Freespace series

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I find it hard to internet-sist that there was any kind of personal reaction to Freespace's Nephilim Juniors...

... since there weren't any people in Freespace.
 

Sphynx

Commodore
I'll grant you this, LOAF: FS2 left the characterizations up to the imagination of the player (although it did have more characters than FS1, which had none except for random names of commanding officers. FS2 had Bosch and Styles-- or whatever the name of the secret ops guy was-- but that was about it). For some people that works. For some people that doesn't. I don't have a problem with you or anyone disagreeing with me on this. It's a matter of personal taste, that's all.

For me, the mysteriousness (in other words, lack of characterization) of the Shivans was actually spooky, so it worked for me. Their motivations were completely unknown, and there was no way to communicate with them to negotiate peace. An enemy who you can't talk to is an enemy with whom there can be no non-violent resolution.

When you first met them, they had shields, stealth ability, and mega bombs. You had armor that their guns could shred in a few hits, weapons that could barely scratch the surface of their shields (until technology upgrades, it takes your entire missile compliment fired blind to take out a scout) and... a bunch of wingmen who would die really quickly on higher difficulty levels.

Like I said, it worked for me. The Nephilim were a little more spelled out, but not much. They worked for me, too. I just never had that feeling of, "Oh my gosh, they're unbeatable!" That's all I'm saying.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Sphynx said:
Like I said, it worked for me. The Nephilim were a little more spelled out, but not much. They worked for me, too. I just never had that feeling of, "Oh my gosh, they're unbeatable!" That's all I'm saying.
The poblem with the nephilim's scary factor is that they're only space bugs(lots of crappy fighters instead of few strong ones), and the uber ships you fly in prophecy.

"Oh, another 29, morays? Well good thing I still have 8 imrecs...":(
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
That's all absolutely true - but one dead Dallas is worth a million dead FS wingmen. In WCP, you were concerned about other characters. In FS, you were only concerned about yourself - and that's worth nothing in a game, since you can restart a mission fifty times over.

I mean, come on - everyone played that one mission over and over until they figured out that Dallas was scripted to die. And how many people have ever restarted a mission to save Alpha Three?




...Oh, what? Nobody?

I wonder why.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Quarto said:
That's all absolutely true - but one dead Dallas is worth a million dead FS wingmen. In WCP, you were concerned about other characters. In FS, you were only concerned about yourself - and that's worth nothing in a game, since you can restart a mission fifty times over.

I mean, come on - everyone played that one mission over and over until they figured out that Dallas was scripted to die. And how many people have ever restarted a mission to save Alpha Three?




...Oh, what? Nobody?

I wonder why.
Eh, I never cared for any of my wingmen in prophecy. I did in ever other wing commander game, but not in prophecy. WCP just felt so much more... shallow. I blame this on the FMV. There were very few good FMV scenes, and most were just filler and repitive scenes. On the other hand, I hadn't actually played through WCP until not too long ago, when it first came out I played it a friends house and it seemed ok, but not great, but when I played through it recently It really felt like a bad game. Cheesy as hell, and just nowhere near the level of the previous WC games or freespace.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I once had the same complaints with WC:p until I realized that the presentation of the game is exactly like that of the original Wing Commander. The plot is thin - but the gameplay is fantastic.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I'll grant you this, LOAF: FS2 left the characterizations up to the imagination of the player (although it did have more characters than FS1, which had none except for random names of commanding officers. FS2 had Bosch and Styles-- or whatever the name of the secret ops guy was-- but that was about it). For some people that works. For some people that doesn't. I don't have a problem with you or anyone disagreeing with me on this. It's a matter of personal taste, that's all.
If I make someone a cheeseburger without any meat, I'm not 'leaving the meat to the imagination'... I'm cooking a horribly flawed meal that deserves to be harshly criticized in comparison to the wonderful and delicious burgers that do have meat.

Like I said, it worked for me. The Nephilim were a little more spelled out, but not much. They worked for me, too. I just never had that feeling of, "Oh my gosh, they're unbeatable!" That's all I'm saying.
I don't think that was ever the impression you were supposed to get - as the Prophecy manual said before anyone even had a chance to fight them, the Nephilim are roughly our technological equals.

The neat, "scary" thing is supposed to be that they're like insects -- they swarm en masse and have no concept of loss.
 

Sphynx

Commodore
Very true. The swarming was what made the Nephilim challenging, as well as their obvious disregard for individual life, with especial prejuidice against any life that was not one of the "aligned species." (Quarto caught on to that in EU and swarmed the heck out of you!)

I'm afraid, though, that we see things somewhat differently. While I see what you are getting at in your cheesburger metaphor, I think it might be a little overstated. Yes, FS lacked an awful lot of substance, but it was not entirely absent. For me, the voice acting helped, an in FS2 wingmen had actual conversations in flight as well, so you got a taste of their personalities.

Still, for FS in my mind I had to connect the dots about how I might feel if I had known my wingmen. This was where WC was clearly superior: I didn't have to imagine, because I knew. I felt their fate viscerally. With FS, I had to imagine it, but seeing the larger scale combat and experiencing the huge devestation that happens in war (like flying a mission where 30 of my wingmen buy the farm) also taught me something. There is something to be expreinced and gained from both, but I totally agree that FS would have been much better with developed characters for wingmen. So, while we disagree on some points, I think that is our common ground.

