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Spaceships Ahoy: Freelancer

The Ultimate Space Adventure Begins As PC Game Freelancer Hits Store Shelves is the press release announcing that Digital Anvil's eagerly awaited space game. Here's the skinny: "With 'Freelancer,' players can embark on an epic space adventure that puts them in the space pilot's seat as never before. "Freelancer," developed by Digital Anvil and Microsoft Game Studios, enables gamers to experience the adrenaline rush of fast-action combat with the engrossing story of a dynamic living universe. Players assume the identities of a variety of characters -- from crafty traders and naval officers to galactic explorers and bounty hunters -- and those identities determine which allies and enemies players will encounter in the game."

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76. Re: colon Mar 14, 2003, 02:06 colon
 
will do - see u next now sc4r4b

 
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75. Re: colon Mar 13, 2003, 09:58 sc4r4b
 
Well I am glad that we could turn this into a real discussion. Now it is up to the masses to form their own opinion on Freelancer.

Also, let us know how EVE turns out. I am sure if you dig it I will too.

Later.

 
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74. Re: colon Mar 13, 2003, 04:09 colon
 
sc4r4b

yeah, i can dig the whole MS v Linux boredom. as a coder i don't like MS's work, and as a professional i both admire and despise their business practices. but like you, it's not an issue i can be bothered debating much anymore.

funny you should mention Eve - i am also beta testing it. it is a bit wobbly atm - as you can imagine, and whilst i actually love the whole cruising around aimlessly thing, i can understand how your friend might find it tedious - especially in the beta - because sometimes it is. no doubt once it gets pumped full of life and sweating bodies, it will be become much more alive. hope so.

i agree that historically most games have been linear, or had a strong linear element, and in truth, for most games that's not a bad thing at all. and yes, there would no doubt be an uproarious protest if everything started coming out without any logical progression - ok, i might like that (although not always), but most people would hate it.

as for the game developers, look i don't fault them for choosing the route that fills their pockets and feeds their children - that makes perfect sense. people who ignore the bottom line end up in one of two ways - broke or without bottoms.....

but i do wish that games would either live up to the hype, or moderate the hype that they do use. i also believe that really well coded games can incorporate both linear and truly open-ended play (ie, to the extent that I was expecting). i don’t think it would have taken too much more to push this game over the edge into the ‘Elite’ class – and for that i guess i’m disappointed and dismayed that the people in question didn’t stick to their guns and make it clear that, in development terms, there wouldn’t have been much more to spend to do it fully.

i know you (and many others) find Freelancer’s scope pretty good, and there’s no doubt that it goes further than most games of its genre in that aspect – just not enough for me – or at least, as I said, not enough in respect to what i was led to believe from the initial hype.

so i agree that most people will probably like the game, and that it will no doubt give them many hours of entertainment. but for me, it’s still a steaming pile of organo-phosphate in the making – when measured against my hype driven expectations – and I would urge anyone with the same expectations to avoid it at all cost :p~

and yes maybe I am harsh in my criticism of the ‘dull masses’, but I do so hate the almost simian standards of the participants in the general consumer culture – because they’re brought up not to have high expectations of very much at all. i don’t point individual fingers here, just at the amorphous mass that really doesn’t care about quality, direction or integrity.

i’d add a postscript to that however, and say that I don’t include in this definition any of the people that have posted here and proffered an actual opinion - because whether I agree or not, at least they’ve thought about it and made a decision that belongs to them and not to the aforementioned culture of ‘who cares’. i suppose i invoke the age old ‘agree to disagree’ (but only after they’ve been served, and rejected, my data – one has to try :p).

--BTW I am not trying to change your opinion... I am just trying to provide you with some "new data--
heheh - it’s true that i haven’t run into many people who have changed my opinions (on anything), but I’m always willing to listen :p

actually i’m impressed that we’ve kept this forum open even after it has migrated to a less public place :p

anyway, have a good one

re 72 – hebrew_national

oops – heheh. services will be held at an ip near you :p

(ps: i’m glad you clarified that acronym, i was going to cry for a moment there :p~)


 
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73. Re: colon Mar 12, 2003, 17:14 sc4r4b
 
Yeah after I re-read your post I could see how you were directing the loser comment toward the game producers... Which is why my reply said "I must have misunderstood..."

