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I was first introduced to space sims via the Tie-Fighter and X-Wing series. Freespace is definitely reminiscent of those great games. A joystick is recommended for that, "in the cockpit" feeling, but a sensitive mouse works for the most part. Some of the level can be difficult at times, but the player can also adjust the difficulty on the fly and restarting a mission is a very quick task with almost no loading time on my Lenovo T400 laptop. The enemy ships are well designed and distinct so that you can easily tell what spacecraft you are fighting. The story doesn't have much in the way of surprises, but it does put you in the mood to kick some aliens out of our galaxy. Missions also require that you make sure your squads are placed strategically so it isn't just a matter of fighting. Shield distribution and power, engine power, and weapon power are configurable in the heat of battle while loadouts, squads, and craft types are modifiable before most missions. There is a good mix of escort, inspection, fighter vs. fighter, and bomber vs. capital missions.