Freelancer - PC

4.1 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews
Rated: Teen
Metascore: 85 / 100
Other Sellers on Amazon: 14 used & new from $18.92

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About the Product

  • Open-Ended Universe - Play missions randomly or follow the storyline. The universe is open for exploration, and the game evolves based on the decisions you make. Demolish pirate bases or supply depots and watch the political fallout. Lane Hackers go after cargo vessels if you disable trade lanes. Support your local cop...or not. The choice is yours but the universe won't wait for you.
  • Dynamic Reputation - Your choice in missions, your successes, your failures...they all change your reputation constantly. Play as a Naval Officer and everyone associated with the Navy will treat you better. Become a pirate and hunt down cargo vessels and youll soon have friends in low places. The missions youre offered and the technology you have access to all depend on who you become.
  • Distinctive Styles of Play - Chase the almighty dollar, disrupt the corrupt government, enforce the law, chase human prey...every game is different. Want access to easy money? Become a Lane Hacker: take dowenemies blind. Politics and intrigue are everywhere in the universe. If you have what it takes to be a CEO here on Earth....
  • Intuitive Interface - Master the intricacies of space combat via mouse. Don't have a joystick? Hate all those buttons anyway? A mouse and a keyboard puts you in the game.

Product Description

Product Description

In Freelancer, you'll have to make way in the universe, through the aftermath of interplanetary war & colonization! Explore dozens of different star systems and uncover a hidden threat to the human race Exciting LAN play for up to 16 players

In the open-ended space action/adventure game Freelancer you play a ne'er-do-well with a lucky streak, one of two survivors of a space disaster. Penniless and shipless, you venture around a space dock until you find a ship and a job. You'll encounter a heady mix of canned missions that follow one main quest, and a million opportunities to make money or aggravate the various factions that co-exist in the universe. Like an online role-playing game, or Bethesda's Morrowind, you determine who your enemies are and who your friends are by your own actions, and, in another nod to role-playing, you can customize your ship with guns, rockets, and equipment just as you would customize a RPG character with swords, bows, and magic items. Best of all, you can play cooperatively with friends or fight it out with enemies online.

The backstory posits a future where various countries, divided by both nationality and, seemingly, race, have boarded massive colony ships and ventured into a wormhole that appeared within reach of our crude space technology. They found themselves in a galaxy far, far away and they got stuck there when the wormhole collapsed. They quickly colonized new home worlds and named everything with familiar locales that make navigation a breeze. In the American sectors you'll feel at home entering the New York system and landing at a spaceport called Manhattan, for example. While contrived, this device is used beautifully and it's far better than having to memorize a bunch of sci-fi names and remembering where they are, perfect for a massive universe such as this one.

Though Freelancer is set in space, it is technically not a space simulation. The game was designed to be accessible to casual gamers. For example, Freelancer makes you use the mouse for ship control. This is quite a shift for a game genre normally known to require joystick control. But even old-school Wing Commander or X-Wing fans may find that the sacrifice of verisimilitude is made up for with gains in agility. The mouse controls your guns, while you use the keyboard to maneuver around the rich universe that developer Digital Anvil has constructed. Much like a first-person shooter, you can dodge and weave while precisely blasting your enemies.

Despite the game's age, its graphics are spectacular, as is the sound and voice acting, and in that way, fighting and trading with friends or alone, Freelancer proves worth the wait. Just keep in mind that it is explicitly not a hardcore space simulation, and you'll have to leave your joystick on the shelf. --Andrew S. Bub


  • A deep and interesting universe
  • Game adjusts to your choices and affiliations
  • Innovative and addictive co-op multiplayer
  • It looks like a space sim but plays like a RPG
  • Joystick isn't even an option
  • It looks like a space sim but plays like a RPG