I too am burned out on the "Microsoft sucks" topic which is why I said... "why fight it?" That is a topic I just don't care about. I never said I didn't like Linux... From what I here it is a great firewall. j/k

Don't get me wrong I wasn't trying to change anyones opinion I just like a good debate.

And yes you were/are consistent. I never thought otherwise.

About the Freelancer plot/story being the backbone of the game...

I think this is a situation (like the mouse control) where the Freelancer developers were trying to appeal to a broader audience.

For instance, a friend of mine is currently beta testing EVE (Which its Devs tout as being inspired by Elite.) right now. He seemed like he wasn't really enjoying the experience.

So I asked him, "Is it boring?"

He replied, "Yeah... and I have no clue what to do most of the time..... I need some kind of clear goal in game... just going around aimlessly is pointless..."

My point is that I think some gamers have to have goals set out for them for motivational purposes. For the past 30 years we have been playing games (not games all but a majority) which have set goals and now we are reaching a point where the games don't necessarily have to have goals but a lot of gamers are accustomed to that formula.

I don't believe we should fault the game or the developers for trying to make the game more appealing to a broader audience. They need to make a living.

Not to mention that once you complete the game the entire Freelancer universe is open for the user. Also, users can hack some of the .ini files to bypass the SP experience if they wanted to.

BTW I am not trying to change your opinion... I am just trying to provide you with some "new data."

Take it easy.

 
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72. Re: please wake up Mar 12, 2003, 09:43 hebrew_national
 
I designate Colon as our official bluesnews A.F.E

[Anti-Freelancer Evangelist]



 
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71. Re: please wake up Mar 12, 2003, 02:30 colon
 
about people identifying with things too strongly – i think it’s good when people Identify with things, it shows ownership of opinion – and that’s good. but I strongly agree that it’s immature to take criticism of the subject matter as direct criticism of self – the only people who do that are people with no self-confidence.

being critical of opinions is just an equation, people shouldn’t take offence, they should analyse the opposing equation and see if it merits altering their own, if it does, fine, if it doesn’t then appreciate it for what it is – something that serves to enforce their own opinion. taking things personally is a fools errand.


 
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70. Re: colon Mar 12, 2003, 02:29 colon
 
re 59 sc4r4b

actually, if you look at the context, i think you will find i was referring to the game producers, and not the gamers - hence 'technical abilities aside' (vis-a-vis - coding abilities, which are obviously there). as far as i'm concerned, 'losers' is still an apt description.

i agree with you that the game is not appalling, and as i have reiterated, if my level of expectation hadn't been raised with the 'Elite' hype, i wouldn't have been annoyed - but on the 'Elite' plane, the game is pathetic. the difference is in the expectation level, that's all. that's the only way our opinions differ.

actually, yes, there are several MS goons standing over every MS game factory, but that's by the by. they also hide in the vending machines - that's why the coders can't ever get anything but coke and mars bars. But ytes, of course, DA is also responsible, there’s always a choice.

as for MS OS/necessary evil - well i'll tell you what i think about that.....ah, rhetorical, bugger. personally i run linux on every boxen except one - which i run XP on for games - so yes atm, most games require MS. but that's another long lived thread not for this place :p

ps: oh yeah, i said i would rather people express their opinions rather than say nothing - that doesn't mean i wont hammer them if i disagree - that's what opinions are for. i'm equally happy to have someone attempt to do the same to me - and more than happy to argue it to the logical end.

i don't think opinions should be pliable, because it’s a waste of time and a contradiction in terms – and a betrayal of self. i don't respect people who change their opinions because of someone's persuasiveness - i think the only time an opinion should be modified is when you receive new data that you didn't have before, and decide on the basis of the new data, to reappraise you view.

so as far as i'm concerned opinion=self. in fact that's a tautology by my way of thinking. i guess that may be why you thought i was being inconsistent by criticising peoples opinions whilst at the same time saying that i respect peoples opinions.

when you think about it, i really am being perfectly consistent.

pps: re story/plot lines – i agree, plot can be great, i just don’t see why it has to be the backbone of a game, so when it plays out, to all intents and purposes, so does the game.

anyway, always good to trade posts.


re 67& 68 ditto

re 60 & 61 yup, as i said in my first post, it’s a capitalistic driven system and that really explains it all. companies will do only that necessary to generate $ and no more – and in a capitalistic sense, that’s perfect sense. doesn’t mean that it’s good, just predictable.

where it falls down, and where they have no excuse is, as others have noted, is in the fact that it takes a millennia for them to actually release a game – games which on the quality of their release should have taken a 10th of the time to code and go gold.

sure there are reasons for it, swapping coders between projects, treading the technological windmill trying to keep abreast of changes in hardware/competitors releases etc. but basically it’s bad business planning, and bad management.

there is ample of scope for things to change, to encourage producers to take a real interest in the level of depth in their games, but that’s for another discussion.

