Volition FreeSpace 2 Review - Page 8

Multiplayer Mayhem
Volition provides a free Internet game-tracking and statistic-keeping service called Parallax Online. This service enables players from the world over to meet and play FreeSpace 2 games. This is akin to the Battle.net service provided by Blizzard. There are several different multiplayer modes in FreeSpace 2 : Cooperative, Team vs. team and Dogfight. These various game modes should be self-explanatory. Multiplayer campaigns are also available.

Pilot Info

SquadWar is a clan battle service provided by Volition. Woohoo! Gang slamming madness!

Blatant rip from the manual : "SquadWar is another free service offered by Volition for FreeSpace 2 pilots. SquadWar enables multiplayer squadrons to challenge other squadrons for control of territory in a persistent FreeSpace 2 galaxy."

Multiplayer Game Debrief. A decent 11 kills

The Lag is Bad
Lag is a problem here in sunny Singapore as there are no local servers hosting the game. Some stuttering is evident even with my ADSL connection and a 33.6/56k connection is way out of its league. Ping time on my ADSL connection has an average of 215ms. This is a far cry from local Q3T and UT server pings of 17ms. Frame skipping is most evident while on a turning dogfight.

So How's the Gang?
Multiplayer FreeSpace 2 gaming (even with a little stuttering) is an enjoyable and engaging experience. However, only a trickling of people log into the server. Finding a variety of games to engage in or to even join existing ones is a difficulty.

Not Many People Today... As Usual

A point of mention is that it can be rather annoying waiting for other players to sync before the next stage in a multiplayer game. For example in an 8-player game, 7 of the players can be just sitting down there waiting for the eighth player to finish completing his mission briefings and weapons loadout. This is not for the impatient.

Waiting For Others To Be Ready. Dum Dee Dum...

Cooperative games are very unlike the ones in Q3T and UT. Satisfaction is obtained not from personal glory, but from the objective completed as a team. The need for team work is vital and cannot be overemphasised. There was once when I teamed up with 5 others to take on a Vasudan blockage consisting of 2 capital ships and several wings of fighters. We got shredded to bits the first two times we attempted. Yes, we absolutely felt like losers! No… it wasn't because we were crap! We were great as a team but the difficulty level was set at the "insane" level! We didn't realise that until the third attempt. We then proceeded on to downgrade the difficulty. Yeah… we really kicked ass in our third attempt!

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