Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thoughts on FreeSpace 2

I think the high point of that campaign was probably the NSF undercover missions. You wouldn't expect that sort of storytelling potential in a space sim. I mean, I dunno about you, but I actually found myself forming a relationship with Commander Snipes, the undercover handler. The voice actor did a great job fleshing him out. And then later, when he goes missing... it's just crushing. It seemed Commander Snipes just ended up being another faceless casualty in the grand NSF war. Like tears in rain.

Until of course you go rescue him in that SOF nebula mission. The only nebula mission I really got irritated with. It got so frustrating finding and losing the various nav buoys. The fact that you got to pilot the sexy Erinyes didn't *quite* make up for that.

I really wonder how long FreeSpace 2's development cycle was. Cause if ever there was a game that was perfectly polished and stable on launch, that's the one I'd point to. It got one patch, but I think that was just correcting some minor multiplayer issues.

I'm not sure if you guys agree with this, but the way I see it... FreeSpace 2 still holds up today. You can play it and it'll hold up in both graphics and gameplay. Annnd... I don't think you can say the same for most old games. Mind you, I'm not talking about Open FS2. I meant playing it without mods, it still holds up. Obviously the mods make it look much better of course. But you install vanilla FS2, and aside from some small issues like the text not aligning correctly, the game still looks and plays great. And this is a game that was released in 1999, ten fucking years ago. You really have to wonder what sort of drugs those Volition folks were on back in the day, to craft a masterpiece like that. It's very telling when the worst thing you can say about a game is that its pilot avatar pics look a little ugly. What else is there to say? I dunno. It's a crying shame it wasn't a financial success.

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