Experience a vast, open-ended universe filled with an infinite number of adventures. You are the freelancer Edison Trent, an intergalactic jack-of-all-trades. Your mission: whatever you want. Become a smuggler or a ruthless space thug, a naval hero or a trader. Dodge through asteroid fields while piloting elite spacecraft. The action is endless as you make your way through 48 known star systems. Greed, morality, compassion, anger... whatever motivates you, the dynamic universe will respond.
I don't know what else to say but this: this game is one of the best games Microsoft Game Studios designed.
While the X series of games actually make a vast believable star system and do everything that this game does (and in some cases are much, *much* bigger than Freelancer can ever hope to be), they miss out on the important concept of balancing travelling time and "shoot those bastards out of space" time. With a vast array of star systems (and one secret system!) and cartloads of ships (the Corsair Titans are the best, take my word for it) this game is brilliant!
Freelancer is an excellent space sim that attempted to fill a very small niche role in an already small audience.
It did so very, very, well. Freelancer has delivered an excellent space combat sim made even better by the ease of modding. With the community developed modding tools we have today, anyone with a great idea can take the Freelancer engine and make an amazing universe.
There are a few black marks on Freelancer, namely scale issues. Cap ships, even in vanilla, can be 1/10th the size of planets. Planets are placed ridiculously close together and distances between stars in binary systems is measured in tens of kilometers.
This is understandable; look at something like X3 which has more believable scales but has to split systems into smaller "sectors".
Only one other downside exists in Freelancer, a lack of end game. Without a dynamic economy, trading gets stale quickly and the entire purpose of the game is upgrading your ship (which you can only own one of). This means end game is very limited.
There are very few video games which are said to be the premium amongst premiums. Freelancer is one special game in that category. The massive universe, incredible graphics and story line along with literally free-to-go anywhere kind of game play sets up the pace.
Even if you have played this game for hours, days or years...there's always something in it which will bring you back to play this game more and more; nevertheless the mods just double or triple up the chances of replay-ability of this game. Some of the best known industry standard mods are supported and created for this game.
Even though Digital Anvil is no more and Microsoft kind of not-at-all interested in continuing this franchise for its console (Psst...you can find some videos of now discontinued Freelancer 2 project on youtube) or PC...the elite group of modders have found a way to continue its story line in fan created universe which ofcourse comes into action after implementing hundreds of fan-based comments and suggestions.Be it a single player campaign or the online gameplay, you're bound to enjoy the enthralling experience.
The original storyline created by Microsoft & Digital Anvil was so gripping that it instantaneously created a large fan group of this game. There were very, very few games around the year 2003 which were large in terms of gameplay maps, had astounding around 5-6 + hours of Story-line & with such graphical details.
Edison Trent the lead character of this game become an instant icon amonsgt the players, similar to Capt.Shepherd from Mass Effect Universe. Still the modders create great customizations for the players and the universe which feels just like a newly purchased game everytime a new mod is installed.
At the end we, as the fans of this great game are still waiting for the complete turn over of the universe and announcement of Freelancer 2 !!!! even after around 8 + years have passed by...
Freelancer is an older gem from Microsoft's golden years. I love the story to death and there's always something to find when replaying the single player. Even though the online servers don't exist anymore, multiplayer is still going strong with RP and PvP servers and the fun never ends. Definitely the best space sim I've ever had the pleasure of playing.