 
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69. Privateer Mar 11, 2003, 14:56 Dwarf_Snowninja
 
All this talk about Privateer made me want to play it again. In case anyone else runs into problems with getting it to run, try this
http://abandonloader.gamport.net/Abandon_Loader_08b.exe

 
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68. Breathe, breathe... Mar 11, 2003, 10:47 kindle139
 
***POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT***

After reading most of the comments in this thread, and having completed the game and 'maxed out' my character I decided to add my two cents.

To let you know about my biases I'll tell you a little about my background and expectations pertaining to Freelancer. I haven't played a flight game since Wing Commander 2 and I'm not a fan of the genre. And I didn't really have anything to compare it to as far as other space flight sims are concerned.

I played the demo and I found it addictive and fun. It promised the freedom to do what I wanted and go where I wanted to go. It seemed to have depth and a high replay value, things I consider important in a game. However, I now see that Freelancer is shallow in it's attempt to create an interactive world in which the character has any meaningful impact.

Combat is visually impressive but tactically barren, as it basically consists of moving your mouse cursor over the crosshair and holding down on the fire button. When the computer says 'shield failure' you re-charge your shields. When it says 'missle locked' you fire off a counter-measure. When the enemy hits the afterburners and runs, you do the same and pursue.

While not an inherantly poor system, my main beef is that rather than increase the tactical depth as the missions progress, the designers choose to instead increase the amount of damage that ships can deal or absorb. In other words, instead a level 20 opponent being smarter than a level 2 opponent, he will have bigger guns and stronger shields. While progressing through the game I noticed very little development in AI tactics or strategy.

Other than during the scripted missions, where you will constantly face overwhelming odds, there are few chances for the AI to kill you as long as you loosely follow the plotline.

Why one would need to be a certain level to buy a particular piece of equipment is beyond me. The argument that it is in order to keep up with the story reveals a lack of designer vision and a confusing about what game they're making. A game cannot be both open-ended and contrived in the same way at the same time. A simple solution to this problem would be to implement a 'challenge-rating' system in which the strength or numbers of the ships dynamically changes with the character's level. I cannot imagine that this would be difficult to implement given the shallowness of AI space combat tactics.

Another thing that seems a little silly is that because leveling up requires you to further the plot, and furthering the plot requires you to move to different parts of the galaxy, some systems have stronger or weaker enemies than other parts. For example, you start off in the Liberty system and you will never EVER encounter an enemy ship above, say, level 5 because once you reach level 5 you move on to Bretonia. And, in Bretonia, you will never encounter an enemy ship above level 10 because once you reach level 10 you move on to Kusari.

However, you don't have to follow the scripted story, because Freelancer is open-ended, right? While technically true, this is a misleading statement. You [ian[/i] go wherever you want from an early point. But pratically, this isn't an option.

You [ian[/i] go to a system you aren't 'supposed' to (as in you can physically fly there assuming that you survive), but when you get waylaid by pirates you will be utterly destroyed. The reason you will be destroyed is because their numbers are higher than yours. Meaning, they have Uber-weapons compared to yours. The only way to combat this is to purchase Uber-weapons yourself. But the only way one can purchase Uber-weapons is to level up, and the only way one can level-up is to further the plot. So much for freedom.

Although, to the game's credit, once you complete the story you can continue playing and exploring.

