Freespace and its sequel have, at last, sensibly been put together in the same bargain package. Whereas the original game focuses more on a ‘damn the torpedoes’ attitude to a shooting match in space, Freespace 2 introduces more of a story element to go along with the action.
Freespace 1 and 2 is a bundle full of hostile forces, evil empires and bad tempered alien hordes, bent on destruction. Originally, the Terrans and the Vasudans were at war. After years of vicious fighting, an uneasy alliance was formed between the warring factions, and this is where you start the game: not only keeping the peace in-house, as it were, as you fly around the indigo endlessness of deep space, but also being aware of the dangers the true enemy, the Shivans.
In Freespace 2, the uncomfortable truce between the Vasudans and the Terrans is (surprise, surprise) no more, and a coterie of rebel Terrans, in their frustration at not being…oh, I’m not going to go into too much detail for fear of spoiling your potential enjoyment. Suffice to say that with a host of baddies to deal with, and the complete weirdness that we all know happens in space, there’s plenty of action ahead.
Both games in this package are a treat to look at. The in-game action is colourful and the multitude of ships is nicely designed. Freespace was always an easy game to play, thanks to the user interface. Freespace 2 is similarly disposed, and with its storyline adding the requisite depth to the action, this pairing represents a cheap and cheerful challenge.