Free roam space games?

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MattyC64c
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Free roam space games?

Post by MattyC64c » Fri May 17, 2013 9:16 am

Hello peeps,

I've been playing Galaxy On Fire 2 on my iPad recently and I got a little hooked. What kind of sandbox style space games should I look into on the PC? I'm interested in both retro games and modern titles. Any good ones you can recommend?

I have been looking at some of the X series of games, specifically X2 The Threat, and X3. How similar are these to classic games to the classic Elite games? I understand you can mine for minerals on the X games and buy and sell commodities, just like Elite.

Is Privateer which is available on Gog.com worth a punt?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by DPrinny » Fri May 17, 2013 12:01 pm

Starflight, you have a mission, but after that its go anywhere

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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri May 17, 2013 12:46 pm

I'm struggling to think of anything other than the original Elite and its sequel that is so freeform that I've actually played. Pretty much all the other space combat games I've played have been mission based. If you don't mind a linear mission structure instead, then I can once more plug Independence War, my favourite of the genre. There are mods for it that open things up more.
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by Scapegoat » Fri May 17, 2013 12:52 pm

Independence War II also on GOG has a series of missions but you only get the best out of the game if you take your time to explore, pirate and trade in your own time. There's also a mod which opens all the various gates and turns the game into a total free-roam universe.

Freelancer is very open, but the game universe always seemed a bit small to me

Tachyon: The Fringe has a similar free roam / follow a path route but has the added bonus of having Bruce Campbell voicing the game.

In fact, I haven't played it for ages, time for a re-install
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by FatTrucker » Fri May 17, 2013 1:04 pm

I loved X2 and X3 on the PC. Not exactly expansive as you're confined to a specific (admittedly pretty large) galaxy of Solar Systems, but they're very Space Opera in feel.

Since the GOTY editions are so cheap I would definitely recommend picking them up.
The storyline and 'acting' is pure cheese especially in X2 and they're a bit slow to start, but once you've got a few trade ships and mining operations up and running, freeing you up to run around the galaxy in your pimped out corvette of choice its great fun. Owning your own Dreadnought class destroyer full of ships and weaponry never gets old and once you've got an entire fleet at your command, re-creating Return of the Jedi style space battles is awesome.
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri May 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Scapegoat wrote:Independence War II also on GOG
Its a prettier engine, but if you can forgo the freeform play the original game(s) is the better of the two.
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by MattyC64c » Sat May 18, 2013 4:05 am

Some great options there, thanks guys. I think independence War is about £3 on GOG and X2 is £4.99 on steam. I'll have to take a look at these. Cheers.

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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by Scapegoat » Sat May 18, 2013 4:16 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:
Scapegoat wrote:Independence War II also on GOG
Its a prettier engine, but if you can forgo the freeform play the original game(s) is the better of the two.
I'd say I-War 1 is the better simulation but I-War 2 is the more complete "game", That said I've only played the original with nutonion physics which can be a bugger to control, I've never tried the Defiance add-on which comes with the GOG package. Does that make a difference?
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sat May 18, 2013 12:48 pm

Defiance is the same game from the opposition's point of view. Lots of new missions, but you also do some of the ones from the original but as an Indie.

The physics is the same in both, but the game engine supports Glide for improved visuals in the Defiance package, where the original I-War was software 3D only until that bundle.The control is fine in both, its just not the ropey old aeroplane model, it's 'proper' space flight.

The characters and story in Edge of Chaos just aren't as interesting as the original imo.
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by merman » Sat May 18, 2013 2:21 pm

If you want really old school, Space Rogue by Origin is on PC (and Apple II, C64 and Amiga). Elite-style space stations open into a mini-RPG, there's even a little arcade game to play. Designer Paul Neurath famously went onto System Shock 2 and Thief.
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by C16 » Sat May 18, 2013 4:49 pm

I can't believe everyone has missed The Ur Quan Masters. A fantastic open space rpg, the link to the open source files is herehttp://sc2.sourceforge.net/

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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sat May 18, 2013 5:38 pm

Wasn't that on one of the early RG covermount discs?
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by merman » Sun May 19, 2013 8:09 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:Wasn't that on one of the early RG covermount discs?
Yep. Issue 14
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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by Treguard » Mon May 20, 2013 9:12 am

Any of the X series is a good shout, EVE online is the nearest you'll get at the minute to a multiplayer Elite as longh as you don't mind paying the subscription fees. I love FTL but that's more space combat than space exploration.

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Re: Free roam space games?

Post by psj3809 » Mon May 20, 2013 9:31 am

Yep another vote for the X games. My mate used to play those non-stop, great graphics, a lot to do, probably dirt cheap now, well worth picking up

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