Holy captivating gameplay, Batman! Irrational Games truly hit the bull’s-eye with this gem of a game. In the past, most comic book/super-hero based games, ranging from Superman on the Atari 2600 to Superman 64 on the N64, have quickly flopped and plundered into the bargain bin, only to make countless children and adults cry after realizing what they have so foolishly wasted their money on. But have no fear doubtful consumers, Freedom Force is here! This is one of those few games that take a bold leap into an under-achieving, unsuccessful genre, and comes out as one of the strongest titles of any genre.
You start out as the "Patriotic defender of the honest American", Minute Man. As Minute Man, you are very interested in fighting communism. As such, you plan to foil your archrival, O’Conner, and his devious plans. Along the way, many more super heroes from the Freedom Force comic book will join you. In between missions you will be able to choose which super-heroes to use, and with the inclusion of a create-a-character option, the characters you can choose from are nearly infinite.
Character development is unique and strategic. You earn prestige during battle, which you’ll use to buy new powers, attributes, and increased stats.
The graphics aren’t the next best thing since games like Dead or Alive 3 or Metal Gear Solid 2, but they are still pretty good and fit the game perfectly. With vibrant and bright colors, Freedom Force’s visuals add a lot to the game. The NetImmerse graphics engine offers fine textures and a generous polygon count, yet is still able to run reasonably well on a system just above the games hardware requirements. And since the processor requirements are pretty low (PII-300MHZ), this will make people with low-end systems very happy.
Sounds / Music:
Irrational Games nearly perfected the sounds and narration as seen in classic comic style cartoons. When you hit an enemy, or when an enemy hits you or a pedestrian, you hear a nicely presented "FWAP", accompanied by the signature action word that pops up, such as "POW!" or "WAM!" – a comedic addition that makes you feel like you’re in the comic.
The cut-scenes’ narrator and voice acting are both very amusing at times, simply because of the classic comic style voices and narration. The narrator often says phrases similar to "Is this the end of the road for Minute Man? Stay tuned for the next episode of Freedom Force!"
This game does have constant backgroung music... In EVERY scene and during combat. And it is VERY good (Nuuucleear Winter Oh Oh Oh). The ambient sounds of the city also suited just fine for background sound.
Gameplay is the most important part of a video game, and Freedom Force’s simply shines. The battle system forces you to use strategy, especially when you are using four heroes against a swarm of enemies. You are able to pause the game (or make it slow down, Matrix style, via the options menu) and select which moves to perform on which enemies. The choices you make will either bring you out alive or leave you struggling.
You are also able to pick up and throw nearly any object in the game, thanks to super-human strength. See a group of enemies ahead? Go ahead and pick a up a taxi and throw it at them, take a light post off the street and swing it, even tear a telephone booth from the ground and throw it! Very fun, indeed.
Along the way you’ll find "Energy-X Canisters", which give your super-hero health, extra power, along with other benefits.
The multi-player aspect of the game is very entertaining. Take your custom-made heroes, or pre-made heroes, and fight your friends in a deadly fray! Up to four people can play, each trying to reach the user-set point limit first.
In the end, Freedom Force is one of the most fun and unique games currently available for your PC. Who would’ve ever thought such a comic-based RPG would offer so much fun? Definitely a must-have game.