Review by TamaNeko
"Yes, it is the greatest space sim ever"
After playing the greatness that is Freespace 1, I just had to find a copy of this game. Several months of painstaking searching later, I finally got this game, and, lo, it's not just great, but super-duper, uber, mega awesome!!
It has been 32 years since the end of the Great War. The Great War, which began when a mysterious race known as the Shivans emerged out of nowhere, forced the warring races of the Terrans and Vasudans into an alliance. That alliance has remained solid, with both races forming the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance. But conflict is still far from over. A separatist group, the Neo Terran Front, demand that the Terran-Vasudan alliance be disbanded, and they have waged a war of independence against the GTVA. But this conflict is just the beginning of a new era, with even greater challenges up ahead for both the Terrans and Vasudans.
GRAPHICS - 9/10
Stunning. That's one word to sum FS2's graphics up. Even today, it still looks awesome, and unlike today's games, it isn't demanding of the latest hardware. The graphics are vastly improved over FS1's, with even more graphical detail over everything. From nebulas and planets, to the smallest and largest ships you will encounter, everything looks much better. The new nebula areas that you encounter are an awesome sight to behold, which will fill you with both awe and fear.
FS2 would get a perfect score of 10, except there is one minor graphical aspect that isn't too good - the quality of the cutscenes. What will strike you at first with the intro movie is that it doesn't look quite as good as Freespace 1's intro. Though this is a minor complaint, it is somewhat disappointing to suddenly see a drop in the quality of these cutscenes. However, don't let that disappoint your expectations of this game.
SOUND/MUSIC - 9/10
The ambience of this game is just awesome. Fully immersive, the sound really makes you feel like you're actually fighting a ship. From the distinct sounds of your weapons, to the low hum you hear when passing through the engines of a capital ship, it all feels like exactly what you'd imagine it would be if it were all real. Music is also great, with music changing according to the situation, and also just as immersive and enthralling, but, however, in my opinion anyway, it's not quite as good as Freespace 1's music. There seems to be a little less variety in FS2s music, but, however, it's a minor complaint.
GAMEPLAY - 10/10
Pure bliss. Even if you're not a space sim fan, you'll get the hang of the controls pretty quickly, as the game trains you gradually with training simulators, not expecting you to know everything at once. Missions are varied and balanced, and the linearity of the missions doesn't take the fun out of the game, plus there's nothing quite like being in a fighter dogfight in outer space, or going on a bombing run of a massive enemy ship. It's just too awesome to describe in words!
If the gameplay doesn't hook you enough, the story will. FS2's story is perhaps one of the greatest features of this game. Continuing over FS1's story, it'll engage you with enough twists and turns to make you want to play the next mission just to know what happens next.
Even though it's been nearly 4 years since this game was released, there is still a big online community dedicated to Freespace 2. Like FS1, it comes with the FRED2 editor, which you can use to make your own missions, and there have been numerous campaigns and even some great mods out there that have extended the lifetime of this awesome game.
OVERALL - 9/10
Seriously, if you're a fan of any good games, and are still undecided on whether to get this game or not...well, get going and find this game immediately! Only problem is, it's quite rare nowadays, so good luck finding it in a shop. Your best options to find this gem of a game is online, through eBay or Amazon.com. There's a reason why all the reviews here speak of this game so highly, and you owe it to yourself to discover this amazing game.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/28/03
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