelancer, Derek :)

I just got Freelancer Beta in the mail.

(where’s the love icon when you need it?)

Are you under an NDA ?

Ya, let us know if you can. Is it total dumbed down crap or great? :)

No NDA, at least, none came with the package.

Dumbed down? Maybe only compared to the original vision, but it still seems like a huge title (not BC3K big, but it has more story content). I think they made some excellent design choices by putting in familiar nationalities like Americans (“Liberty”), English (“Breton”), Germans (“Rheinland”) etc.

The game is not nearly as dark graphically as I feared, and I’m quite impressed with small ship design. Capital ships are quite disappointing, both in size and style - but I’ve seen very little of the game so far. They’re certainly not the lethal FreeSpace 2 behemoths, which is a bit of a shame. In fact, they don’t even seem as dangerous as they did in Wing Commander III, IV and Prophecy. They’re more comparable to their WC2 brethren.

The control scheme really, really works. I think anybody who used a joystick would be proper fucked. The combination of ship-and-gun aiming would be totally unwieldly with the happy shaft (I claim copyright on that last phrase. I’m saving it for the review :D .)

At any rate, it’s certainly a lot closer to Privateer than the disappointing Independence War 2 was. I really look forward to messing around with the faction system.

[edit]Oh, and the writing cycles between awful and good. Any time you interact with a character for news or a mission, it feels like you’re being bludgeoned to death without even a conjured plot device to cushion the blow. What’s really fantastic is the personal log your character keeps… it covers everything. Then there are news snippets - it really feels like a live world sometimes.[/edit]

  1. How the hell did you get ahold of it?
  2. I dont really care about the joystick (I still love my handy/cheap keyboard and mouse combo).
  3. I’m glad about the log.
  4. So how is the story (when you have played a little longer)
  5. More comments please! :) I am looking forward to this a little more now after your comments…
  1. AEG (one of MS Games’ PR contractors) sent me a copy.

  2. That’s good, though even if you cared I don’t imagine you’d miss it.

  3. Story is really good, as far as games go. It’s got a nice mystery to keep you wondering what’s going on. I don’t want to spoil it, but it looks like it has a few twists left. I can guess at it, but there are a few potential red herrings… so I’d rather not =] I’m quite impressed. I’m really surprised I haven’t felt the need to mess around yet.

  4. I like the way the random missions are done. Yeah, they’re cookie-cutter and the variety isn’t that great, but at least the game manages to mix it up a bit. Such as you get to your waypoint but the target isn’t there, and you have to fight off some enemies before you get an updated waypoint. Just remember to not think too hard about how your employer always manages to know the latest location of your targets :D

It runs great. Very few bugs, performance is fantastic. I just had my first major battle (comparable to the typical FreeSpace 2 strike on a capital ship) at 1024x768 in a nebula (no, not as fancy as FS2’s), with 4X FSAA on and it ran silky-smooth on a 2GHz Willamette with a GF4 4200 OTES.

There are these… gateways that speed your travel through a system, they’re a bit like highways. Problem is that pirates and rogues attack them, disrupting your travel - way too often (I’ve had only 5 or 6 non-plot trips that weren’t interrupted). It’s cool to see casual traffic coming through them as well, and you even have to wait for a docking/landing spot sometimes.

I’m bothered a bit by a few things I expected. Factions are in the game but they’re not represented properly. Either you encounter them in space, or at a bar. If your relations with the faction are low, they won’t talk to you in the bar. But the Bounty Hunters don’t have a guild, nor is there a merchant’s guild or anything like that. =/ You still get missions from factions, by looking at postings in the bar or talking to people.

Jakub,

Factions are in the game but they’re not represented properly. Either you encounter them in space, or at a bar.

Well, the game is kind of split into space and bars (i.e. interiors), so, yes. I’m pretty sure every installation is affiliated with a faction. If they don’t like you, you can’t dock. If they like you enough, they’ll fight anyone who attacks you. If they really like you, I believe their installations will give you better missions, equipment, and information. And, of course, if they hate you, they’ll attack you when they see you.

But the Bounty Hunters don’t have a guild, nor is there a merchant’s guild or anything like that. =/

There sort of are mechants guilds, in that each corporation is a faction. Some of them are conglomorates (e.g. the Farmer’s Alliance), which might be considered regional merchants guilds.

As for the Bounty Hunters, they kind of are a guild. If you find one of their installations (I’ve only found Daschi Station, which is just inside the southern edge of Kusari, immediately N of Kepler or Galileo, I think), and if they like you enough, you can buy some pretty sweet weaponry from them. I don’t have a broad enough familiarity with all the hardware yet, but Bounty Hunter guns seem to do a fair amount of damage for their fast rates of fire. My Kusari Dragon (which was a bitch to get!) has some Bounty Hunter guns that I have no intention of replacing anytime soon.

 -Tom

Sounds good. Is the game very freeform or has it taken a turn to be more linear? And please keep the comments coming. Very interesting.

Right. That’s not exactly what I meant by representation. I know that when you go up to people and talk to them, if their faction owns the station you’re on, you’ll hear about it. What I meant was having an actual guild office or something where you can visit. Privateer felt fuller thanks to the Merchant/Merc guilds.

There sort of are mechants guilds, in that each corporation is a faction. Some of them are conglomorates (e.g. the Farmer’s Alliance), which might be considered regional merchants guilds.