I think that this is sufficient to show the type of game that this is, broad in scope but shallow in depth. The sheer volume of things to do is incredible, but ultimately it turns out to be just a few concepts repeated ad nauseum. There are about 40 systems, though each is pretty much the same. There are about 50 factions, though they all act the same. You can be a pirate or a bounty-hunter, but that just determines who you will kill and where you will dock. There are thousands of jobs, but not more than six different ones, which in turn are essentially all the same execution missions. There are dozens of commodities to ship, but the return on your investment is only a function of distance. There are hundreds of planets and space-stations, but they all provide the exact same services. There are dozens of unique NPC's, but they all say the same thing. As for a 'dynamic living universe'... that term is so vague as to defy examination. It sure doesn't mean that the world changes in any permanent way. There is no supply and demand or economy and there isn't any shift of power amongst the factions.

So while there is a great deal of variety and a ton of things to do, there is little depth to them, and in the end if feels as though I'm being tricked. I've heard that this game took over 4 years to develop. I don't see how that is possible unless they invested a lot of time into making 'cut and paste' game developing look like an amalgamation of unique portraits.

After all that negativity...

Freelancer is pretty fun the first run through. The story isn't original but it keeps you guessing until about 2/3 of the way through when it falls back on cliches and ho-hum plotlines. And the voice acting during the cutscenes is pretty darn good. The music, during some of the 'chase scenes' is awesome, and adds to the atmosphere of the game.

It also looks really pretty. Combat is full of explosions and lazers and missles and all sorts of fun stuff. Fighting in an asteroid field, dodging asteroids, shooting down baddies, and seeing a distant nebulae looks very nice. Buying new ships is fun and highly addictive, though they could have done so much more in gun and turret design.

It also runs really fast at high resolutions with full effects on a two-year old system. I think that's just swell.

As far as a 'dynamic' universe it is alive in the sense that you see cargo ships flying to their destination with their escorts, police patrolling the trade lanes and scanning you for contraband, and pirates fighting the police or merchants. You even overhear conversations between the various ships. And though they're always the same, they do reflect what's actually going on in the world at that moment.


As for unrealistic flight, I don't think that this inherantly matters one way or the other. If it works and it's well-implemented I think it's irrelevant. But if you're expecting a flight-sim you'll be sorely disappointed.

I can definately smell the stink of Microsoft on this one. The biggest letdown is that they created this HUGE world and made it different and varied in only superficial ways. If they would have kept the same world and invested more time in a better missions system, and a longer plot with more sub-plots it would have been a LOT better. It's particularly unfortunate that they didn't do this because it wouldn't have required that much more of an effort to do.

Also, I don't care if it's a complex game or not, complexity and depth aren't the same thing. So please don't dismiss my review/critique by labeling me as an egghead. Chess is a simple game, but it's beauty lies in the fact that given a few simple rules there is great depth of play. This game has taken a different approach, complex rules but little substantive variation of play.

(Do you understand the theme of my review?)

So, should you buy this game? It depends on your tastes. It's not 'diablo-like' in it's intensity but in its reward system and lack of tactical depth. I'd say that if you liked Dungeon Siege a lot you'll love Freelancer. If you like Civilization 3 and Deus Ex you probably won't play it after you beat the single player campaign.

Creston- I never got attacked by waves of pirate ships other than in a mission, does this happen frequently, or was it just that one time? You may have been in-between two warring pirate bases, which constantly spawn new fighters.

Also, you can be a smuggler but you will have to use the jump holes and kill enemies enough pirate enemies to make the pirates like you but not so much as to make the police hate you. Or, kill a faction that is the enemy of both the police and the pirates. Early in the game, though, it's not really practical to be a pirate.

Hebrew_national: Amen to post #67

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 10:59.
 
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67. Re: X2: The Threat Mar 11, 2003, 10:39 hebrew_national
 
I think the main issue here that some of the more hardcore players notice, and I hope someone agrees, is that it shouldnt take the ungodly amount of time it took to produce a story driven game like Freelancer. 99% of the engine development etc is based on open-endedness that we never truly see.

From my experience w/freelancer...Most of the open ended aspects of Freelancer and the AI contained therein are never exposed in a way that adds to the gameplay and/or enjoyment .

I stand by my opinion that you could have created a game w/99% of the experience Freelancer currently provides [which is obviously shallower than many wanted] w/out the insane amount of time spent on the engine/game. I think there are two main reasons this happens-

a) The focus of the game and or control over its direction changes multiple times during development, as well as the ownership of the core assets

but more importantly-

b) Programming/producing games currently just takes too fucking long for the results you get. Game developers constantly have to recreate the wheel so many times during development it becomes a certainty that over a certain amount of time that your team changes and therefore your control over the original vision and/or scope of the game is altered multiple times. [again, adding to the length of development time and exacerbating that "vicious circle"]

In this case, the negative aspects of that reality far outweigh the positive ones.


