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FREELANCER

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(PC; Microsoft; Teen) The dopey story line — involving a (yawn) mysterious alien artifact — might sound like a bad Sci Fi Channel movie, but Freelancer should bring a smile to space cadets everywhere. As Edison Trent, you’ll cruise the spaceways in pursuit of intergalactic scoundrels, plus earn a few bucks here and there. The mouse/keyboard controls (read: no joystick) work well, but only because the game’s weak programming turns enemy pilots into timid targets. Too simple for veteran space jocks, Freelancer will give rookies a slick ride into the great vacuum.

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