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A Freespace Open tribute thread. One of the greatest space combat flight sims ever!

Oct 25, 2017
758
#1
Freespace and Freespace 2 are games that I have been meaning to play for a long time. I was just a teenager when they were released in the last 90's and they are openly known as the best space combat simulator of all time.

I came across info on google about Freespace Open for Freespace 2 which allows for more modern effects and along with graphics mods brings these games which are almost 20(!) years old into current standards graphically. Also all cutscenes have been redone. One of the mods also allows you to play the first game this way as well. All cut scenes have been redone. See the videos below:



There also also other mods that allow you to play things other than the first 2 games.

I highly recommend this game! Click here to purchase Freespace 2 from GOG.com

Once you have purchased the game click here to head over to the online installer for Freespace open. It requires Java.

I am hoping others here are fans of the game and can post their experience with it!
 

Isee

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,362
#2
Freespace was fine, but my heart still belongs to the Wing Commander series and Tie-Fighter. But I had no idea that Freespace was available on GOG or that there are mods for it. Thx for the heads up.
 
Oct 26, 2017
118
#3
I played these games when they originally came out and they were amazing. Great to see them get new players via the source code project.
 
Oct 27, 2017
76
#4
Freespace 1 and 2 running with FSO are among my favorite games. A pinnacle of the genre, I doubt a better space combat game could even be made. Great mechanics of gameplay. A varied campaign that doesn’t have any outrageously difficulty spike or frustrating mission. An interesting plot with a melacholy yet not hopeless feeling atmosphere. I remember the story and overall feel of the games better than most any modern game.
 

KonradLaw

Banned
Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,960
#5
Yeah. Modding allowed space sims to surive the dark days when it seemed the genre was dying and FreeSpace mods were the biggest part of that.
 
OP
OP
hlhbk
Oct 25, 2017
758
#6
Yeah. Modding allowed space sims to surive the dark days when it seemed the genre was dying and FreeSpace mods were the biggest part of that.
Its not dying? The single player story focused space sims have long been dead. I wish they would make a Freespace 3 or a new Xwing or Tie Fighter game!
 

petran79

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,025
Greece
#7
Freespace was fine, but my heart still belongs to the Wing Commander series and Tie-Fighter. But I had no idea that Freespace was available on GOG or that there are mods for it. Thx for the heads up.
Privateer was also a good game, from Origin fame
 
Oct 27, 2017
76
#9
They are super dead. Though there have been an amount of flight/space sims in recent years, none come close to what the 90’s had. It’s more than just a flight model or large universe. It was about the in flight chatter from wingmen, complex and changing mission objectives, etc. they don’t even control the same anymore! Most are made to accept and even control best with mouse control now (yuck). Not that I blame them, barely anyone has or even sells joysticks anymore.
 

KonradLaw

Banned
Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,960
#10
Its not dying? The single player story focused space sims have long been dead. I wish they would make a Freespace 3 or a new Xwing or Tie Fighter game!
Well, if only a part of the genre is dying, while the rest of it is doing well then the genre isn't really dying, is it? :)
But yes, I wish we would be getting more of the linear SP-focused titles. There are some (House of the Dying Sun is incredible, even if the story is pretty light), but hopefully Squadron 42 will deliver. That said, those story-driven titles never were common. It was pretty much Wing Commander / X-Wing every couple of years with ocassional long exception from outside. Majority of attemps ended at first entry, never getting sequel. I think FreeSpace/IndependenceWar/Epic are the only notable ones that managed to get sequels and even they died out after 2nd entry
 
Oct 25, 2017
741
#11
As a kid who was obsessed with Descent, trying to play this game was so confusing and boring. I honestly can't remember much about it now, but I know it wasn't what I liked about Descent.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,232
UK
#17
Freespace 2 is the GOAT SP space fighter. Ones good but 2 is amazing. The battles where you’re in a small fighter dwarfed by the capital ships with huge energy beams that are insta kills flaring around you are incredible.