[I just wanted to add again for those who never read my posts below, i am not knocking freelancer, i think its a solid game for what it is]

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 10:40.
 
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66. X2: The Threat Mar 11, 2003, 08:57 Praetor Judis
 
Has anyone checked out the info on X2: The Threat from Egosoft? For that matter, has anyone played the first game? It looks extremely intriguing.  
*gniltrohc yawa srednaw*
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65. No subject Mar 11, 2003, 03:19 wasrad
 
Yes, this is EXACTLY what being part of Microsoft, or Electronic Arts, or Infogrames does to a developer. A "producer" is assigned to your team from the publisher, and the PRODUCER is in charge of what goes into the game and what doesn't. And since the producer represents the company that pays your rent and your food, you as a game developer simply bend over and take it up the tailpipe, even when you fucking KNOW that they are raping your game into oblivion because of said producers "knowledge of what the gamer wants", or some mindless bullshit that they spout in order to justify creating crap games.

Why, exactly, do you think Chris Roberts LEFT the studio he founded even BEFORE it had released its first game, the one game he said he had ALWAYS wanted to make? Because he got bored with it? Or because he got fed up with that fucker from Microsoft ripping his game to shreds?





This is what is happening to EVERY game now a days.

 
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64. A kinder gentler end Mar 11, 2003, 00:52 Stolk
 
I've been playing Freelancer non-stop the last 2 days. Although it has a few quirks, it is truly a great game.

 
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63. Re: Ahhh Freelancer Mar 10, 2003, 23:44 Creston
 
"Also calling the game mediocre for not allowing you to get a lvl 30 ship from the start and thus keeping all your enemies challenging, what's that about? would you rather be allowed a top level ship and weapons so that every enemy was killable in one or two shots? im pretty sure you'd be here complaining it was boring then. "

Eye,

This is very true, however, in OPEN ENDED gameplay (as Microsoft and Digital Anvil have been hyping this game for four years), something as simple as this SHOULD just be possible. Also, yes, it MIGHT get boring, or it might just be what I like to do. Games such as these have always been about being the kickass guy with the kickass ship that you played 50 hours for to get. Putting a hard cap on just how GOOD you can get by virtue of their fucked up level up system is in my opinion a stupid POS idea.
If this is what I WANT to do, then this is what I should be ALLOWED to do. If a game FORCES me to stick to what IT conceives is a good "progression" path, then all talk of open ended gameplay is just fucking smoke.

In Privateer, for example, they kept the "challenge curve" pretty well up there until you finally had that fighter with the top of the line mods, THEN you became untouchable. But it did NOT implement this challenge by virtue of a goddamn hard cap. It simply put nasty ass pirated out there in space, and if you ran across them with your hunk of junk, you had better hope to run away quick (or simply hand over your cargo). Notice how in Freelancer you never meet anyone who is much LESS than you are, but also never someone who is much stronger than you are? You ALWAYS meet those pirates that are about the same level.
If you want to talk about boring, just how fucking boring is THAT? Especially since DA decided that being attacked by a couple of strong pirated every now and then wouldn't be fun, no man, the real fun comes from WAVES OF EIGHT PIRATES EVERY FIFTEEN SECONDS! Or eight bounty hunters who always call for reinforcements! Reinforcements that are, ofcourse, only ten seconds away, even though you are flying in the ass end of space (read : The Dublin system) approximately 120.000 clicks from the nearest jump point. Hey, no need to explain that, there are simply more bounty hunters flying here!

And as for your "Unique weapons", yes yes, I've seen those level 20 and beyond weapons. They are SOOOO awesome. Yawn. They are, quite simply, the EXACT same gun as all those level 1 guns you started out with, simply with some damage upgrades. They have the same specs, the same range, the same speed, the same strenghts vs this type of shield and same weaknesses vs this type of shield (which, in itself, is a stupid thing to put in the game since you never have any idea what kind of enemies you are going to come up against, MUCH LESS what kind of shield they are using..), so they are not UNIQUE like the alien cannon was in Privateer, or at least LOOKING unique like the .... can't remember the name of it, the new "only sold in two places" cannon from Righteous Fire.