Product Information

Release date March 4, 2003
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #8,952 in videogames
#756 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 7.8 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
Media: Video Game
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A strong story line made this a good game...having things to do other than play the story makes this a great game. The universe is large enough that you don't feel like you are wearing a straight jacket while it is just small enough that most locations feel unique. The mouse flight seemed a bit odd at first but I quickly adapted to it. The guns on the ships have a limited amount of pivot built in, the mouse seems to work better with this than a joystick would have.
From an interface standpoint, more of the options need shortcuts. The manual also failed to fully detail the interface, leaving out a CRITICAL piece of information...what the changes to your cross hairs mean. It also fails to give enough information on the basics of weapon systems, so you are left on your own to experiment with when missiles are locked and how to use mines and turrets.
This is clearly a remake of the Wing Commander Privateer game (which is unplayable on machines over 200 mhz because its too fast). Unfortunately, two things are missing... Wingmen (a nice to have, but acceptably missing given the story line) and an economy that MAKES SENSE! It is difficult to be a merchant when the planet/station that produces an item charges the most for it in most cases. For instance, I traveled to a station that was advertised as producing "basic alloy" figuring I could take the basic alloy to a planet that focused on manufacturing and sell it there for a markup. The reality was that basic alloy cost far more on the planet described as "producing" basic alloy than almost anywhere else by a very large amount.(like $80 per unit vs $20 a unit). I've had to learn that "produces" USUALLY means "buys for the highest price".
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Years after it's release, Freelancer remains a popular multiplayer platform with 600+ daily players from around the world. The most popular community modification to Freelancer is called Discovery, which adds dozens of new systems, ships, factions, and functionality to the game engine.

Play as police or military for your favorite house, or be that truly evil character you could never been in the single player module. Fly previously locked ships such as tranports, gunboats, cruisers, and battleships.

Simply purchase a copy of Freelancer then use your favorite search engine to search for "Discovery PTC" to get more information about the Discovery mod, and one of the most popular Discovery multiplayer servers, Discovery PTC.

We look forward to seeing you in game!
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This game is beautiful to look at and really makes a strong effort at being an open-ended space combat/exploration game. A literal universe of planets, space stations, debris fields, wormholes, ships, and other encounters wait to be explored. Docking areas are all fairly interchangeable, typically comprising a bar, store, supply depot, and ship dealer. You can talk to people for gossip or side-missions, load cargo for trade, upgrade weapons and equipment, and buy new ships.
Now, I say 'effort' because hidden beneath all the trappings of a free-range space game is a very restrictive main mission. Following the main mission of the game is fun and its elements are interesting, but in order to shoehorn you into it, Freelancer made the extremely poor choice of tying it to your pilot's progression. In other words, if you ignore the main quest and light out on your own, you won't ever get any better. Sure, you may win a thousand dogfights or earn a million credits from trade, but you won't advance.
For example, my current character is a mere 5th level pilot. In order to progress to 6th level, he has to complete a certain mission tied to the main quest. This character, however, has already completed over 50 side quests, blown up over 250 enemy warships, and earned about $300,000 in trade and resold looted equipment. None of that affects his level. Now without going up another level, he cannot buy a better ship, nor can he buy better weapons. Ship equipment, like the ships themselves, is tied to one's level..hence he is unable to buy anything that requires level 6 or higher. So he, despite being wealthy and highly experienced, can not get the many advanced ships and weapons he's already encountered in his explorings.
This scheme makes absolutely no sense.
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Picked up this gem on release day. Have only played for a total of 4 hours, so I'll give my initial impressions here. (The other reviews sum up the feature set nicely.)
Understand that FREELANCER IS NOT A SPACE COMBAT SIMULATOR (as I believe the Amazon reviewer pointed out). It really is more of an action RPG set in space.
There's little micromanagement here, which, in this setting, is a blessing. There's enough going on without having to account for shield facings, energy management, and Newtonian mechanics. It's no Independence War.
(But I am annoyed that YOU CAN'T ROLL YOUR SHIP. At least I couldn't find a way to do it. Stinks not being able to do a break maneuver. I do like the "strafe" feature... adds a fun element to combat.)
Combat is fast and furious and fun. So far, it seems almost too easy. Perhaps that's because ship guns aren't fixed forward, allowing you to train firepower on targets even if they're not dead center in your HUD.
My hope for the game was not its simulation aspects but its dynamic universe. The key to making this work is adequate feedback to the player, and Freelancer does this superbly with news items (available at bases/planets), radio chatter, conversations with NPCs, and "reputation meters" with various factions. This was a major failing in the BattleCruiser titles (well, those currently available anyway), where it was much harder to get a sense of who's zooming who. Derek Smart take note (that is, when you can take a break from puffing yourself up).
Oh, and for those wondering if it will run on their system, here's my subjective benchmarking: I have a 1.4GHz Athlon and a GeForce3 card. Looks absolutely beautiful in 1024x768 with superb frame rate.
Sounds great, too.
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