The Nostalgia Files: FreeSpace 2

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Man I remember these games. Probably what got me interested in eve to begin with
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Eve is pretty much the game I wished existed after playing all these games in my teenage years.
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Ahh FreeSpace, possibly the greatest game in the history of space flight sims.
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Freespace 2. Greatness.The game I keep wish to smash together with EVE Online. Having bombers and fighters controlled by humans (such as Freespace 2) with an EVE Online battle going on, ships now having specific attackable modules for the fighters, would be simple the best experience I think I could ever have.
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Excellent article!Especially the extra information about the various add-on campaigns and conversions.
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TIE Fighter, Freelancer, Homeworld... sniffle. I didn't realize someone had been giving Freespace the love it deserves all these years. Goona go give it another run through.
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"Dive Dive Dive! Hit your burners pilot!"
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Forget Dust Bunnies. This is the direction CCP should be going.
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God damn I loved this game. Always had this glimmer of hope that thered be a 3rd one. But I remember the SCP being pretty good but I was young and not so nifty with the whole update system and keeping track of the community. I may give it another look.
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Freespace 1 had THE BEST story and immersion into it of all the space sims of it's time! Hack i haven't seen a better story since!:) But Freespace 2's ending was a big dissapointment for me. How can be that the best ending of a game? Can you please elaborate on that?
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The only shortsight on the developers part in the FS 1 campaign was the absence of capital ship weapons. It was soo funny seeing those big carriers fly to 1,5km apart and shooting each other with fighter weapons!:D Thankfully they implemented capital beams in FS2. Maybe even outdone them a bit...
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Some of us don't have SA account, believe it or not. Is the any way you could post a link to a non paywalled content mirror?
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Alpha 1, get out of there!
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Alpha 1, do everything!
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http://www.gog.com/forum/frees...Look at the stickies.
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Nothing in gaming has replaced the feeling that dog fighting between two capital ships in Freespace 2 gave me. I think Freespace II was the last great cockpit view space combat sim.
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DIVE DIVE DIVE HIT YOUR BURNERS PILOT
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I thought the ambiguity of FS2's ending was a better way to end the series than FS1's more traditional "We've Defeated the Big Bad" approach. Maybe unintentionally, it left the path open for a decade of solid third-party campaigns and mods.
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Star Control for the Sega Genesis. Melee or campaign mode its a space classic!
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OH cool, didn't know about that!:) Thx!

EVE players are old. Well, not very old, but as far as gamers go we're up there. The average age of an EVE player in late 2006 was 27. By last year's CSM election, the average age of a voting player was 32. We're overwhelmingly male, affluent Westerners with at least a passing interest in spaceships and explosions.

It should have been no surprise that when the topic of FreeSpace 2 came up in TMC jabber, we all started, well, jabbering about our shared nostalgia. TIE Fighter, FreeSpace, Homeworld - these are the games that we all seemed to have played as teenagers in the nineties or early aughts. We couldn't stop talking about them.

Although officially billed as 'space combat simulators', calling the FreeSpace games any kind of simulation is a bit of a stretch - the physics are non-Newtonian and lasers behave like chunky projectiles, that sort of thing. Still, it feels right, in much the same way that EVE does after you've sunk years into it. This is a first-person spaceship game where you pilot fighters and bombers, defending the galaxy from various sinister aliens and traitorous humans. I'm dramatically oversimplifying here, of course, for the sake of not spoiling the game for you. The storyline is one of the all-time greats in gaming, with some gun-punching reveals and in FS2, you'll experience one of the best endings to a game I've ever seen.

Gameplay is solid. You dogfight, escort, perform precision strikes, launch bombs, and stand by helplessly as titanic capital ships duke it out with deadly beam cannons. Environments are vibrant and, typically, full of explosions. The gaming press approved, but excellent review scores could not conceal the fact that FS2 was not a financial success. Its commercial failure, together with that of X-Wing Alliance, sounded the death knell of the first-person space combat genre.

It would have, anyways, if it weren't for developer Volition's release in 2002 of the FreeSpace 2 source code. Almost immediately, coders and modders dug in and launched the FreeSpace 2 Source Code Project (SCP), to expand and improve the capabilities of the FS2 engine. The guts of the game were open; since then, development has been continuous for over a decade. This has not only kept the game's graphics reasonably current, but facilitated whole new possibilities and features within the game. A community that was drying up in 2002 now thrives and FS2 is more playable than it has ever been.

This is a game that still looks modern, even beautiful, 14 years after release. 

You should play this. It's available online for $10 from GOG - you have no excuse not to give it a shot. After you've downloaded the game, do check out the SA thread's first post. It'll walk you through all the steps necessary for a great installation of FS2 with the Source Code Project's enhancements.

I should mention, by the by, that this game emphatically does not require a joystick to play. In fact, I've been having much greater success with the old mouse & keyboard, thanks to the clever mouse script linked in the SA thread. With graphics scaleable between "now" and "1999", if you can play EVE, you can play this.

If you're new to the series, I highly recommend you proceed through the campaigns sequentially and avoid spoilers like the plague. Select the FSPort-STR mod from the launcher to play the original FreeSpace 1 campaign with updated graphics, followed by a totally rebuilt version of the expansion pack, Silent Threat. Then you can load up the MediaVPs and experience FreeSpace 2 with fantastic modern looks.

After that? Well, there are at least a dozen excellent add-on campaigns I could recommend to you, many of quality equal to the commercial releases. I won't go down the list, but do check out Blue Planet and Transcend. Blue Planet, in particular, is a tour de force and an excellent continuation of the FreeSpace canon. If you're looking for a completely different entry point, the revamped FS2 engine has been used as a base for total conversions based on the Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, and Wing Commander universes. 

So: give it a shot. Maybe the next time your fleet op gets blueballed or your corpmates get on your nerves, put yourself in the flight suit of Alpha 1 and save the universe.

 

FreeSpace 2 is available on GOG.com for $10 USD. You can find more information in the SA thread and at Hard Light Productions.

AKA Alikchi. Traitor, hater, ganker, idiot. Follow me at @alikchialeika.