I think my biggest gripe with Freelancer is this : Privateer came on six fucking FLOPPY DISKS (or 9 if you counted the expansion pack, and 11 if you counted the speech pack, damn did Origin milk gamers in those days..), and it had a SHITLOAD more content than Freelancer does.
I have YET to see a random mission in Freelancer that does not follow this setup :

From : {Company Name, so you'll make us happy, and piss off {three other company names}}
Objective : There are a group of {Pirate name} located in sector {Take random sector in current system}. Kill them.
Reward : {Randomize between 3000 and 6000 credits}

That's it. That's the scope of the "well over three thousand random missions!!!!!".
No trade missions. No ferrying missions. No investigation missions. No escorting missions. ALL of these were in privateer. Also, in Privateer, you could take on multiple missions at the same time. Runs from New Detroit to a little outpost somewhere (can't remember it's name) delivering cargo, and taking three of them at the same time was a sweet little goldmine.
No such option in Freelancer.

Bah. Microhacks.

Creston

PS : "Basically, we as gamers will have to eventually step up to the plate and do something about this ourselves. We need to make clear the desire for ADVANCED games, not SIMPLISTIC games. Games DESIGNED to be complex and insanely deep - games made for "advanced gamers".

Amen : Go buy Deus Ex : Invisible War when it comes out!!!

PS part Deus : "Do you really believe there is a Microsoft Goon standing there telling DA how to make their game?"

Yes, this is EXACTLY what being part of Microsoft, or Electronic Arts, or Infogrames does to a developer. A "producer" is assigned to your team from the publisher, and the PRODUCER is in charge of what goes into the game and what doesn't. And since the producer represents the company that pays your rent and your food, you as a game developer simply bend over and take it up the tailpipe, even when you fucking KNOW that they are raping your game into oblivion because of said producers "knowledge of what the gamer wants", or some mindless bullshit that they spout in order to justify creating crap games.

Why, exactly, do you think Chris Roberts LEFT the studio he founded even BEFORE it had released its first game, the one game he said he had ALWAYS wanted to make? Because he got bored with it? Or because he got fed up with that fucker from Microsoft ripping his game to shreds?

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 00:03.
 
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62. My Take Mar 10, 2003, 22:43 Wynder
 
I've been gaming for a damned long time -- I played the original Elite on the C64, Privateer, just about every WC game, TradeWars... you name it.

Yes, Freelancer does have some redeeming aspects -- even in spite of its major backer. However, some things could have been better done. I can live with the no-joystick and the not-so-intuitive controls. However, how they have the expand-as-you-grow competition is just idiotic.

Some of the missions pit you against idiotic odds and, regardless of how many people are backing you up, they always seem to come after you. Even up the combat a little, separate difficulty by system or patrol frequency.

As someone previously mentioned, it's a wonder that commerce and trade is conducted in some of these systems. Aside from these hard to not-notice flaws, the game has a lot of potential for being an Elite runner up.

Wynder

 
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61. Re: please wake up Mar 10, 2003, 21:43 DrEvil
 
you seem to be ignoring the fact that the majority of purchasers of any game are NOT the "advanced" gamers, and probably are fine with the dumbed downness of it. game companies are out to make money, and they make the most from simpler games. when gaming becomse larger, and many more people begin playing, after a while majority will probably start getting bored and demanding more depth in their games, but right now the majority are happy with what there is, even if it doesnt please us gamers (me included) that want more depth.

 
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60. please wake up Mar 10, 2003, 17:23 rajajujuman
 
I dont quite know why people have to identify so strongly with things - it makes it much more difficult to think objectively. So when one person criticizes Freelancer, another person who is obsessively in love with the game takes those criticisms personally - they feel attacked so they retaliate.

But face it: Freelancer IS to space sims what Diablo was to RPGs. It is another step towards gaming doldrum, the progressively pervasive watering down of complex design also known as "dumbing down". It is pandering to the lowest common denominator, trying to aim for the biggest share of the PC gaming market, which, SURPRISE!! is not made up of hardcore gamers. Anyone who thinks Microsoft would settle for publishing and distributing a niche title is clearly deranged.