By the way, Quarto, I agree entirely with your point about Dallas. I must have played that mission 17 times before I finally accepted his death. That is one thing I missed in FS, I wanted to care about my wingmen, but I couldn't do it the same way I cared about Vagabond or Iceman. So, you are right. I wish that is something they had done differently in FS, and it was one of the downsides of the series.

They got some things very, very right, and they were way off target on other things. The way I see it, that's the way most things are in life.

Like I said, I know I see this differently than some other people, and I'm not trying to pick a fight or convert anyone. If it didn't work for you, that's fine. For me, my imagination filled in the gaps. The gameplay was what kept me coming back. But the weaknesses are apparent, as well. That is why, in doing WC Saga, we have tried to put the soul back in your wingmen, even though we are using the FS engine. That is a completely valid criticism, and one we are keeping in mind.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Bandit LOAF said:
If I make someone a cheeseburger without any meat, I'm not 'leaving the meat to the imagination'... I'm cooking a horribly flawed meal that deserves to be harshly criticized in comparison to the wonderful and delicious burgers that do have meat.
I think that a little harsh. Ok, it was quite harsh, and very, very, wrong. How could you possibly insult one of the greatest games of all time like that? Freespace does not suffer for its lack of this 'meat' as you call it. Neither did tie-fighter, x-com, or mech-warrior 2, and these games stand up there with the best wing commander has to offer. Lack of characterization is not a flaw, it's a design choice. And let me tell you, no characterization is a whole sight better than the bad characterization that was in prophecy. Personally, I think prophecy would have been a lot better if it was done like freespace. The FMV was cheesier than most b-movies.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
LeHah said:
I once had the same complaints with WC:p until I realized that the presentation of the game is exactly like that of the original Wing Commander. The plot is thin - but the gameplay is fantastic.
Which was why I disliked prophecy. The gameplay wasn't anywhere near the same leage as freespace one or two, and the original wing commander had much greater gameplay and story IMHO.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I think that a little harsh. Ok, it was quite harsh, and very, very, wrong. How could you possibly insult one of the greatest games of all time like that? Freespace does not suffer for its lack of this 'meat' you are reffering to. Neither did tie-fighter, x-com, or mech-warrior 2, and these games stand up there with the best games that wing commander had to offer. Lack of characterization is not a flaw, it's a design choice. And let me tell you, no characterization is a whole sight better than the bad characterization that was in prophecy. Personally, I think prophecy would have been a lot better if it was done like freespace. The FMV was cheesier than most b-movies.
One of the greatest games of all time? You're delusional - Freespace is Wing Commander with the serial numbers rubbed off... and they managed to break the radio while they were busy doing that.

There is *nothing* original to Freespace. It is a generic space sim with new graphics adequate to whatever year it came out. In order to be great a game has to bring something to the table - Freespace didn't do that at all.

I'm certainly interest in hearing something more specific about your issues with Prophecy's characters -- please, enthrall us with some specifics instead of vauge nothingness.
 

Paddybhoy

Rear Admiral
pound for pound (sticking with the meat metaphors :D) freespace had more variation and imagination in its mission structure (remember that mission were u had to scan cargo containers with no rader or shields?), in it capships were more than stationary targets that you *had* to destroy with a particular kind of weapon, your wingman despite the total lack of personality were actually useful, and the game wasn't an absolute walkover like prophecy (by difficulty I don't mean "running out of fuel and missles whilst trying to keep all my wingmen alive just to get a 90% statistic for the mission, which was endemic especially with secret ops)

As much as I enjoy prophecy it is a pretty shallow experience both gameplay and story (no escort missions, no recon missions, no desperate offensive/defence, no sense of danger at all)

But I still love that Prophecy goodness!!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
pound for pound (sticking with the meat metaphors ) freespace had more variation and imagination in its mission structure (remember that mission were u had to scan cargo containers with no rader or shields?),
No, I don't. Freespace was trash, I can't pick out a single mission for you.

I do remember the Prophecy mission where you have to scan alien debris as quickly as possible, competing against Stiletto.

in it capships were more than stationary targets that you *had* to destroy with a particular kind of weapon,
You're complaining about one of the best things about Prophecy's mechanics, the fact that it dropped the 'geared for stupid people' capital ships of Wing Commander III and IV. Going back to Wing Commander II's torpedo runs was great -- capital ships should be a special challenge, not big cubes you shoot your ordinary guns at all day.

your wingman despite the total lack of personality were actually useful, and the game wasn't an absolute walkover like prophecy (by difficulty I don't mean "running out of fuel and missles whilst trying to keep all my wingmen alive just to get a 90% statistic for the mission, which was endemic especially with secret ops)
Of course -- as Quarto already pointed out, there was absolutely no impetus for keeping Alpha 3 alive.

As much as I enjoy prophecy it is a pretty shallow experience both gameplay and story (no escort missions, no recon missions, no desperate offensive/defence, no sense of danger at all)
DId you play Prophecy? It has every single thing you just listed.

