- Platform: Windows 95 / 98 / NT / 2000
- PEGI Rating: Suitable for 16 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 16. By placing an order for this product, you declare that you are 16 years of age or over.
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
The back story posits a future where various countries, divided by both nationality and, seemingly, race, have boarded massive colony ships and ventured into a wormhole that appears within reach of our crude space technology. They found themselves in a galaxy far, far, away and they got stuck there when the wormhole collapsed. They quickly colonised their new home worlds and named everything with familiar locales that make navigation a breeze. In the American sectors you'll feel at home entering the New York system and landing at a spaceport called Manhattan, for example. While contrived, this device is used beautifully and it's far better than having to memorise a bunch of SF names and remembering where they are, perfect for a massive universe such as this one.
Though Freelancer is set in space, it is technically not a space simulation. The game was designed to be accessible to casual gamers. For example, Freelancer makes you use the mouse for ship control. This is quite a shift for a setting known for requiring joystick control. But even old-school Wing Commander or X-Wing fans may find that the sacrifice of verisimilitude is made up for with gains in agility. The mouse controls your guns, while you use the keyboard to manoeuvre around the rich universe developer Digital Anvil has constructed. Much like a first-person shooter, you can dodge and weave while precisely blasting your enemies.
Despite its age the graphics are spectacular, as is the sound and voice acting, and in that way, fighting and trading with friends or alone, Freelancer proves worth the wait. Just keep in mind that it is explicitly not a hardcore space simulation, and you'll have to leave your joystick on the shelf. --Andrew S Bub