Freespace 1 & 2 Reader Review
FreeSpace was a direct descendant from Descent in set in the same universe. It was however a completely different game to Descent. Where as Descent had you flying through the corridors of mines fighting of rogue robots, FreeSpace had you in space, fighting for the Terran Alliance against the enemy, the Vasudans. Things quickly went from bad to worse when a third enemy shows up on scene, the Shivans, the great destroyers of the Galaxy. The game climaxes with a desperate rush through hyperspace to stop the Shivan Super Cruiser (The Lucifer) from reaching earth.
32 years and one insurrection later, the greatest game on the PC is born, FreeSpace 2. The Terrans and the Vasudans are now fully joined, creating one "super" alliance, and the Shivans haven't been seen. A stray faction, the Hammer of Light (HoL), is all that is left of the war. The game starts with you hunting down a very mysterious person, who is part of the HoL. Things go from strange to stranger, then from bad to worse when the Shivans show up again.
The back of the box for FreeSpace 2 says: "The Shivans are back, and they're wondering what happened to their scouting party" and that is possibly the biggest understatement I've ever seen, anywhere. The sheer size of the capital ships some are over 25 times the size of the biggest in FreeSpace 1, and the type of weapons and fighters is unbelievable. The story is great with side stories getting involved too. The feel of the ship-to-ship fighting is improved, dog fighting isn't so easy anymore, especially against the bombers. Taking on a Capital ship is no longer as easy either as all have beam lasers, most have flak cannons too and some have a rapid firing rocket system. Simply finding a weak spot isn't enough anymore. And the sheer sight of flying through space chasing a Shivan fighter dodging the beams from the capitals ships is stunning. Especially when you start adding Nebula's into it. Yes, half the game is played in Nebulae.
Graphics: Stunning. Freelancer isn't as good, and that's a new release after 5 years of work. Sound: Awesome. The "perfect" sound. I cannot recall a single sound or piece of music out of place. The "bad news briefing" in particular is a masterpiece. Gameplay: What can I say? I'm still playing this today and have cleared through it four times and each time is equally as fun as the last.
Overall: Quite frankly this is the best game I've ever played. It beats Phantasy Star 4, Final Fantasy 7, Halo... all of them. This game is so good that it makes FreeSpace 1, which got high marks from every magazine out there look like a joyride through space. In a Ford Escort. If it had a trading system in it and was open-ended without losing the mission structure I'd never play another PC game ever again, probably any game for that matter.
10 / 10