vrijdag 29 augustus 2014

Blast from the Past: Freelancer

The game that started the whole MMO experience (in a way) for me.  It was back in 2003 or 2004, and Nemesis had this.

I went to a recently opened, small chance of success store called `Media Markt` and snatched a copy as well... and the rest as they say, is history.

For that time, the game was big. It`s universe had an open choice environment, you did have to follow the storyline to progress, but then again, it was perfectly possible to privateer, trade or do other things as long as you didn`t land on the next station or planet to progress the story.

It had almost 50 star systems, reachable by official jumpgates or smuggling warp holes for the not so law abiding amongst us.  You had `mates` that did occassional missions with you...

It was the follow up to the 2000 game Starlancer, and is set about 800 years after this game, and the newly colonised Syrius system has 4 major powers, resembling current day USA, UK, Japan and Germany, as well as a heap of independant factions like the Junkers.

You will be running from and joining with about each and every faction during the storyline as you go through the steps to unravel an alien invasion, and once defeated the game remains a side quest orientated open roam world.

But then came the MMO part... it had an online feature that could host about 100 players in a game, and it had some FANTASTIC mods.  Nemesis and me, as well as some more TSA members from that time, jumped in the WTS mod that put together Babylon 5, Star Trek, Star Wars, Andromeda Ascendant (heck, it was though this game I learned about that series...) etc etc in one open universe.

The ship levels where upped, the enemies got a bit stronger and most importantly, there where a lot more systems to explore and factions to gain rep with to buy the new vessels.  Okay, at times it was laughable if your humongous Omega Destroyer had to dock with a tiny starbase...

But 10+ years ago, this was the bomb for sci-fi lovers... and it has perhaps still my best remembered game memories with a Federation FLEET (I flew a Sovereign class) of 7 vessels coming out of warp at the same time to tackle some player privateers attacking a convoy.

We where the good guys ;-) and the chat reactions of seeing two Defiant class, two Galaxy class, a Constitution class, an Intrepid class and a Sovereign class jump in within a few seconds of time span to tackle half a dozen fighters with phasers and quantum torpedoes... aaaah... the memories.  Pity screenshots have long gotten lost over the course of all those years.

I actually loved this game so much, I`m considering to try and recreate one of it`s ships as next year `big Lego project`, like I did for my WoW inspired Blood Elf build this year.  I think the nominee is going to be this one, the Stilleto.  A criminal faction medium fighter, it was the vessel I played most of mid to late game with, and I really like her `build up` with the underslung weapon pod...

Now, I did discover a few nice facts about the game.

1. there STILL is a rather lively player community out there
2. Thanks to crowdfunding, a sequel called Star Citizen, is scheduled to come out in 2015.  I`m keeping my eyes open on that!

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