Volition's classic is back. Descent: FreeSpace is the quintessential old school space shooter. With a deep story, great graphics and engaging battles against fighters to capital ships it keeps you moving. Breakout that flight stick and enroll with the Grand Terran Alliance today.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (125 reviews) - 78% of the 125 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 7, 2014

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About This Game

The ruthless Shivans emerged through subspace near Earth, harboring technology light years ahead of anything seen before. They made no attempt to communicate. They did not respond to your heralds. They simply attacked and destroyed everything in their path.

As a pilot for the Galactic Terran Alliance you are no stranger to war. However when racing through space to engage your new enemy for the first time, you sense something different. Suddenly darkness blankets your spacecraft. Your stomach sinks as your eyes pan across the Shivan flagship's massive body. Then it begins. Swarms of fighters pour out of the belly of the flagship and scream towards you. You’re about to discover everything you know about space combat, dogfight style - just changed.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: 1 Ghz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7
    • DirectX: Version 7.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 1600 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 7 Direct Sound compatble or better
    • Processor: 1.4 Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9c
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9c Direct Sound compatble or better
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (125 reviews)
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94 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
175 of 192 people (91%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2014
Freespace 2 is coming June 6th!!!

An awesome game well ahead of its time.

For those who want Freespace 3, it's not going to happen. However you can download Freespace 2 and install Freespace Open from the Hard-Light Forums. The game now features hundreds of mods, campaigns, and user made ships as well as two separate takes on how the Freespace universe could have progressed after Freespace 2. It is also possible to play with upgraded graphics and at higher resolutions. All that for the amazing price of nothing. It is worth noting that Freespace Open is supported on OS X and Linux Operating Systems as well.

Happy fragging!
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79 of 93 people (85%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2014
awesome game! played this back in the day. this does come with the silent threat expansion. My personal opinion is i need a joystick to fully enjoy this, but reguardless this works fine and is enjoyable on my windows 8.1 system. FREESPACE 3 PLEASE!
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56 of 70 people (80%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2015
This is the greatest video game ever made.
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45 of 54 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2014
Played this one at initial release, and it is AWESOME.
Works greate on win8.1, supports gamepads)))
Hope to FreeSpace 2 + all the mods on steam aswell as FreeSpace 3)

Never got to play the expansion, so here is my chance :P

Hope you enjoy the game as much as I do!
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43 of 53 people (81%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2014
Amazing game from back in the day! Excellent space combat simulator with a great story and it also has one of the best intro cinematics I've seen in a game! Plus, it comes with the expansion Silent Threat.
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26 of 33 people (79%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
I played this game when it originaly came out in 1998 on my ole 3DFX cards. It was an amazing game then. Even today its not to bad compared to some of the new games out, It has a great story wich i think many of todays games lack. For $6 you really cant go worng. I also got Freespace 2 and played it all the way through again. Funny thing is I still own the original copies of both these games.
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24 of 30 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2014
Okay, Freespace 1 - The Great War : Check
Original Graphics and resolution : Check
X52 - Pro Supported : Check

This game might be old, but you need to know this.
Freespace, X-Wing, Wing Commander, Starlancer & Freelancer; what do those games have incommon?
Exactly, they're the best of the best when it comes down to Sci Fi Space Combat Sims.
Smooth controls, interesting missions, singleplayer & multi player.

If you're a real Sci-Fi space combat fan...get this game. It's a must have. One of the best space combat games ever made. You need this in your collection, you need to encourage Steam to accept more of those games in its store. You must commit seppuku if you deny the will of your Sci-Fi heart.
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 7, 2015
"Descent Freespace - The great War" despite being an old game (1998) is in my opinion an all-time-jewel of space sims, in its time I liked it even better than "Wing Commander", and that was by all means utterly brilliant. The story, the mission design, the enemies - Shivans and Vasudans - are just captivating. Nowadays at this price you should have a look, there are worse ways to waste your time than saving mankind;-)
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2014
When I saw this had become available on Steam, I was overjoyed. Freespace: The Great War was one of my absolute favorite games as a child, and I believe it still holds up strongly to this day.

The game begins 14 years into the war between the Terrans and Vasudans, and before long, an even greater threat shows its face, an ancient and destructive alien race known only as the Shivans...enemy to Terran and Vasudan alike.

Freespace: The Great War is a space flight sim. While most missions involve you either protecting an important target, or wiping out enemy forces, oftentimes both, they are all varied in their actual content and no two missions really feel the same. As the game progresses, you gain access to a good variety of different ships, each with varying strengths and weaknesses, as well as an assortment of different weapons.

Another of Freespace's strong points is its atmosphere, formed mostly from the music and dialogue. It will make you feel like you ARE the pilot, and a part of the game itself. This is definitely one of the things that helps to set Freespace apart from other space sims. I have never played another space sim that gave quite the same feeling Freespace does.

