PS2 preview: FreeLancer

Microsoft Game Studios has released more information on FreeLancer, Digital Anvil’s enormously ambitious PC space exploration game due to hit stores in March.

This next space-combat game from the developers of the awesome StarLancer has been incubating for several years now, but the wait might pay off because the scope is truly impressive. If you’ve just got off the boat, then it might not be entirely obvious what makes FreeLancer different from every other space exploration game (online and off) hitting the PC these days. The difference lies in the freedom — or, to put it more precisely, the extreme measures Digital Anvil has taken to give players as much freedom as possible.

There’s an overall storyline, of course, complete with a couple hours of cinematic scenes to back it up, but you’re completely free to pursue your own path through FreeLancer outside of the story. Instead of plot events, your actions — which missions you take, which side of the law you decide to rest on — will play a large part in what you’ll have access to later in the game. There’s also full network support, so you’ll be free to team up with another space rogue.

In this vast universe, you’ll take on missions such as collecting bounties, escorting convoys, undertaking reconn­aissance, and more — all of which will be generated based on your reputation and the local circumstances. FreeLancer is a yawningly wide-open game with lots of different options, and it’s this freedom and scale that gives the game such potential.

Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Digital Anvil
URL: Microsoft.com/games/PC/freelancer.asp

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