As for the Bounty Hunters, they kind of are a guild. If you find one of their installations (I’ve only found Daschi Station, which is just inside the southern edge of Kusari, immediately N of Kepler or Galileo, I think), and if they like you enough, you can buy some pretty sweet weaponry from them. I don’t have a broad enough familiarity with all the hardware yet, but Bounty Hunter guns seem to do a fair amount of damage for their fast rates of fire. My Kusari Dragon (which was a bitch to get!) has some Bounty Hunter guns that I have no intention of replacing anytime soon.

 -Tom

Wow. You’ve really been around. :D I’m still hanging around in Liberty space, following the plot and doing odd jobs.

Like GTA3 or Privateer, it can be either. You choose when you follow the plot or leave it alone. Except for the first mission, that is.

That sounds good to me. Actually, I think that is the best way to do it. Free enough that you can have fun and mess around but not so much that you end up not knowing what to do. Please keep the excellent comments coming (or you could just accidently mail me a burned copy…) :D

heh, with those specs, I should bloody well hope that its silky smooth at that res and 4x FSAA :roll:

ps: I had no idea that this thread was about Freelancer until someone referenced it over at GG. Whats the matter with you? You think we click on every headline around here? :D

I like and dislike what I hear/read but… you are compairing Freelancer to FreeSpace2 a lot. I just started to play FS2 and don´t know so much of it but your opinnion… Is there one better that the other, and why!? You said about those “big” ships, and I agree that big should be BIG, and dangerous, but is there more you could compair with FS2.

New update:

I called the game progression too early. It isn’t quite freeform, like Privateer. A better comparison is the original GTA3, where you unlock the game by doing missions. Your leveling is generally based on your net worth, but when you achieve a certain level the game makes the next level earned by a mission. New areas (and thus, new equipment) are also unlocked by completing missions. It works really well, but I am a touch disappointed that I can’t have a free hand from the start.

The reason they do it is to keep the player’s power at a controllable level throughout the campaign. So don’t expect to go around like you did in Privateer, abusing the first half of a game with a fully tricked out Centurion. Every area you go to has better ships. Liberty ships blow chunks, Bretonian are a touch better, the (Kurasi? … Japanese) are even better and if the pattern continues, the Rheinland craft will top that.

Still, I suspect that there will be a great deal to do after I’m finished the campaign. There are hints that each side also has ships that the player doesn’t see when he first goes there.

Oh that’s right. I forgot to call out “Derek Smart” 3 times :P

I don’t know about my system specs. It seems very much an entry-level box and there are games (AC2, UT2K3) that don’t run all that hot on it with everything turned on. Too bad this thread got mentioned on GG… last thing I want is somebody lifting my comments and assuming these are my final thoughts before I write up a preview.

FS2 is a Wing Commander style game. You’re a faceless goon in a navy, you do your job and that’s it.

Freelancer is more like Privateer. You have a free hand, you can roam around at will, buy stuff, sell it, steal it… whatever.

The reason why I bring up FS2 is because it is the definitive space shooter. It has massive capital ships, those same ships are very lethal to smaller craft. It made use of beam weapons, what felt like hundreds of turrets… and it was very sim-like. In short, it redefined the space shooter genre.

Now while Freelancer isn’t quite the same kind of game as Freespace 2, it has the same setting and would have benefited from lifting a few ideas from FS2. Like - ship size, beam weapons, etc. I was exaggerating when I said that the capital ships were as easy to take down as in Wing Commander 2, but they’re not as cool as Freespace 2’s by any stretch of the imagination. A basic destroyer in FS2 dwarfs battleships in Freelancer.[/quote]

I am a touch disappointed that I can’t have a free hand from the start.

You can do an endrun around all that story junk capping your progression: just set up a multiplayer game and play it single player. The game world is wide open and you don’t have to jump through mission hoops.

I got about half way through the single player campaign before deciding to bail and just play it as a freeform character builder. Because your level is apparently based on your financial value (!?), I’ve had a rollercoaster ride from 16th level to 1st level back up to 18th level and back down to 1st level. Now I’m 17th level and I’ve learned to stop taking chances with risky runs.

 -Tom

Oh really? I didn’t realize your value actually went down. I thought once you hit a level, you were safe.

I’m really disappointed in the value that illicit goods get. For the risks I took trying to bring drugs from an Outcast outpost to New Tokyo, I certainly expected significant dividends. =/

Thanks for the multi-singleplayer tip, btw :)

Any possibility a real freeform mode will be added (I really doubt it, but no harm in asking). So is the story good? Keep you interested? Thanks for answering questions. :)

Any possibility a real freeform mode will be added

The “multiplayer” is real freeform. You just create a server and play a character on it. You don’t even have to open it up to multiplayer connections if you don’t want to.

Also, once the story missions are done, you can keep playing. Digital Anvil says they’ve left plenty of room for advancement and exploration after the story ends.

 -Tom

Story is pretty good.

Too bad it takes a bit of a typical “computer game” twist. They had much better possibilities with the plot than the cliche they came out with.

I honestly did not expect the game to have such a strong storyline.

Strong storyline is good. Can someone post a link to a good summary of the games features (a little more specific than the basic 40 hours of gameplay, 4million weapons with 4 functioning crap)? Thanks in advance.