This release includes the expansion, Silent Threat, which continues the story after the main campaign's ending with several additional missions.

I really can't recommend this game enough. If you're a fan space flight sims or flight sims in general, and have not played this game, now's your chance to experience a masterpiece.
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20 of 26 people (77%) found this review helpful
27.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 28, 2015
Descent | Freespace: The Great War is a 3D space craft action simulator. You are a recruit pilot who just joined the Galactic Terran Alliance in its age-long war against the Parliamentary Vasudan Empire, but the war takes a different turn when an unknown threat makes its appearance with the sole purpose of exterminating both races.

Pros: You get to live the war and the events through the eyes of a pilot, and the whole story is detailed through mission briefings and in-game events. Different levels of success in a mission may affect the following mission, even open entire branching side-missions. The voice acting does a good job a delivering the humane yet rigid tone of a military situation, something you'll rely on for immersion as there is little to no cut scenes. Action is great, and often allows creative thinking to resolve an issue, succeed in a mission and achieve bonus goals. The missions themselves are very varied, rivaling and often surpassing classics of the genre like the Wing Commander series. Control is spot-on, although optimized for mouse-less keyboard. As you progress, you get more and more flexibility in how you want to set and arm your squads.

Cons: The game isn't opened world, but mission-based, so forget any concept of exploring or visiting space stations and planets: you jump in, do the mission, and jump out. The graphics have aged a lot: it isn't retro-style, it's actual pixelated low-resolution interface and texture.

Verdict: ★★★☆☆ - It's up to you

The game's graphic aged horribly, but the rest hasn't: sound, music, control, action, everything remained as excellent today as it was back then. I'll recommend this game only to people who enjoys playing classics, and Descent | Freespace: The Great War is one of the good ones!

This was just my opinion.

If you found this review helpful, please consider giving it a thumbs up, and feel free to check out more of my (purely opinionated) reviews.
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Recently Posted
14.9 hrs
Posted: September 9
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.4 hrs
Posted: August 24
I was a Wing Commander freak and this game is built on the same concept. Would of loved to play this game but for some reason it hates my laptop. I've a decent system that does play anything I throw at it but not this throwback of an old game. Unlike Wing Commander, the controls are simpler and simpler is better. But now the game doesn't run... wont run? How can I recommend a game on that note?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
14.7 hrs
Posted: August 4
Great game. It was when it came out, and still is great. Even with low graphics it is still worth playing. Just introduced my nephew to it, and he is hooked. Good story, good game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.4 hrs
Posted: July 8
It sucks ! CRASH, CRASH, and more CRASHING !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.2 hrs
Posted: June 30
The game is unplayable. It's actually a copy of the original, with no added support for new gen PCs. It only plays at 800x600 resolution. It's as useless as having the original CD at home.

Do not buy this game. You can play it using a port to FreeSpace2 found with FreeSpaceOpen.

Check this out for more info.

That said, if you have never played FS1 or FS2 you should, using those mods I mentioned. It's the best space combat game ever made to date. It has the best graphics of it generation, it has a compelling story with great gameplay.
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Cam "Shaft" Mitchell
0.4 hrs
Posted: March 11
The best game ever made in its original format. If your computer is a potato, or you perfer playing games in their original format do buy this, FSPorts missiles feel differently. I perfer the original engine.
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5.6 hrs
Posted: February 24
To get this to work on Windows 10, I ran the launcher with Admin rights, went options were no Graphics card was selected, I asked it to detect and selected the graphics card. The admin rights part was to allow this to be saved.

Truely amazing game, I bought this and FS2 at the same time just because I love the story.

10/10 - Would 'Good Kill Pilot' again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Anal Mayonaise
40.3 hrs
Posted: February 21
One of the greatest games of all time, and certainly the best space-shooter of all time, bested only by its sequel (Freespace 2).
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2.1 hrs
Posted: February 3
I first played it about 13 or so years ago, and this game doesn't stop being awesome.
It's pretty atmospheric, had pretty good graphics and sound for that time.
What i like about this game - it's not too complicated. You can fly a lot of ships, shoot a lot of guns and missiles, destroy whole fleets of enemies by yourself (well... if you are good enough). Can be pretty relaxing.
But, of course, there is some nuances. You have to plan what to take on missions, because a lot will depend on this. And there is flying itself, but you get used to it pretty quickly.
Years later, i tried to find something similar (i mean, there are lots of this kind of games), but only succeeded a couple of times.
So, yeah, this game is kinda special to me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.5 hrs
Posted: January 2
I played this for hours when I was younger. If I'm willing to let my computer stroke out (or take an acid trip depending on how you look at it) when accidently colliding with another ship and keep having fun, then I recommend this.

187/200 Supply count.
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