Descent: Freespace games

Because we play other games too.

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Do you like space simulations?

Eeew, space sims! How gross!
1
8%
Nice, but too fast & furious for me.
1
8%
Yeah, I even played some of them.
4
33%
If only we had less FPSs and more sims.
3
25%
If only we had less FPSs and more sims.
3
25%
 
Total votes: 12

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cornellian
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Descent: Freespace games

Postby cornellian » Jul 3 2006, 14:35

I wonder if anyone here played the greatest space simulations of all time, (Descent) Freespace series. As sadly space simulations are few and far between nowadays, many people don't know what Freespace is about. At first it seems to be your usual space sim; however you soon find out that it is with excellent presentation and production values, good story, varied and hard missions, gorgeous visuals, furious combat and jaw dropping capital ships. Forget the cheesy Wing Commander series, the king of space simulations is still Freespace, even after a dozen of relatively newer games..

*spoiler alert*
Both games were also unique in simulations as you could never really win the game, you just barely managed to survive with great losses.. The excellent story is that , in the first game you are at war with an alien race called Vasudans, when another seemingly invincible one (Shivans) appears and kick both races butts so hard that you have to work with your ex-enemies against the common threat. This is your basic space story, however, things get a lot complicated along the way; resulting in a great last mission where you manage to destroy the Shivan Armada's capital ship, the Lucifer (DL are you there?), though not without losing connection with Earth itself, so it is a no one wins situation. The second game's two alternative endings are both even more tragic than the first, but I won't spoil it for you in case some of you want to try it out... However, I can say that Shivans never lose their worth as an impossible enemy, and this is a rare achievement..
*spoilers over*

In one of the most clever marketing tricks of the industry, even before you install it, the second game humiliates you so bad that you may not even want to run it.. Somewhere on the box it says something like "32 years have passed and Shivans got very curious about what happened to their scout party." So, the fleet you so desperately tried to destroy in the first game was only a scouting fleet!! Holy S..T was what I screamed when I saw this :D, though after experiencing the scope of the second game it wasn't nearly the only time that phrase came out of my mouth, for Freespace II made you really believe that it was just a light fleet the first time.. The game had absolutely awe inspiring space combat with capital ships that took a minute to fly from one end to another 8| , employing countless laser cannons and missile launchers, not to mention flak cannons that shook your ship violently, and the best of all, huge beam cannons they fired against enemy capital craft.. It was a feast for the eye to watch two ships cut each other with beams larger than your tiny fighter (it is usually instant death when you are caught by one), and that feeling that you are just a worthless space fly scrambling between two dinosaurs can hardly be explained :-D ...

Descent games were awesome, and deserve another thread by their own, but their offspring, Freespace space sim games, were so grand in all aspects that it is safe to say you haven't seen all of the crème de la crème if you haven't played those modern classics..

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Postby Marzhin » Jul 3 2006, 14:44

I only played Freespace 2, but that's my favourite space-sim ever. Great graphics (even by today standards), great music and great story ! I can remember the missions inside the nebula, where all radars are offline and suddenly the gigantic ship appears from nowhere...

Ah, I wonder where I put the CDs... I feel a urge to join the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance once again ^^

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Postby cornellian » Jul 3 2006, 14:48

Oh yeah, the nebula missions were gems, weren't they? Few things beat suddenly finding yourself next to a juggernaut your radars couldn't see and trying to get the hell out of there with missiles, beams and lasers all over the place :D.

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Postby Vlad976 » Jul 3 2006, 15:26

Marzhin wrote:Ah, I wonder where I put the CDs... I feel a urge to join the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance once again ^^

Well, if you can't find your cds, you can always download it. Freespace 1 / 2 went open-source.
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Postby jeff » Jul 3 2006, 15:28

I have not played Freespace, but some of the first games I played were Starflight and Starflight 2. I have played Wing Commander and its sequels, but preferred Privateer.
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Postby Marzhin » Jul 3 2006, 15:48

cornellian wrote:Oh yeah, the nebula missions were gems, weren't they? Few things beat suddenly finding yourself next to a juggernaut your radars couldn't see and trying to get the hell out of there with missiles, beams and lasers all over the place :D.


