Freedom Fighters Review

PlayStation 2

May 3, 2004 by

Freedom Fighters Image

Think Conflict Desert Storm or Rainbow Six and youll have the general idea of Freedom Fighters. Although based on a fantasy storyline, Freedom Fighters features realistic gameplay, graphics and sound that will have you believing that you are actually attempting to rid the city of Soviet soldiers. The game features an interesting storyline, extremely intelligent AI for both enemy and squad members, and the ability to control up to 12 squad members.

You play as Christopher Stone, a plumber who is on his way to fix a busted pipe in Manhattan. Hell breaks lose once you arrive at your destination, with the lady who has the busted pipes turns out to be an anti-communist leader. It is than up to and Freedom Fighter members to gain back rid the city of the Soviet soldiers.

The first level is basically a tutorial mode, where you are taught the basics of the game. Following and listening to instructions by a civilian you have just met, you make your way to the sewers, which will become the base for the Freedom Fighters. With the sewers being USSR-free, you are able to move throughout the region freely.

Freedom Fighters features both levels which you can only control a single person and a group of people. Depending on this, the levels are designed specifically for this, such as a stealth-based mission, where you only control Christopher himself, to gun-blazing levels where you control up to twelve Freedom Fighters. This puts some variation into the game and keeps it interesting. Missions vary depending upon the level, such as simply raising the United States of America flag on a certain flagpole, to rescuing prisoners of war or blowing up a helicopter pad.

To begin with, you can only control Christopher, however as you earn more charisma points, you will be able to control more Freedom Fighters accordingly. You are rewarded these charisma points by doing simple tasks, such as healing an injured soldier or successfully completing a mission. Gain enough charisma points and you will soon be controlling up to 12 Freedom Fighters. To make controlling your squadron easy, you are able to give three orders, which work well. To make your squadron attack any enemies in the area, simply press the corresponding button, and theyll take care of the rest. The same goes for defending an area or following you. You can define these orders even more by zooming in to a location and specifically telling your squadron to attack or defend in that area. Thanks to the excellent AI system, your squadron will respond to all commands accordingly. If they become under fire, they will take cover behind any objects in the area, wether it be a wall, car, tree, table, etc. With this intelligent AI system, your squadron wont get stuck somewhere, therefore no time is spent getting one of your squadron members un-stuck. Your soldiers can have a variety of weapons, complete with unlimited ammo. All you need to keep your squadron working is some health kits to revive them once they have been injured.

The enemy AI is also extremely intelligent. The enemies will hide behind small fortes waiting for you. These forts are complete with immobile machine guns, which are sure to mow down any opposing forces. They will call in more enemies if they are under attack, or will send a few soldiers to get you if you decide to take cover and wait.

Freedom Fighters also feature a multiplayer mode. Up to four players are able to compete on either the Soviet or Freedom Fighter sides. The aim of the game is to raise your team flag in the enemies area, whilst defending any other areas you currently control. Whoever gains the most area once the time limit finishes is the winner. This is interesting to begin with, however it does become boring quickly. More modes, such as a classic death match mode, would have kept the multiplayer mode interesting for longer.

Difficulty in Freedom Fighters grows gradually as your experience and skills expand, although you have the option to choose between four difficulties before you begin the game. The game is interesting enough for it to be played through on multiple difficulty levels, which heightens the playing life.

The graphics in Freedom Fighters is very impressive. The environment features excellent detail, and look exactly as you would expect the city to look like if the Soviet forces attempted to take over the city. The 3D special effects are simply amazing, featuring real-time lighting and realistic smoke and explosions. The city also changes slowly over time, with more damage occurring to buildings and the showing of the seasons changing as the months past by. Character models are detailed nicely, and also move realistically.

The camera in Freedom Fighters is good for the most part, however there are time when you arent able to get the camera where you want it, or once you do, it automatically moves. You are able to control the camera with the other control stick, however you dont have complete control over it, and often the auto-camera will take most control.

The music in Freedom Fighters fits perfectly with the theme of the game. The orchestral pieces make the majority of the music in Freedom Fighters, sound perfectly like what youd expect a Russian to listen to.

Sound effects are excellent. The guns sound exactly as you would expect the weapon to sound like. Explosions also sound great, and vary depending on the size and the objects which is exploding. Footsteps also change appropriately depending upon the surface.

Voice acting in Freedom Fighters is also outstanding, although Russian accents arent authentic. Characters voices sound appropriate to their appearance, and will change accordingly depending upon the situation. Soviet soldiers will yell orders to each other when under attack, or will talk casually when you arent in sight. Your squad members will respond with various answers when asked to join you, or will reply appropriately when given an order.

The controls for giving orders to your squadron is organised nicely. Giving an order is as easy as a tap of a button. This allows you to play and give orders to your squadron easily.

General controls, however, may take some time to get used to, specifically the aiming. Although there is a basic auto-aim feature in Freedom Fighters, getting your character to aim within a small distance of the enemy can be troublesome at times, specifically when you are trying to move under fire and shoot at the same time. After some practise, however, you will overcome this problem.

The single player mode in Freedom Fighters features enough gameplay to keep gamers entertained for some time. With a large amount of land to explore and the various difficulty settings available, it is likely you will want to play through the game more than once.

The multiplayer mode, on the other hand, gets boring quickly. More than one mode would have made the multiplayer mode more worthwhile, as it feels it has been thrown together in a short period of time. It really doesnt pass as a decent multiplayer mode.

Overall, Freedom Fighters is an excellent game. IO Interactive have done an excellent job creating such an action-packed, exciting, original and graphically stunning game. There are really very few faults in Freedom Fighters, other than the ordinary multiplayer mode. The game is long enough to keep gamers playing for some time, than there are harder modes that will bring back gamers, as there are always new areas to discover. Freedom Fighters is well worth your money.

Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.