file Mad Over FREELANCER!!!!

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13 years 11 months ago #16485 by JT
Replied by JT on topic Mad Over FREELANCER!!!!
Well, Freelancer uses the exact same modus operandus of Diablo II, and people play Diablo II until their girlfriends leave them, their taxes are two years overdue, and various extremities turn gangrenous. =)

The story was all right. I'm not saying it's good, but it's certainly not a shoddy piece of junk either. The "cramped" star systems are what I would say a good sense of abstraction. Players don't care about vast expanses of space (or at least they shouldn't); they care about details and encountering the enemy. The fact that the universe is very static is definitely one of the game's shortcomings -- I'd be much happier if I were able to blow up one of those battleships, or take over Planet Manhattan.

Of course, I tend to be impressed by the little nuances that most people don't notice, since I'm a hobbyist programmer and I tend to be thrilled when I see things that show some uniqueness (the docking queues, the wrecks, the trade lanes, even the dynamic speech). The thing that I'm most impressed about with regards to Freelancer is the game balance. The game steadily progresses in difficulty from the very first encounter to the very last encounter... that's very difficult to do.

I also tend to like the freedom involved. Too many games shanghai you into a specific gameplay style. In Freelancer, there's a basic formula -- big guns win -- that applies, but otherwise you can fly around as a pirate, a mercenary, or a free trader to get cash. The random missions are quite boring, but I don't even tend to do them; it's more fun for me to just fly to some random system and throw wrenches into gears that don't like having wrenches thrown into them.

I'm not saying Freelancer is the greatest game of all time (I think that title is forever held by X-COM), but all of these people who say it's a watered-down game not worth the CD it's printed on are being completely unfair. It's a decent game worth at least one play through, and if you feel like shooting things up on any given day, it's a great stressbuster too.

Ok, JT, I'm sorry if someone in your family works for microsoft or something, and I hear you about accepting Freelancer for what it is and not for what it isn't. I don't even profess to know that much about microsoft itself. What I have seen is a trend to try to pack as many features and functions into products as possible, even when the number of elements is so great that it affects the performance of each element in and of itself.


Nah, I don't know anyone who works for Microsoft. I do use Microsoft keyboards in preference of any other keyboards, however, because 1) they recognise that an Insert key is actually a useful key and shouldn't be removed from a keyboard, and 2) they tend to last much longer than any other keyboard I've bought.

For the operating systems, I don't know... I would say what you're describing there is more like Linux -- try to create an operating system that does *everything*. In Microsoft's case, the problem with their operating systems is more along the lines of trying to create a demographic instead of catering to a demographic. Each successive generation of the Windows OS gets more simplistic and obscures more features from the end user, yet gets flashier and demands more and more system resources. All of the features in Vista have been on Mac OS X for a couple years now, yet Windows does it poorly and Mac does it well. I would say the true problem with Windows is not that it's done to the point of "cramming" features, because it's not really all that feature-packed; the true problem is that it's a massive programming effort with many thousands of programmers all working together -- encouraging programmers to create redundant systems for things that other programmers have already programmed and debugged, and creating a condition where if the specification changes, the many dozens of redundant systems all have to be changed instead of just one central system which controls all the others.

_______________

Surgeon-General's Warning: Early test cases of Torn Stars have resulted in fatalities. The errors in the software should be gone by now. Hopefully.

_______________

Surgeon-General's Warning: Early test cases of Torn Stars have resulted in fatalities. The errors in the software should be gone by now. Hopefully.

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13 years 11 months ago #16486 by drmike
Replied by drmike on topic Mad Over FREELANCER!!!!
Well, let me just begin by giving you a double cheers for saying that X-Com is the single greatest game ever made. No question about that. I still get my ass handed to me by those damn little grey guys every once and a while. YES!!! I LOVE X-COM!!!!!!!
What you say about Freelancer makes a lot of sense, and it's interesting to hear a programmer's perspective. I also admired the attention to detail in many places and have to say that the speech system was amazing. Also, despite the cramped systems, they did a good job of making space feel big, lonely and alien. For instance, flying through the Badlands in the New York system all by myself late at night really gave me the jibblies. I guess I took a more pessimistic view towards it, wherein I thought all the great details just made the game seem like a more tragic failure to live up to it's own potential. Also, the ice clouds and weird space bacteria were great settings. The lighting was amazing too. Plus while the individual systems were on the smaller side, I seem to remember the universe being pretty humoungous.
That being said, what I've seen of Edge of Chaos makes me feel like it has Freelancer beat on most fronts. I was going to say all, but then I started playing again and realised there are a couple of things I miss about Freelancer (a LOT) when playing EoC. First, you can't get down to a planet's surface. Are all these planets inhospitable deserts? What's going on with the planets and how come it seems like all the politics and government action happens in space? It's like these huge planets are just props, nobody lives on them, and nothing comes from or goes to them. Also, even docking to stations means absolutely nothing. I liked how you could cruise into a system and swing by the bar at some obscure outpost in Freelancer. The last thing I miss is not being able to communicate with other ships. In Freelancer you could hail any ship and they would tell you everything you needed to know about who they were and where they were going. That was cool, and really helped me immerse myself in the universe. Also, being able to hear all the ship-to-ship babble was neat.
Geez, I'm really rambling here. Sorry.
To be honest, reading your post has made me want to toss the game on again and fly around.

