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TheCombine: Freelancer is a quite good "RPG".
Dunno if one can call it a RPG, it's excellent though, freeplay and all.
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Wishbone: I heard so much about the so-called "free play" of Freelancer. Then I bought it and got thrown into a completely linear series of missions that forced me into progressively more difficult battles, with no possibility of upgrading my ship. After a short while I reached a battle that I flat out could not win, because my ship was grossly inferior to the enemies I was up against. It was too bad really, because I quite liked the gameplay, but I simply couldn't bother to play it anymore after that.

That's the campaign, you can ignore it completely and do missions, discover planets and such.
I, for example, turned into a miner and set trade routes between planets, to sell the materials and make some quick cash to buy a better ship. Great times. GOG staff really needs to add Freelancer to the site.
Post edited February 15, 2009 by TheCombine
Just to help in your search - as far as I can tell, it's 4X games you're looking for, not RPGs.
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frostcircus: Just to help in your search - as far as I can tell, it's 4X games you're looking for, not RPGs.

Not really. I'd classify games like MOO, Galciv, Civ as 4X, but not what I'm currently looking for (I don't mind games without the eXpand part)
That being said, there are some good recommendations here. Spelljammer is definitely a very interesting title (being able to bless your ship?! space mixed with medieval fantasy?! zomgz it's almost as interesting as ninja pirates).
On the topic of Freelancer, I wouldn't classify it as an RPG, but it's on my to-buy list because of the mods. I've seen some very nice mods that I'd like to try, and the game's pretty cheap now, so yeah I'm definitely going to get it someday
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lowyhong: I'm a huge fan of EVE, so to speak.

Clicky here, then.
Anyway, I think that space RPGs are under represented. I guess you could say that System Shock and System Shock 2 are sort of like RPGs, and Dead Space seems like a very linear RPG. Other than that, I think you'd have to travel back in time and play the old space RPGs, back in PC gaming's glory days.
Another old space RPG that might be up your alley would be Space 1889.
Of course, one cannot forget Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams.
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lowyhong: Nah. I'm looking for games that are more umm...freeform. Also, games that take place in space, rather than in space-age. I'm a huge fan of EVE, so to speak. Too bad no singleplayer RPG has been ambitious enough to replicate the complexity of EVE yet

You play EVE? I've heard some crazy stories about that game, from massive bank heists to company sabotage and infiltration. I also heard it takes ages to get to a point where you can do something that awesome.
I recommend Freelancer too. It's a lot of fun, though it gets a little repetitive after a while.
Another great game that is similar is Darkstar One.
Escape Velocity: Nova? No stats, IIRC, but you upgrade ships, and some of the storylines are interesting. Trading, fighting, delivering packages halfway across the map before the deadline...
There's also the option to play the older Escape Velocity games as mods in EV: Nova.
Post edited February 16, 2009 by msoya
There is also Space Trader:Merchant Marine. It's indie-ish, it's in space, and other stuff in space.
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TheCheese33: You play EVE? I've heard some crazy stories about that game, from massive bank heists to company sabotage and infiltration. I also heard it takes ages to get to a point where you can do something that awesome.

That's true. The scope of that game is immense - no limits bounded by the present game mechanics, you do whatever you want
msoya: YES! EV: Nova! I've had my eye on that one for a while. From the demo, it looks like it could be real great fun
Also, another nice indie game that I've found:
http://www.metalbeetle.com/spaceexploration/
The base game is free, but you have the choice of buying expansion packs or not. I'm guessing the core game is limited in content, but from what I've tried from the demo, it certainly looks potentially delicious
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lowyhong: Alias: I tried Starflight 2 last time when HOTU was still up, but I didn't like DOSBox back then (very buggy), and VDMSound refused to run it with sounds, so yeah. But I've heard a lot about this, and I'd really like to give it a try sometime soon, hopefully when GOG gets it

My advice is to push the IBM PC version aside and get the Amiga versions of the Starflight games instead. You get better graphics, better sound, and a better interface that way, and it's also much easier to emulate if you have the Kickstart 1.3 ROM (you need that specific version because they won't work with other versions).
Ah my demo of EV Nova expired and I never got a chance to explore a large part of it. Are the activities very routine? Is there anything interesting to do besides the standard fight/escort/trade? What kind of interesting storylines are there?
Kingdom Hearts has really impressive, immersive, realistic and spectacular space moments... nah... just kidding... ;p
Cast spell: resurrection 2015 :)

FTL! :)
NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL A NECRO!