PS2 Reviews: Freedom Fighters
Freedom Fighters screenshots
The Final Say!
Freedom Fighters - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: October 2003
Review Score 9.0/10
Distributed By: EA
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Every now and then an original game comes on the scene that simply blows the market away with something new and fun. The game is called Freedom Fighters and is a mixture of third person shooter meets squad based action that doesn't make the gameplay frustrating or time consuming. Freedom Fighters is set in an alternate reality where the Soviet Union became a super power to be reckoned with after World War II. Not just content on Europe, the Soviet Union expanded their modern-day empire and proceeded to invade South America in their attempt at world domination. And on a late summers day, the Soviet Union finally pushed its forces north and conquers America. Fortunately for the denizens of the United States, a militant group of freedom fighters emerge to help liberate the country.
You play the role of Chris Stone, a mild mannered plumber who is blissfully unaware that Soviet Union is about to invade America and upon arriving at a plumbing job, his life is soon about to be turned upside. Unaware to Chris and his brother Troy, the apartment that they are visiting belongs to Isabella Angelina who is part of an organisation that keeps the public "unofficially" informed about the red menace.
As Chris and Troy prepare to fix a blocked sink of Isabella Angelina, the Soviet Union strike the United States and tanks and soldiers march through the streets of New York. The apartment is soon hounded by Soviet soldiers who are looking for Isabella Angelina but because of her absence, the Soviets take Troy, believing that he is the boyfriend of Isabella. As Troy gets dragged away by the soldiers, Chris meets up with some freedom fighters who vow to train Chris, liberate the United States and return his brother.
You soon learn that Chris Stone has a flair as a resistance leader and his sheer determination and skills is enough to challenge these formidable soldiers. Chris soon joins a resistance movement and as you slowly progress through the game, you soon become a leader in your own right and various freedom fighters are willing to join your cause in liberating the United States.
Freedom Fighters is one of those unique games that is actually perfect on the PlayStation because of its simplistic control system that offers gamers a variety of missions. The basic gameplay of Freedom Fighters is a third person shooter where your character can perform a variety of actions such as wield a variety of different types of weapons, engage characters in conversations, climb, duck and recruit new members. This is where Freedom Fighters comes into its own genre because once you start recruiting people, you can then start giving them basic orders.
Unlike those convoluted first person shooter strategy games, Freedom Fighters lets you have only three options that include engage the enemy, target a specific area and regroup. You initially start with only two recruits but as the game progresses, your numbers slowly grow because everyone starts hearing of your heroics and leadership skills. The in-game controls of Freedom Fighters is extremely easy and smooth and basically use the analog stick to move your character around with the D-Pad used to give orders and engage the enemy. Because of the sheer numbers of enemies in the game, Freedom Fighters supports auto-aiming that is perfect for the game. It should also be noted that you must be facing the enemy for this function to work. The game also gives you access to a variety of weaponry that include shotguns, machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, molotiv cocktails, sniper rifles and of course med kits and explosives. You can also switch into first person mode that sometimes helps with certain guns such as sniper rifles and handguns.
Your missions are dictated to you in the sewers which is the main resistance headquarters in New York city. This is where your commanders give you a brief synopses of your missions that includes rescuing prisoners, destroying bridges and basic shoot and kill missions. By completing missions and healing people, your charisma points increase that allows you to recruit more freedom fighters. By the end of the game, you will have over 12 freedom fighters in your group that gives the Russians a run for their money. Although the game doesn't support an in-game save (which is a shame), saving is done by completing missions or by entering the sewers that auto-saves the game.
Graphically, Freedom Fighters is visually amazing and perfectly portrays extremely large gaming environments that include cities, buildings and various other in-door areas. The backgrounds of Freedom Fighters contain some amazing use of polygons that are extremely detailed and actually make you feel like you are in a post-war New York city. The characters themselves are extremely well animated and have this "dark" Mark Millar type Batman feel to it. The game also contains a variety of special effects that include gunfire, explosions, awesome lighting effects and some extremely funny cutscenes that help move the games storyline along nicely.
The musical score of Freedom Fighters is brilliant and sounds like it has been taken straight out of the Hollywood blockbuster movie called The Hunt for Red October as it uses a mix of traditional Russian music with a deep orchestral feel. The voice acting of the game is also professional as Chris Stone sounds like a classic action hero with all the Russian voices sounding almost perfect... sometimes it does become a little too cheesy. The sound effects of the game contain all the sounds of huge explosions, gunfire, the voices of Russian soldiers and everything else you would hear in war..
In conclusion, Freedom Fighters is an amazing game that I have been playing non-stop and considering that I have exams soon, that is probably not such a good idea. With amazing graphics, an in-depth storyline and a beautiful musical score, Freedom Fighters is one of those games that has something for everyone.
- Andrew B
Also available on XBox, GameCube and PC
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