The bottom line is this: corporations are out to MAKE MONEY. They are not out to please gamers. That is much lower on the list of priorities. Small companies and little game boutiques CAN make the revolutionary games because they dont have to worry about fulfilling some ludicrous sales figure. They dont have to try to sell to everybody... but the downside is that they dont get shit for budgeting - which is why these small companies ARE DYING.

Basically, we as gamers will have to eventually step up to the plate and do something about this ourselves. We need to make clear the desire for ADVANCED games, not SIMPLISTIC games. Games DESIGNED to be complex and insanely deep - games made for "advanced gamers". Unfortunately as long as corporations see no market for such games, they wont exist. Sooner or later, some genius will have to do something to change that or we'll all be playing Diablo for the rest of our lives, unable to remember what quality gaming really is.

 
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59. Re: colon Mar 10, 2003, 11:18 sc4r4b
 
Heh I respect peoples opinions man even if they differ from my own... Hell, it would suck if everyone had the same opinion. I think I misunderstood your first post... mainly the "loser" part.

Anyway, I can see what a lot of you are disgruntled about... Feeling let down and what not because your expectations of the game was not fulfilled.

Although I really dig the gameplay... I do enjoy a good twitch fest. Before the Freelancer came out I was worried that the whole combat part of the game would be on autopilot and all the EU had to do was click on the target. I was happy to learn it is not like that... It takes skill like any FPS. I ended up remapping my keys so W=afterburner and S=reverse engines... This made the combat a lot more fulfilling as opposed to constantly hitting your afterburners to stay behind the target. Another thing I found really cool was the ability to cut your engines and keep your forward momentum. My point is that the physics may not be realistic but we all know that sometimes games have to forsake realism for game-play. Personally I prefer game-play. (As I am sure most gamers do.) Even in IL2 often times I go more toward the arcade side of the options because I want to have fun. (As opposed to crashing at take off because I don't know what direction the wind is blowing because the IL2 Dev's left out the fucking wind sock.) I do enjoy realism/simulations in games but to reiterate I prefer game-play much more. Freelancer has game-play which is not dependent on levels I believe it is more dependent on EU skill. (My opinion.) Maybe DA should have implemented an arcade and sim option like IL2? Of course, that may have taken another 2 years of production. Last, I never read DA say that Freelancer was a space sim. At least it doesn't say that on the box.

The story is cool because in a way they are using it as a kind of training for the MP game. If you want all the systems available immediately all you have to do is start an MP server and jump on. But if you haven't played the single player then you are not going to know the (cool) nuances of the game. Plus the single player story breaks up the "open-ended" game-play some. To be honest I was kinda upset when I heard that the story was not very long because I am really enjoying it.

On to the open ended gamplay... Now the game may not be as open-ended as Elite but it is more open-ended that the most recent PC games like Freespace 1/2, Wing Commander games, or Tachyon. So I am not going to complain... because as much as I liked Freespace2 or Tachyon I prefer Freelancer because compared to those games I do have more of a choice on what I want to do next even if the number of galaxies is limited by leveling up... but even that aspect of the game (leveling up) reinforces the side missions. Because if you have explored an entire system them surly another system has loaded. Not to mention it really doesn't take very long until more systems are opened up. So in the end you by playing the SP story you are learning about the game and you can take that knowledge on-line or to a LAN with your friends.

Finally, it seems like y'all are blaming Microsoft for this... Where as I believe it is more of DA's decision on how the game turned out. Yeah Microsoft owns them but do you all really believe that There is some MS goon standing over the DA telling them how to make a game? For all of you who hate Microsoft what OS are you currently using? They are kinda like a necessary evil... so why fight it? (rhetorical)

Anyway,I felt I should express my opinions some rather than just saying Freelancer is a great game. There are other cool things about Freelancer but really I think I have said enough.

 
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58. No subject Mar 10, 2003, 09:02 motto
 
Freelancer, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

 
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57. Re: Ahhh Freelancer Mar 10, 2003, 08:00  Eye 
 
actually there are loads of
HIGH LEVEL unique weapons out there in the far flung remote systems.

Also calling the game mediocre for not allowing you to get a lvl 30 ship from the start and thus keeping all your enemies challenging, what's that about? would you rather be allowed a top level ship and weapons so that every enemy was killable in one or two shots? im pretty sure you'd be here complaining it was boring then.

most other stuff you picked out is fairly true tho


 
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