Must fire it up again soon maybe with some graphics mods it’s been a while.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,306
#19
FS2 is one of my favorite games ever made, and FSO is the gold standard of open source reworks of a game next to OpenTTD.

It's a shame that it was so good and did so poorly it killed the genre.
 
Oct 28, 2017
112
Switzerland
#20
Freespace 2 is really what got me going into the spacesim games, I can't even count how many hours I spent on that game alone.
Tried getting into the Open side years later but didn't really catch on to it, maybe I'd have to retry it..
 
Oct 27, 2017
146
#22
I've got a ton of nostalgia for those two games. Loved them to bits. I remember one time where I aimed my ship at a planet or a moon and traveled towards it for as long as I could in the hope of being able to land on it until I eventually realised it wasn't going to happen.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,326
#23
As a kid who was obsessed with Descent, trying to play this game was so confusing and boring. I honestly can't remember much about it now, but I know it wasn't what I liked about Descent.
This was one of those dumb Interplay marketing decisions that I think may have hurt the franchise in the long run. Freespace and Descent had nothing in common besides a dev team, and even then Parallax Software had already split into Volition (who handled Freespace) and Outrage (who did Descent 3 and collapsed after one or two more games). At least the long-forgotten Descent to Undermountain was built on a modified Descent engine.

The endings of both Freespace 1 and Freespace 2 are fantastic, and in general the franchise had a more fatalistic tone than nearly anything in Wing Commander (maaaaybe 4 gets as dark). It was also refreshing to see Volition turn away from the big-budget, pseudo-Hollywood FMV approach Chris Roberts was chasing at the time. I assume a lot of that is making do with much smaller budgets, rather than an intentional artistic choice, but it worked. Freespace 2, if anything, has even fewer cutscenes than the first game, and way fewer primitive human models trying to emote to the best of their late-90s abilities. Instead, the game leans into its strengths and, for the most part, shows you the war from your perspective via comms chatter and mission briefings, with very little in the way of greater context.

Fantastic games all around.
 
Oct 27, 2017
640
Taiwan
#24
I don't recall if I played the 1st or 2nd, but I do remember my my old PC being able to run the game really well and the graphics looked incredible back then.
I used to play this a lot. A remake would be nice on console.
 
OP
OP
hlhbk
Oct 25, 2017
758
#25
Some mods trailers:

Star Wars

Freespace: Evolution

To those who have played the games I always hear that playing the first game is good but the 2nd is amazing. Is it worth playing the first game before the 2nd? Will you understand what's going on in the 2nd game without playing the first. No spoilers please.
 
Oct 25, 2017
798
#26
Wasn't a big fan of Freespace back in the day, I prefered Wind Commander, X-Wing / Tie-Fighter, Privateer, and I-War back then, but, yeah, the mods are some of the best.

Also, I've always had a hard time understanding why the genre completely died. Shouldn't these games be relatively cheap to develop considering there's very little to do in terms of worlds, animations, characters, etc.?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,559
#27
Also, I've always had a hard time understanding why the genre completely died. Shouldn't these games be relatively cheap to develop considering there's very little to do in terms of worlds, animations, characters, etc.?
Freespace 2 was a big budget, highly marketed, and supremely well reviewed game that ended up selling way waaay below expectations. It scared people off from the genre for a long long time.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,326
#28
Some mods trailers:

Star Wars

Freespace: Evolution

To those who have played the games I always hear that playing the first game is good but the 2nd is amazing. Is it worth playing the first game before the 2nd? Will you understand what's going on in the 2nd game without playing the first. No spoilers please.
I think you lose some context, but Freespace 2's story works on its own for the most part. I think you'd probably be fine to play it on its own. I forget what FS2 improves over FS1 (it's been almost two decades since I last played it, yikes), so I can't really tell you if you should skip it or not, but I don't think it'll have aged that much worse than the second game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,306
#29
You don't need to play the first game to play the second, they explain the backstory. Basically years ago the Terrans and Vasudans were at war, when a new, hostile alien race, the Shivans, appeared out of nowhere forcing the Terrans and Vesudans to form an alliance to repel the Shivan forces.