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13 years 11 months ago #16491 by JT
Replied by JT on topic Mad Over FREELANCER!!!!
Hmm. Freelancer versus Edge of Chaos, in terms of my "enjoyment" factor if I completely ignore the different genres and just determine which I like more... that's a tough call. Freelancer does the Diablo-II-in-space thing pretty well (though I'm wondering how the up and coming Hellgate London is going to turn out), while Edge of Chaos does the space simulation thing pretty well. But both of them have pretty significant faults.

If I were to rate them purely by time spent playing, Freelancer has had more hours of flight time logged. But that's probably because EoC has such a hit-or-miss combat style. If I can unload an overloaded barrage of Gatlings at a ship, it's dead in three seconds. If I can't, it's thirty seconds of manoeuvring, and then I'm dead in three seconds of that salvo of missiles manages to hit me. If I trigger an LDSi before the missiles hit, I might be saved, and it comes to another thirty seconds of manoeuvring until I can blast or be blasted again. If dogfights in Edge of Chaos were a little more hectic, with more lead being put into the air with noticeable results at any given time, it'd definitely win some of the flight time away from Freelancer.

If I were to rate them purely by how much they appeal to my "oh, that's cool!" sense, Edge of Chaos definitely wins. Freelancer is pretty nice, but it's kinda derivative, all things considered. The galaxy is neat, but none of the stellar objects really seem that different from one another. Sure, I can explore and see a rather-well-crafted map, but the actual individual objects on those maps aren't spectacularly different from one place to another.

If I were to rate them on game balance... Freelancer. Hands down. I absolutely despise the level progression system because it prevents the previous areas of the game from being genuinely challenging (once you get into Kusari space during the main quest, for instance, you can head back to Liberty space and destroy most ships without a challenge; I laid siege to Manhattan for three hours before my wrist got sore and I got bored), but even in spite of this the game's balance was incredible. I found most of the dogfights getting smoothly harder on some of the harder missions. I was actually a little surprised at the final hypergate scene, because that was a bit easier than the mission before it, but all of the other missions had me spending more and more nanobots and shield batteries each time. I suppose I also didn't like how usually, after completing a mission, I was more in the hole than when I started. The story missions should've provided some good salvage or at least provided a way for the player to profit all the way... after all, the player is pretty much forced to do those missions (you can ignore them and fly around for a while, but the game will persistently bother you with the best path to the next story arc point).

Graphically, I'd say Edge of Chaos is slightly better. Not that Freelancer's graphics are bad or anything... they're quite gorgeous, and unlike EoC the systems are all widely varied and nice to look at (whereas in EoC, once you get out of Hoffer's Wake it's like the galaxy arbitrarily decided "hey, let's be red"). However, the ships are rather plastic-looking, and the gunfire -- though meaty-looking and -sounding -- is very cartoony. At least in Edge of Chaos, the weapons look like they really can tear holes through things.

Final verdict? I don't know; I still can't decide! Edge of Chaos does have more potential for being a modder's paradise, as Freelancer has no dedicated mod support... various mods do exist for Freelancer, but they're rather uninspired, and I get the strange feeling like the entire mod community for Freelancer consists of someone living in Iowa. In terms of percentage points, I would probably put Freelancer ahead by a fraction of a percent. I think both are good games -- not the best games I've ever played, but certainly worthy of attention now and again.

_______________

Surgeon-General's Warning: Early test cases of Torn Stars have resulted in fatalities. The errors in the software should be gone by now. Hopefully.

_______________

Surgeon-General's Warning: Early test cases of Torn Stars have resulted in fatalities. The errors in the software should be gone by now. Hopefully.

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13 years 9 months ago #16537 by wasteful
Replied by wasteful on topic Mad Over FREELANCER!!!!
i just really dislike freelancer for whomever equip the most nomad weapon wins, and the planets are just too shit, wayy to tiny. Freelancer's storyline is okay, i like the first half, because they're more fun, because ur an escaping fugitive...etc. but its kinda losen after u get into kusari space... after killing that huge fleet. So compare to eoc's storyline, which gets a huge twist near the end, so its much more interesting.

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13 years 6 months ago #16654 by Lionheart
Replied by Lionheart on topic Mad Over FREELANCER!!!!
Freelancer is cool; EoC is über-cool!
:p
I never fought as frantic in FL as I did in EoC:
adrenaline factor is just much higher in EoC.

I like freelancer; I love EoC.


my 2p




You live and you learn; some just choose not to.



You live and you learn; some just choose not to.

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