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Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 139 Ratings

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  • Summary: A society taking its first timid steps into 48 sprawling galactic systems cannot hope to dam every human spring of greed and bloodlust. Make your own way, Freelancer. Ply the trade lanes for profit or raid them for plunder; slake your own thirst for vengeance on the world or take up arms toA society taking its first timid steps into 48 sprawling galactic systems cannot hope to dam every human spring of greed and bloodlust. Make your own way, Freelancer. Ply the trade lanes for profit or raid them for plunder; slake your own thirst for vengeance on the world or take up arms to enforce the law. Take your wealth as a hired gun if you choose. No single truth rules the limitless possibility of space. [Microsoft] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. The word epic describes Freelancer, Microsoft Game Studios' latest title, thanks to its strong narrative and virtually limitless game play opportunities.
  2. Freelancer isn’t just a game – it’s a way of life.
  3. It is not the revolution in the space combat genre that many were hoping for, but it certainly is the next evolution.
  4. If we consider they worked for this game for about 4 years, a massively multiplayer add-on being cancelled 2 years ago, its presence on just one CD doesn't really justify the absence of a true nonlinear gameplay, the imbalance between the economical and military aspects, the lack of some options which are considered now a standard of the genre, the low difficulty of the game due to the poor quality of the AI and the short period of time after which both modes don't offer any more challenges.
  5. While it's not the revolutionary title it initially promised to be, it delivers the exact combination of addictive and accessible gameplay that the genre has needed for a long time.
  6. Suffers from a severe lack of character development in almost every nook and cranny of its design. But it offers an interesting main story, bottomless value for the dollar in terms of sheer open-ended exploration, and a very cool co-op mode. [May 2003, p.96]
  7. Remarkably compelling. But there's only so much joy to be found in repetition, particularly when dogfighting interludes are so mannered. Ultimately, it's difficult to recall what all the fuss was ever about. [May 2003, p.100]

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. DesertFox
    Oct 7, 2007
    10
    My favorite PC game of all time. Incredible single player story and atmosphere, and an unbelievably deep multiplayer experience.
  2. Nov 5, 2013
    10
    Incredible atmosphere and novel game design. They need to make another one of these with today's modern graphics! Most satisfying spaceIncredible atmosphere and novel game design. They need to make another one of these with today's modern graphics! Most satisfying space emulator out there. Highly recommended. Expand
  3. RonR.
    Sep 7, 2003
    10
    This is my favorite game because The game play is never ending.
  4. CaticusC.
    Jun 5, 2004
    9
    Incredibly compelling storyline and even when that's completed it's still fun. However, it can get boring after a LONG time...
  5. Oct 9, 2010
    9
    One of my favorites for the PC- an engaging single-player storyline, incredible scenery, and a soundtrack that really brings you out into theOne of my favorites for the PC- an engaging single-player storyline, incredible scenery, and a soundtrack that really brings you out into the Freelancer universe. While the free-play mode could use one or two more notches of depth, the online multiplayer was unique and the simple controls let you hit the ground running. This game's shortcomings didn't stop me from falling in love with it, and i still play it from time to time. Expand
  6. Dec 1, 2013
    8
    I still play this game occasionally 10 years later.
    The criticisms about the limited scope of missions is true.
    I personally enjoyed the
    I still play this game occasionally 10 years later.
    The criticisms about the limited scope of missions is true.
    I personally enjoyed the Level based storyline where you upgrade your ship to new ships.

    There's still an amazing amount of fan made mods and servers available to play on, which is pretty impressive so many years later.
    There's mods to update the drivers and screen sizes as well to wide screen which is really nice.
    On top of that updated textures and all sorts of stuff.
    It's still a worthy purchase all these years later.

    I hope that Elite dangerous and/or Star citizen will trump it though.
    Expand
  7. BrianR.
    Mar 20, 2003
    6
    A game that should get a 10 on intuitive controls, crunchy visual and sound effects, and an interesting backdrop of elective activities to a A game that should get a 10 on intuitive controls, crunchy visual and sound effects, and an interesting backdrop of elective activities to a reasonably interesting storyline instead loses points. While a novice gamer might enjoy Freelancer a great deal for a time before moving on to another game, longtime fans of the genre had much higher hopes for the evolution of the space trading sim. While not game has quite come close to the magic of the legendary Elite that started it all with huge areas of space to explore, a variety of mission types, and a relatively high level of ship customization. Since we've seen Privateer, quite similiar to Freelancer, created by the same legendary designer of Wing Commander. Most notably were Terminus which featured detailed ship creation and modification, a dynamic economy and advanced, persistant, ship AI that could form ad hoc alliances or emnities with other vessels even to the point of posting bounties on each other or the player. X: Beyond The Frontier allowed the lone trader to create his own supply and distribution chains in space to the point of creating his own factories, stations and fleets while competing with other factions for resources. Freelancer brings us, once you step around the fairly interesting if rehashed linear storyline, a very static universe if a stunningly beautiful and visually varied one. While ships fly in formations and chat with each other and the station the economy they supposedly ply is static - prices never change. Hence once you learn a good route you're set for life. There are many factions but they're all but interchangable as they offer identical mission types (go there - blow that or them up). The relationships between them are as unchanging and void of surprises as the economy is. A player can never really get attached to his ship either as the 'rpg' based levelling system compels the player to buy a more powerful ship as soon as he gets to a high enough 'level'. Ship customization is woefully superficial and limited. Also, while there is a small variety of ship classes (Light Fighter, Heavy Fighter and Freighter) ultimately all players will end up with Heavy Fighters as all missions involve intense combat - even trade. Light Fighter and Freighter variants are unavailable at all for the highest levels of play. Multiplayer, while admittedly fun, does have many shortcomings. First, the static nature of the universe makes the natural tendancy of players to offer each other help a losing proposition. If the entire point of playing this style of game is exploration and discovery having that all handed to you on a silver platter ruins the game. Players have reported that, running the best routes, they can max out in power in a matter of hours. Once you're at the top of the food chain what's left to do? Static factions dictate you can't effect the various conflicts brewing. Ship vs. ship combat works much better in true sims than in arcade games in which turn, burn, and shoot are the only tactics available. There's not much of dogfight to be had. All this said, Freelancer still gets 6 out of 10 because there will be folks who will enjoy it. There's beauty and some crunchy gameplay in an evocative setting. Now, if only something this pretty had brains too. Wouldn't that be something? Expand

See all 35 User Reviews