One of the great things about Freespace 2 story is that you're just another pilot, you're not the catalyst to save humanity or anything like that. You're basically a nobody with good piloting skills so they sent you to the missions. And sometimes not even because you're good, but because you're there.

It also has one of the best moments in a space sim game "DIVE! DIVE! DIVE! Hit your burners, pilot!!"
 
Oct 25, 2017
385
#34
Used to be pretty active on HLP doing Freespace modding and FSO has come a long damn way. *Salute*

Specifically, you guys should check out Diaspora, a BSG TC mod in addition to the original game:


Incredibly impressive piece of work and probably the best BSG game we will ever get.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
252
Gone
#35
FreeSpace is fucking awesome and FSO is one of the most impressive modding / support projects in all of video games. Major props to the Hard Light Productions community, you folks are amazing.

If you like this sort of thing but you haven't played FreeSpace you owe it to yourself to try it out.
 

Skux

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,812
#36
They just don't make games like this anymore. The closest we'll get to big budget space combat would be Battlefront.
 
Oct 25, 2017
49
#37
Freespace 2 has the absolute best campaign I've ever played on any PC game. The epicness, scale and the atmosphere were just incredible. Tons of memorable 'holy shit..." moments.

Will definitely replay it with FSO eventually.
 
OP
OP
hlhbk
Oct 25, 2017
758
#39
Some screenshots from earlier missions. While not the best graphics ever keep in mind this is from a game released in 1999 and kept up by the modding community.



Asteroid field in the beginning of the Freespace 1 port.


Showing off the explosion effects during a training exercise.
 
Oct 25, 2017
590
#40
FreeSpace 1 and 2 are among my favorite games of all time and have such a special place in my heart. Amazing, fun combat and a story that I really loved, one of the best campaigns in any game to this day. By far the best space combat games in my eyes.

The FSO project is absolutely amazing, and probably one of the best modding communities I've seen, I have lots of love for them. I haven't played it in a while, I think it's time I do a play through again.

Also the Erinyes was the love of my life when it came to ships. <3
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,306
#42
I'm weak, reinstalling FSO again



What's the difference between the Standard and the AVX build? I'm installing both.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,091
EU
#45
I have such fond memories of the series. Even small things like how the missiles launch. You release them, then they get slower before launching with high speed at your target.
I'm ready to jump back in but worried that it won't hold up from a gameplay perspective.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,306
#46
I couldn't get the AVX or x64 stuff to work. I am using 32 bit SSE exe.
For some reason I wasn't able to make anything work, but using the new Knossos launcher/installer I was able to install the game:

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=94068.0

Doesn't have as many options as FSOInstaller or WXLauncher tho. And it's still an Alpha so it's rough.

Dive! Dive! Dive! Make some sequels dammit!

Seriously though. I got a lot riding on Squadron 42.

Like a lot.
I seriously hope Squadron 42 is good. I need more campaign based dogfighting space games.



EDIT:

Found out you can configure Knossos to have the options you get with WXLauncher, you have to go to Development and create a new mod, just put MediaVPN, FSO and FS2 Retail there and you can config the command line like you can in WXLauncher.
 
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OP
OP
hlhbk
Oct 25, 2017
758
#47
For some reason I wasn't able to make anything work, but using the new Knossos launcher/installer I was able to install the game:

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=94068.0

Doesn't have as many options as FSOInstaller or WXLauncher tho. And it's still an Alpha so it's rough.



I seriously hope Squadron 42 is good. I need more campaign based dogfighting space games.



EDIT:

Found out you can configure Knossos to have the options you get with WXLauncher, you have to go to Development and create a new mod, just put MediaVPN, FSO and FS2 Retail there and you can config the command line like you can in WXLauncher.
I ran into the issue of not getting everything to run. Did you rerun fsoinstaller and make sure there was nothing missed in the downloads? Some .dlls were missing when I did mine.
 
Oct 28, 2017
17
#49
Is there a recommend list of mods/downloads to get the best experience from both games? Plus any good campaigns?

Think when I'm back of holiday it's time for a replay!