View Full Version : DIVE! DIVE! DIVE! HIT YOUR BURNERS PILOT! (An unlikely Let's Play Freespace 2 thread)

12-19-2008, 07:35 PM
Since Good Ol' Games (http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/freespace_2) is around, I thought it's about time I brought up the topic of space-sims once again to show the new generation of PC gamers what they're missing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r08pQHjF1X0&fmt=18).

For the most part, I'll be covering Freespace 2 since it's not only one of the best, but also now readily available spacesims that can be played on modern systems. But Freespace: The Great War (http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/freespace_expansion) is also great in its own right.

Speaking of modern systems, if you think the graphics look rather inadequate, we hear ya. Stop by HardLight Productions forums (http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,58230.0.htmhttp://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/Installing_fs2_openl) and fllow their step-by-step instruction on how to install their SPC Mod without having to affect your original game.

Joystick recommended...no...REQUIRED. Back in the day, we didn't use keyboard and mice. We used keyboard and joystick. A cheap flightstick with sticktwist and throttle should suffice.

12-19-2008, 10:49 PM
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but new LPs have to go through the queue in the archive first before they start up*. There are more details in the FAQ pinned at the top, so feel free to read up on the rules there. In the meantime, I'll be locking this thread for now, at least until it's gone through the queue.

*Unless you work something out with me via PM ahead of time.

01-24-2009, 09:35 PM
All righty, thanks for being patient. You can go ahead and start up now.

01-24-2009, 11:27 PM
Do carry on. 'Hrist keeps on telling me how great this game is, but I remain unconvinced.

01-25-2009, 08:56 AM
Do carry on. 'Hrist keeps on telling me how great this game is, but I remain unconvinced.

It lacks Wing Commander's space opera cutscenes (which are engaging in I and II but sad in every other game in the series), but its space battling is superior.

I'm pretty curious to see how this could possibly be adequately screenshot'd.

01-25-2009, 10:56 AM
Well, it's more of an inherent fear of games that require more than 4-5 buttons.

01-25-2009, 11:11 AM
I'm pretty curious to see how this could possibly be adequately screenshot'd.

As am I.

03-02-2009, 11:57 PM
Alright boys and girls! Let's Play Freespace 2!
So what's Freespace 2, you ask? For starters, it plays very much like X-Wing/TIE Fighter/Wing Commander, with a few differences. But for those less familiar with those games, space combat and flight simulation is a genre where you get to fly in the cockpit of a spacecraft with full control of your ship. These games where specifically PC-centric, with a fair amount of keyboard controls needed to be learned along with joystick options before one would be able to complete a mission. In fact, a good joystick is nearly mandatory for the complete experience, since at that time, the mouse still had a trackball and wasn't considered nearly as reliable as a good flightstick when compared to today's optical mice.

Freespace: The Great War is essentially a spacesim set in a future where humans fight an alien race only to have another species pop up that would virtually annihilate them both. The Terrans (humans) decide to settle their differences quickly with the Vasudans (said alien race they were fighting with initially) and create an alliance against the common enemy, the Shivans (said new species). While the whole three-alien-races setup is not unique, Freespace did present itself pleasingly with a well-paced mission campaign with a variety of mission objectives, most of which would change on the fly as the situation progressed.

If you're a fan of space combat simulation games, you owe it to yourself to check out Freespace, which you can find at Good Ol' Games (http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/freespace_expansion).

But enough of that. It's time to sign up...

Let's pretend I never played the first game...

After the cutscene, you input your name as so, and you're immediately greeted by...

Uh guys?

First thing you noticed is that the command center is pretty...sparse. Where did all the bridge bunnies go?

Oh well, let's tweak some settings:
Lookin' good

Here I tune my HUD so it looks nice and visibly spiffy. Particularly useful during explosions, which I'll get to later.

Tutorial 1
So I'm a new recruit of the 53rd Hammerheads, my squadron. There's not much to say other than a recap of previous events I probably never witnessed. Apparently, the Shivan ship Lucifer was headed to Earth when they blew it up causing some wormhole to collapse. Not that I care now that I'm here.

Flying school 101
It seems the first sections of the tutorial are not as hands-on as I would've hoped.

Fortunately, after you get the feel of your craft and learning how to accelerate/decelerate, they finally let you toy around with the weapons you have.
Simple enough

It seems after that, they ask me to engage my subspace drive, which is a convinient way for saying "Hit Alt-J to quit and save your game."

