Happy Fifteenth Birthday, Freespace 2!

Y’all might be wondering, “Why am I wishing this particular game a happy birthday?”. Well, first off, it’s still the best game of its type. Secondly, thanks to the release of its source code and the resulting Freespace Open project, it’s still in active development (with many mods and total conversions that are just fantastical). Last but not least, it’s my all-time favorite game. ;)

The game didn’t light the world on fire back in 1999, but that was a result of bad timing and shifts in the gaming landscape, rather than through any fault of its own. Interestingly enough, the original game – Descent: Freespace – didn’t leave a huge mark on the genre. While it was really good, it was somewhat buried under many other releases of the day, and while it had a strong story, it didn’t quite have enough oomph to separate itself from the juggernauts of the day.

Then came Freespace 2, which not only built upon the modest success of the first game, but exceeded it in story, graphics, gameplay and features. I recall at the time that my own expectations were tempered a bit for the sequel, since the first game didn’t leave the biggest lasting impression on me. This might’ve worked in the sequel’s favor, as my lowered expectations allowed them to be blown away entirely by just how amazing every facet of this game is. From it’s amazingly-sized capital ships lancing through others with beam weapons, to the well-written friendly and enemy AI, to the amazing story to, ultimately, it’s incredible gameplay, Freespace 2 is still the game to beat so many years later, having set the bar so amazingly high.

It just amazes me that, fifteen years later, this game is still being improved upon, tinkered with, and also discovered by new fans. While I’m thrilled that there’s a resurgence in space gaming right now, and that games like Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen look to carry on the torch that was dim for so very long, I find it hard to fathom that these or any other game will match the sheer brilliance found in Freespace 2’s gameplay.

If you haven’t played the game yet, and have even the SLIGHTEST interest in this sort of thing, get it ASAP. Thanks for reading my little rant. :)

The Shivans are still the best adversary in any game.

They arrive. They kill. You never know why.

Bioware stole the idea and then explained everything and made it stupid, when the original was so much better executed.

15 year old spoilers, Bruce Willis is also dead

I mean they blow up a fucking star! Why? Who fucking knows?! They could and they did and you couldn’t stop them if you wanted to.

I bought this thanks to your gushing about it ages ago. I should really get back and at least finish the campaign, maybe this would be a good candidate for the game club!

Damn right. I love it, they’re just so…maddeningly creepy and scary.

And might you edit your post, please? I know it’s fifteen years old but people are still discovering this game and you kinda have a major spoiler in there.

Yes…yes you should…

Yeah the mystery of what happened to Bosch is one of the best mysteries in gaming. What did he say? What does he know? Where is he?

Also one of the few games to make me feel truly powerless and insignificant, particularly when the Ravana first arrives. And then… when other stuff happens.

<3 Freespace 2.

($10 on GOG or Steam)

God, right? There are times in this game I have fucking CRIED because I felt just so fucking helpless and powerless. AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT.

I still play Freespace 2 every year or so, at least partially. I think I’ve also played half a dozen user campaigns and a number of total conversions including BSG: Diaspora, the Babylon 5 game and Wing Commander Saga.

Happy birthday FS2!


slightly pees self

Still a great video 8 years later. It must be the appropriate song selection for the time period.

So, are you saying I should buy it? I don’t think I’m convinced yet…


Bastards, now I have to reinstall it and see if I can get some of those mods up and running to improve the gfx.

Still one of the finest fan videos around, if you ask me. I have an HD version saved so I can watch it on the HD TV.

You better already own it, son.

You’re goddamn right I own it! Don’t remember if I’ve beaten it though… definitely played the hell out of the first one though.

Damnit, now I’m going to have to find some time to go through them both in between Destiny and Shadow of Mordor.

Nah, you can skip the first one. It’s aaaallright, but the sequel is superlative.

And you haven’t posted it to YouTube… WHY?

It’s not already there?

100x480 resolution or something is the only thing on.

Alright, I’ll double check that I have it at home and upload it if so. (I’m 90% sure it’s there, I just can’t see it remotely.)