Heck, just paging through /guides, I count twenty three missions with an escort requirement in the primary obejctives.
 

Bombadier

Spaceman
Personally, I liked the "Bugs" better in UE than in Prophecy or Secret Ops. Even on nightmare its just too easy to stay alive and accomplish the mission goals. Maybe its the fact that the weapons and fighters are not current generation like they are in Prophecy or the black ops versions. Whatever it is UE, as far as the fighting goes, does make it more challenging. Too bad there isn't a level beyond nightmare for Prophecy or SO to play through on.
 

Halman

PSY-YI-YI
hurleybird said:
Neither did tie-fighter, x-com, or mech-warrior 2, and these games stand up there with the best wing commander has to offer. Lack of characterization is not a flaw, it's a design choice. And let me tell you, no characterization is a whole sight better than the bad characterization that was in prophecy.
We must have played different X-COMs. I always gave my soldiers names and got as attatched to them as I did to my wingmen in Wing Commander.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Bandit LOAF said:
One of the greatest games of all time? You're delusional - Freespace is Wing Commander with the serial numbers rubbed off... and they managed to break the radio while they were busy doing that.
Freespace as a wing commander clone? Freespace hardly resembles wing commander. If anything, freespace is moddeled after x-wing/tie-fighter.

Bandit LOAF said:
There is *nothing* original to Freespace. It is a generic space sim with new graphics adequate to whatever year it came out. In order to be great a game has to bring something to the table - Freespace didn't do that at all.
Again wrong, both freespace games pushed the graphical envelope when they cmae out. A quick look at reviews will show you that. You also clearly have no idea what a great game is, do you? You don't measure a game by what it 'brings to the table', you measure it by how enjoyable it is to play, and more importantly, its longetivity. "5 years later, how fun is it to play?" In the case of prophecy, I would rather play solitair. On the other hand, great games like freespace, wing commander 2, tie fighter, master of orion, or even 1986's starflight, I would play any day of the week. Freespace took good elements from other space sims, brought them together, added the greatest combat in the genre, and became a great game. The more you think about it, the more flawed your reasoning becomes. Being a later addition to the genre, there really isn't much that freespace could have 'brought to the table' so to speak, besides great gameplay. I mean come on, if you yourself were to make a space sim what would you be able to 'bring to the table' that hasn't been done yet?


Bandit LOAF said:
I'm certainly interest in hearing something more specific about your issues with Prophecy's characters -- please, enthrall us with some specifics instead of vauge nothingness.
Funny, you seem to be hurling vague jabs at freespace and then you rudely impose a double standard on me. Can you not see the irony there?

In any case, its easy to see that the characters in prophecy were not as well fleshed out as they were in any of the other wing commander games. Maniac, who had me laughing throughout wing commander 3 & 4 didn't have a single funny thing to say in prophecy. Hawk was vaugely interesting, but still nowhere near wing commander 4 standards. The game built up no pathos for any of the characters because the game felt like a huge arcade. Pilots get 100's of kills and seem unbeatable compared to the enemy. In freespace, you lost most of your wingmen each mission, which lended itself to create atmosphere and beleivability. Freespace felt like a war, while prophecy felt like a bad arcade shooter with crappy FMV on top of it. Its like comparing Call of Duty to Wolfenstien or Quake. Call of Duty being freespace, of course.


Bandit LOAF said:
Freespace was trash
What the heck kind of admin are you? You are a truly horrible representative to this website. I'm sure many people would be angered to see you post such trash.



Unlike you LOAF, I have an unbiased opinion. I recently (within the last year) played through freespace 2, freespace 1, and prophecy -- in that order, and all for the first time. The gap in quality was unbeleivable. Prophecy doesen't survive the trial of time, while freespace does; and thats why freespace is the better game.

You really need to realize that you're opinion isn't always right. In fact, after this, I'm pretty sure the opposite is more likely of being true.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Halman said:
We must have played different X-COMs. I always gave my soldiers names and got as attatched to them as I did to my wingmen in Wing Commander.
But that isn't technically 'characterization', is it? I can become attached to my character in diablo, yet that does not make him a fleshed out character.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
hurleybird said:
Its like comparing Call of Duty to Wolfenstien or Quake. Call of Duty being freespace, of course.
That's just stupid. Call of Duty is no less railed than Wolfenstien. In fact I'd hazard to say that apart from its cinematic flare CODs gamplay was pathetic. Scripted beyond belief, it pretty much consists of arcade-like shooting of everything until the timer runs down and then you move on to the next "arena" and do it again. It was a bit fun, looked pretty, was somewhat immersive, but it really had horrible gameplay.

WCP may not win any awards in the story or acting department, but I fail to see (as you have failed to explain) what specific issues you have with the actual gameplay.

Also the fact that you don't share LOAFs opinion doesnt give you cart blanche to hurl personal insults (at an admin no less). God forbid someone should state their opinion on the INTERNET...:eek:

By the way, stating your opinion IS stating your bias. Speaking of which I'm interested in your thoughts on Secret Ops (since it adresses the issue you have with the FMV by eliminating it)
 
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