03-03-2009, 12:30 AM
Tutorial 2 & 3

So the next few sessions are pretty uneventful. They apparently teach you how to target all kinds of ships. Apparently there's a targeting button for everything:

Some more advanced flight controls, cycling through targets automatically, matching speeds, and calling for support. Oddly enough, I've encountered this weird bug:
Notice the speed as indicated on the lower left. It seems the drone won't move if you keep right in front of it when it warps in. The instructor stresses the importance of trying to match its speed, until even he finally pretty much gives up on the whole idea.
You should've said that earlier...


03-03-2009, 01:08 AM
Mission 1:Surrender, Belisarius!
It's time for out first real mission.
Apparently, a split faction called the Neo Terran Front has been running amok ever since the formation of the Galactic Terran Vasudan Alliance. The NTF is headed by a guy named Aken Bosch who terrorizes the hapless civilians of the GTVA, particularly Vasudans in general, since they're pretty much a bunch of space extremists.

In short, the first assignment just had to be an escort mission.
Oh pretty!

I stay behind the carriers just enough to actually see where they're heading, although most of the NTF baddies warp in around 4000 meters off the lane from either the left or right. I equip some Rockeyes (no-lock homing missiles) to make them short work. Of course, ramming headfirst into the fighters is just as effective.

Do a barrel roll!

The best tactic is to always just go right at them guns blazing at full throttle (Slash key), kill your engines as you pass them (Backspace), and then tail right up their asses to finish them off. If you feel you're taking too much time just for one fighter, then don't be afraid to use a missile or two. Each engagement should probably last around 5-10 seconds per wave (once they're around 1000 meters).

Of course, there just has to be a setpiece moment...in space!

Disobeying thier orders to stand clear of the Belisarius, I did them the little extra favor by destroying its beam turrent (which was automatically selected when I targeted the warship) just to make sure they didn't target my escorts.

Wait, what's a beam turrent?..

Luckily, I survived the blast to sortie another day...
All those numbers make me dizzy...

03-05-2009, 10:53 PM
On an added note, sorry it took so long just to get the first (four) missions out. It was quite some time before I could properly batch process screenshots, not to mention playing the missions takes considerable time on my behalf, and I've just about finished my mid-terms, so please be patient.

That aside, is the image size still too large? I do want things to be legible. This is my first Let's Play...

03-05-2009, 11:45 PM
For FS2, the images could actually be LARGER. Also, don't hesitate to grab shots from the other cameras.

Are you playing vanilla, or the Hard Light super-graphics version?

03-05-2009, 11:50 PM
For FS2, the images could actually be LARGER. Also, don't hesitate to grab shots from the other cameras.

Are you playing vanilla, or the Hard Light super-graphics version?
I've stared with vanilla. I have the latest Hard Light Productions build ready as well, although with my current setup, you won't be seeing any normal mapping from me (you'll still get all the other fancy effects, though).

Next two missions are up, although I'm heavily contemplating on redoing Mission 3 in order to make some things clearer.

03-06-2009, 12:40 AM
Alright, it's time to start up our engines once more...

Mission 2: The Place of Chariots
Warning!: I'm going with nunix's advise and going for the larger pics.

So this is your basic "Patrol/Kill baddies" mission. Command wants us to investigate some cargo and intercept anything that gets in our way. For my selection, I chose the standard armament of Subachs and Rockeye/Tempests, but seeing as how I could keep ships on my lead indicator more, I chose for a larger payload of Tempests (the fast dart like missiles with no homing).

Alright. Let's go!
Once there, there's a corvette warping out, leaving behind a trail of fighters for us to engage. Again, this is no big deal.

But something's not right.

I decide to go scan each and every cargo...and let my companions do the dirty work for me. Ehehe.
Unfortunately, every single one of them is unscanable. Just my luck, I suppose. Fortunately command gave the order to clean up the cargo, so a couple of free "kills" for me...
A minor setback, I suppose...
"That's no moon..."

Things start to get a little disconcertingly creepy from here on out.

Just when you thought a strange set of coincidences couldn't get any worse...
No, that fighter's not him!

What the hell? So the leader of the NTF lives here? And this is just only our second mission...

Ah...that explains that...

Wait...why would you want to negotiate with a de...?



...Just what the hell is going on in this mission?


Didn't know we could have Metal Gear moments in space as well...

You'd think I'd trust Command after pulling a stunt like that?