The First Game I Remember Playing is. . .
The first online PC game I ever played was Freespace 2 developed by Volition, Inc.
“FreeSpace 2 is a 1999 space combat simulation computer game developed by Volition, Inc. as the sequel to Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War. It was completed ahead of schedule in less than a year, and released to great critical acclaim. Engrossing gameplay, excellent sound effects in addition to the inclusion of vocal talent such as Robert Loggia and Ronny Cox led several gaming sites to have proclaimed it as the definitive simulation game for 1999.
The game continues on the story from Descent: FreeSpace, once again thrusting the player into the role of a pilot fighting against the mysterious aliens, the Shivans. While defending the human race and its alien Vasudan allies, the player also gets involved in putting down a rebellion. The game features large numbers of fighters alongside gigantic capital ships in a battlefield fraught with beams, shells and missiles in detailed star systems and nebulae. Free multiplayer games were available via Parallax Online which also ranked players by their statistics. A persistent galaxy was also available as SquadWar for players to fight with each other over territories.”
I really loved this game!
I remember getting engrossed with the story and the action. I loved eventually commanding my own squadron and seeing members of my squad acknowledge my orders via a pop up window in the upper left portion of my screen.
But what really hooked me was the graphics. Space, spaceships, aliens, distant galaxies it was all new and exciting to me. Maybe cause it was my first game or because the game was so good for the time, I just loved it.
And talk about a persistent galaxy! On one mission, I actually got lost in a nebulae and had to start the mission over…haha!
Oracurax at youtube.com compiled a series of gameplay video that shows the game experience:
Freespace 2 received various game of the year awards and there was no problem getting on to a server and getting a group to do missions.
Even though Freespace 2 was the current game, I also played Decent: Freespace (whose servers were still up) to see what the previous game was about and learn the basic mechanics to play Freespace 2 better.
Unfortunately by the time I felt confident with the online gameplay, players were starting to stop playing Freespace 2 and Freespace 2 servers eventually went down for good. The community waited for Volition to make a Freespace 3, but that never happened.
Despite Volition’s interest and desire to develop add-ons and expansions for FreeSpace 2, Interplay told them to stop. Volition was then acquired by THQ in 2000. As Interplay owns the rights to the FreeSpace series (as well as the Descent series) and Volition’s owners, THQ, is only interested in pursuing development on what they own, Volition was unable to continue developing the FreeSpace franchise.
This was one of those games that could have been a World of Warcraft, but controlling interests prevented it from happening. It’s a shame because Interplay eventually went out of business.
With the release of Blizzard Entertainment’s The Burning Crusade, I was once again immersed in a persistent universe that you could get lost in.
To date, no other game has captured my imagination and interest as World of Warcraft and it’s expansions have.
Do you remember your first