All business success rests on something labeled a sale

Every now and again I reminisce about how great flight and space simulators were, from Sopwith (all right, not exactly a realistic simulator, but it’s still brilliant) through the likes of Elite, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Wing Commander and Gunship 2000 to the X-Wing series, and how it’s a pity there are so few coming out these days. If a survey had asked “How much would you like to play a space combat MMOG on a scale of one to five, where one is There is literally nothing I would like more, my every waking moment is devoted to fervently wishing such a thing could happen and even during slumber do I dream of the same, albeit having forgotten to put my trousers on and in the company of Diego Felipez de Guzmán 1st Marquis of Leganés, and five is I would rather fashion a rudimentary cudgel from whatever objects are closest to hand and do my very best to bludgeon myself senseless rather than do such a thing“, I would’ve answered 1.736.

I’m sure it’s been established that people don’t always know what they want, but if more proof were needed space combat MMOG Black Prophecy turned up a few months ago, I downloaded it, gave it a try, found it fun enough, and haven’t logged in since. If it’s any consolation to the poor, abandoned desktop icon I do mean to get back to it at some point, along with the full version of Wings of Prey I picked up in a Steam sale and any number of others, but just in case any company was planning a multi-million dollar game project based solely on a survey I filled out, you might want to do a bit more market research.

Anyway, what really sparked all this off was an e-mail from Good Old Games announcing 50% off Interplay games, meaning you can get one of the greatest space combat games of all time, Freespace 2, for three dollars. Less than two quid! Many games don’t stand the test of time too well if you drag them out of the gloomy cupboard of fond memories and dust them off in the harsh glare of current technology, but Freespace 2, with a bit of a spruce up from the Source Code Project, really does; as Kieron Gillen said last year “In short, there’s no reason not to play Freespace 2 now. It’s as good as ever.”

Also in the sale are the first two Fallout games (or three, if you count Fallout Tactics), generally very well regarded by RPG fans, but I don’t think time has been so kind to them; I tried Fallout 2 several years after its release and just couldn’t get on with it. That might just be me, though, if you’ve ever been tempted to give it a try then three dollars is surely worth an impulse buy.

6 thoughts on “All business success rests on something labeled a sale

  1. Derrick

    X3 Terran Conflict. Steep learning curve, but there’s no sandbox space sim to come even close. Freespace is awesome, but it’s a tiny, linear little game in comparison.

    The next X game will be out soon, X Rebirth, can’t wait.

  2. mbp

    Just to flag how ancient I am I remember wasting time on the original Sopwith back when I was supposed to be studying for a degree. I remember it being bastard hard.

    The catalogue of games in GoG’s Interplay sale is really quite an astounding list of all time greats. I had forgotten just how good Interplay was. Many of these games never received the commercial success they deserved but they still stand the test of time. My personal pick of the bunch is Sacrifice.

  3. Zoso Post author

    @Melmoth His trousers, my trousers, who’s keeping count?

    @Derrick I played X3 (Reunion rather than Terran Conflict, but I gather they’re broadly similar) a few years back, fine game and incredible scope, but the same way I preferred Wing Commander to Elite (though they’re both great games), I rather like the structure of Freespace.

    @mbp Sacrifice doesn’t ring a bell, must’ve missed that one at the time; I’d be tempted to grab a copy for a couple of quid, but the old “stuff to play” list is really stacking up a bit…

  4. Jonathan B

    @Zoso Wing Commander! I knew I liked you for a reason.

    How about Freelancer, did you play that one? I loved that you could launch the MP server and play solo, with the whole living world around you, or LAN party it. The only amusing thing about LAN party Freelancer was that, being based off a single-player game with only one playable character, no matter how many of you are on the server, you are all Trent. Callsigns were “Freelancer Alpha #” where # was the order you logged in on the server, so you might be Freelancer Alpha One today and Freelancer Alpha Seventeen tomorrow.

    A family member and I spent hours over many months’ time just exploring the universe, running cargo, picking up missions, etc.

  5. Zoso Post author

    Didn’t play Freelancer at the time, no, and haven’t got around to checking it out yet, though I seem to remember you wrote a fine post about it.

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