Too true. But it worked thanks to a clever mission design. Something like this :

You start doing reckon in the nebula with other wings... Then you could hear in the radio :

- Here is Alpha 2, I have lost the signal of Delta Wing. Delta, respond please.

Then you have a bit of chat with your teammates about what could have happened to Delta Wing. You still have nothing on the radar, visibility is low and you slowly realize there's something out there...

- Here is Beta 4, I have something on my sensors... Looks like a terran carrier... He's in bad shape.

- Looks like a rebel ship. What was he doing here ?

- And who attacked it ?

Then suddenly the atmospheric/spooky music changes for a combat music.

- Alpha 2 here, there are three Shivans wings closing on us ! Defend yourselves, pilots !

After the battle, everything is back to normal... Then the discussion between the pilots resumes :

- They were light fighters, how could they travel in the nebula ?

- They must have a mother ship nearby...

- OH MY GOD OH MY GOD THERE IS SOMETHING HUGE...

- Command, we lost Beta Wing !

And then right in front of you, the biggest warship you ever saw emerges from the pink haze of the nebula...


That's classic paranoid SF stuff, but it worked so well... (by the way, sorry if this post is a bit unclear, I'm a bit tired)

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Postby cornellian » Jul 8 2006, 0:14

No, actually it was a perfect summary of the atmosphere and the tension of knowing you don't stand a chance if the enemy show up in numbers as they usually do..

*slight spoilers*
I particularly remember a mission where you misjumped(?) right into the front of a colossal enemy craft that fired with its quad beams immediately at you, and I recall one of the beams passed about a meter left of my ship (oh the horror :D)... I remember nearly jumping from my seat while shouting/screaming at the screen "Moth...er" in the middle of the night...
*slight spoilers*

By the way Marzhin, there are couple fan made scenarios, even campaigns, one particularly good with classic Babylon 5 universe.. If you don't want to go through the original campaign again, you might want to check it, it was good but very hard but I'm sure you can find one to your liking with a simple search..

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Postby Vlad976 » Jul 8 2006, 2:15

cornellian wrote:*slight spoilers*
I particularly remember a mission where you misjumped(?) right into the front of a colossal enemy craft that fired with its quad beams immediately at you, and I recall one of the beams passed about a meter left of my ship (oh the horror :D)... I remember nearly jumping from my seat while shouting/screaming at the screen "Moth...er" in the middle of the night...
*slight spoilers*


*** Spoiler Alert ***

Are you talking about the mission working for that intelligence arm of the GTVA? If we're thinking about the same mission, the Sathanas isn't shooting it's beams at you. The big beams aren't allowed to target little things like fighters. When you jump in (not a misjump), it's about to jump out with you in its way. Still, quite frightening appearing right in front of that big ole honkin' ship...

*** End Spoiler Alert ***
Simmons: I think you’re asking me if these computers store all the data on Red and Blue armies?

Sarge: Control Alt Bingo.

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Postby cornellian » Jul 12 2006, 22:07

Sorry for the late reply, but I think it was one of the secret service missions, the bonus (and very hard) ones.. *spoilers coming* You were supposed to investigate something when you misjump right into the middle of a battlestation attack by the Shivans and you get to jump between the warships and the battlestation.. *spoilers going :D*

Though my memory is weak, I think that was the case..

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Postby Kristo » Jul 12 2006, 23:38

Freespace 2 is fantastic. TIE Fighter still beats it, but hey, it's TIE Fighter.

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Postby Orfinn » Jul 13 2006, 7:34

Owww, Descent was a great game, the sequel too, space sims are so cool, but sadly they are quite a few these days :(


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