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.
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.
space sim with rpg elements an alien race that wants to destroy humanity, traitors in the military and a secret order that protects mankind are some things that this awesome game has to offer it's a game that every pc gamer should try
So why is it that even after 7 years since release, Freelancer is still a popular game?
The reason is rather simple and a guideline for any game to be successful. Freelancer is accessible, easily moddable and highly polished.
Combined with a stunning Singleplayer story and an MMO-like Multiplayer mode, this game is still unmatched within the niche market of space simulation games.
Having said that, the game lacks endgame content and is rather limited in its sandbox gameplay. However, that downside is partially countered by the dozens of mods that have appeared due to the mod-friendly nature of the game.
Freelancer aimed too high with its initial promises but the ones it delievered, it delievered exceptionally well.