The Lonesome Death of FreeLancer 2 (December 5, 2007)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Pistol reports that a neat site called Such Things That Never Was has run an article about the long-cancelled FreeLancer 2 project. Development on FL2 went on for quite a while, and included several Wing Commander veterans. We actually get regular e-mails asking for information about this game, thanks to what we thought was an obvious April Fools joke update. They say:
At the time of Digital Anvil's closing, the company was working on two Xbox 360 titles, one of which was dubbed with the codename Project Lonestar (the other, Project Enwor, I'll go into at length at a later date) but also known by the name of Freelancer 2. I have not played much of the original, so forgive me that I cannot compare the sequel to the original. The player would have again been in the shoes of Edison Trent as he attempted to find out the truth about the mystery of the space station disaster that Trent survived whilst alluding some shadowy groups.


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Original update published on December 5, 2007
 
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Gamer8585

Spaceman
Motherf**er!
I was sooooo hoping that Freelancer 2 was being worked on somewhere.

Even if it wasn't, an expansion pack to Freelancer would have been nice, the game is so ripe for one. The universe is so big and the current story mode only uses a small part of it...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
FL is a sad story - I really feel that if it had been an Xbox title to start out with we'd be drinking FreeLancer-branded disgusting-flavored Mountain Dew today.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Are these images just "placeholders" or was there actually a prototype?

I don't really know what these screenshots are - the whole article is part of the recent trend of 'look how much inside information I have, aren't I special that I released a tiny hint of it for you?' in video game reporting... which kind of sucks.

That said, I'm absolutely sure there *was* an early version of the game - it was in development for a *long* time! You usually have 'something' pretty early in the process (which is how I've 'played' Privateer Online...)
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
I didn't know there was a FL 2 planned - and for the XBox 360 as well. But I haven't even played the first one.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
(For those who don't know the color balance story - back in 2003 (2002?) Microsoft invited a bunch of StarLancer fans and me to come preview FreeLancer in Austin. Flew us down, gave us the royal treatment complete with a Texas BBQ and a pretty girl to show us around (... the city I'd lived in for years) - heck of a show... and then they asked us to review the beta for our sites.

I enjoyed the heck out of it, so I wrote a glowing review full of all the beautiful language you've come to expect from CIC updates that I actually think about... and one thing I hammered home was how *pretty* it was. Not only was it colorful, but the colors were balanced well and it did a good job of making different parts of space feel unique (as opposed to Prophecy which just was BRIGHT THIS COLOR and BRIGHT THAT COLOR depending on where you were.)

So, the weeks and months roll by and then Microsoft sends out a PR package to stores... including a huge page of quotes from all the magazines. Freelancer is the best thing since sliced bread, PC Gamer, FreeLancer cured my broken leg, CGW, etc. And right in the middle was a quote from my review saying only that Freelancer 'had good color balance' - Ben Lesnick, WCNews.com.

(Truth be told, I spent most of the time I was supposed to be playing the game chatting with a couple of the old Origin vets I'd known from years earlier... I also managed to get my ship stuck inside a space station somehow while everyone else was fighting it out in multiplayer.)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I was never all that happy with the Digital Anvil box covers - none of them approached the quality of most of* the Origin artwork

* - you know who you are, Space Rogue guy.
 

HammerHead

Rear Admiral
(which is how I've 'played' Privateer Online...)

You actually played it!?

YOU DOG ! ;):D

so.. how was it?
too bad they didn't let this one out...


Also about the FL "Beautifulness" -
the biggest handicap of FL for me was the (extremely) short single player story line - as much as one can enjoy an MP session, for me, there is nothing like a good written storyline for me to follow - that is way I like WC so much.
But despite this handicap, I still, every once in while, load the game, and enjoy the veiw - they did one hell of a job on the over all look and feel of the environment.

(which reminds me I should do it again soon...:))
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
You actually played it!?

YOU DOG !

so.. how was it?
too bad they didn't let this one out...

Well... 'played', anyway. I happened to be visting Origin the exact day that everyone on the second attempt at Privateer Online was fired. The guy who was going to be my guide actually didn't show up for work because he was at Digital Anvil interviewing for a new job... so I sat around in the lobby until a couple of familiar faces passed through. Some were on their way out for got and the others were getting ready to be transferred to Ultima Online or Harry Potter or somesuch... but they very kindly showed me around the Wing Commander offices for the last time. I saw some concept art, some mockups for the flight part of the game (using Vision!) and I wandered around in a partially textured environment on the ground for a bit. I don't think any of us realized at the time that it meant Wing Commander was over for another half a decade - but the atmosphere was still grim, with the layoffs, and I can honestly say that the development group was gracious to the last.

the biggest handicap of FL for me was the (extremely) short single player story line - as much as one can enjoy an MP session, for me, there is nothing like a good written storyline for me to follow - that is way I like WC so much.
But despite this handicap, I still, every once in while, load the game, and enjoy the veiw - they did one hell of a job on the over all look and feel of the environment.

I do know that the FreeLancer 2 script was written - at least in part by Adam Foshko, who did the first game (and ran the show on Wing Commander for quite a while.)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Well, you can ask... :)

No, I don't think it's any kind of secret - we've just kept in contract with a lot of the old Wing Commander developers, many of whom went on to work with Digital Anvil while it was around.
 

MannPower

Commodore
Well, an XBox 360 release would have meant that it'd at least have an excuse for its control scheme the second time around. ;)

I liked wandering around in Freelancer more than actually doing the storyline (same thing with Privateer, back in the day.) The only drawbacks for me were (obviously) the control scheme, and the plain look of the ships, themselves. They were missing the grit and style of, say, the fighers from Starlancer. Felt a little too trekky.
 

Gamer8585

Spaceman
I do know that the FreeLancer 2 script was written - at least in part by Adam Foshko, who did the first game (and ran the show on Wing Commander for quite a while.)

Any chance that there is a copy of that script floating around somewhere? I'd kinda like to see how the whole story would have turned out. I know it was fun reading the Privateer 3: Retribution script (despite the typos, and the whole "Deathstar" thing).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I personally don't have a copy, but I'm sure it's preserved somewhere... wait for the FreeLancer community to mature a little and then let them go searching for it. :)
 

tubehead

Spaceman
Well..............

Theres always Jumpgate Evolution!

Though it's really a sad thing that 92% of all the players would rather play games that are either midevil or modern/ww2 warfare as a person waking around doing stuff rather than fly space ships twitch based and looking at ambient colorful skies, shiny stars, and fighting against other players.

Now and these days, it's somewhat rare to find a 1st person space combat shooter game with multiplayer capabilities these days.

My best bet used to be Vegastrike, but people want to change it from a generic space flight game to a X series clone with a clushay for players to get more freedom than just flying one ship at a time.
 
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