Plus – Column: Freelancer HD Edition – Looks really good again in 2021, but you have to be able to buy it first

Freelancer is now available as an HD remaster from fans. But to play it you have to get a version first – not that easy without a digital release on Steam and GOG.com.

Funny fact that doesn’t get us any further now: Almost 20 years ago, I published the world’s first spaceship skins for freelancers on the Internet.

I always found the gray-brown ships in the game boring, so I colored a few textures red or blue without any artistic talent or great effort, put the result on the Internet and received an email from Microsoft a day later.

A designer in the game wanted to know how I extracted, edited, and put the textures back into the game. The fame wasn’t mine, the tool developed for it wasn’t mine, but I was kind enough to point it out to Microsoft and then they quickly lost interest in me again.

But hey, five minutes of fame before many years later you could actually and officially see some of my work in a few mostly irrelevant games. And since then, as a freelancer, I’ve been offering my skills to all those who can afford them, just like Trent, the hero of this game. But that’s where the similarities stop.

A little over 18 years after Freelancer came out, fans now have an HD mod for freelancers that improves the quality of many textures in the game. In addition, the mod ensures that you can now easily display the game in 16: 9 format, also in Full HD and beyond. On top of that there are improved special effects, fancier particles and completely new effects such as metallic reflections on certain surfaces and other jokes that were not technically possible at the time of the original release.

On behalf of GameStar Plus, I found out whether it works, what it looks like and whether the effort is even worth it, because I’m the freelancer. Harhar!


The author
No matter if Crimson Skies, X-Wing, Wing Commander, Starlancer, Freelancer or Privateer – Sascha Penzhorn played it through as long as you can fly anything in it. He currently plays Microsoft Flight Simulator in VR, before that he just made life hell for complete strangers in Star Wars: Squadrons in multiplayer. In Elite Dangerous alone, the thread of patience tore at some point in the face of the endless grind for upgrades, and he doesn’t share his personal impressions in Star Citizen with you because he doesn’t want your comments. Instead, he is now trying his hand at freelancers in HD, even if he does not associate any nostalgic feelings of happiness with this game.

Freelance was always too shallow for me

I always found freelancers very nice, some aspects of them interesting, but nothing more. When the game came out, cool videos with real actors like in Wing Commander were part of the genre for me. Instead, there were low polygon, wooden animated 3D models in the cutscenes in Freelancer.

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