Freedom Force
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8  |  Game Review with Ignite
Ignite , 5/10/2003 2:00:32 PM
OK, I thought this game was really cool - Freedom Force. Even though there isn't much create-a-character options, the storyline is very great. Its 2nd year on the market has had better sales than the whole 1st year. You should check it out.
7  |  Freedom Force: A True Oxymoron
DaFuZzMaStA , 12/12/2003 9:15:24 PM
Freedom Force could be considered an oxymoron. Think about it. Freedom is to be free, while force is something you apply to something else to do something. Freedom. Force. Hmmm…

In Freedom Force, you play various super heroes that are defending the city from evil aliens. The time appears to take place in the fifties, and more superheroes are recruited along the way to join your team in the fight against evil.

Anyways, when I first bought the game, I expected the game to be action oriented, similar to Sony Picture’s Spiderman for the PS2and PC. Mad clicking, quick manoeuvring, and user controlled dodging of trouble. Instead, Freedom Force is similar to that of Icewind Dale’s half turn based, half real time role-playing game. In fact, it clearly says “A Heroic Tactical RPG!” on the back of the game. Somehow I missed that.

Unfortunately, unlike Icewind Dale, there isn’t enough depth to the game for it to be an excellent tactical RPG. There are far too many cut scenes with not enough action. The exaggerated characters get annoying pretty quickly, and the action is not very exciting or challenging enough. A real tactical game would involve some thinking and strategy to defeat the enemies, but the game play is far too simple to do that. Since it is so simple, the designers were better off going in the other direction and make it simply a punch ‘em up style superhero game or added more thought in character development.

What is interesting about the game is that many aspects of the environment can be manipulated (depending on the abilities of your character) and the effects on what can be done are amusing. I particularly enjoyed lifting cars and hurling them at the various thugs, as well as swinging light posts like baseball bats. Characters can level up and upgrade various skills and abilities, but they don’t carry items, weapons, armour or anything like classic role-playing games. Granted that these are super heroes and “real” superheroes do not require many of these things, but nevertheless I felt it was lacking in any interest to make my characters better.

The graphics are similar to that of Dungeon Siege, where you can zoom in and out of the characters. The characters look decent, and are actually better looking your regular tactical RPG. Unfortunately, there is no rotating of the camera and you may briefly lose your character behind a building. The levels and maps were also well done and large, but they seemed too disjointed from one level to the next to carry any feeling that it is all taking place in one city. Overall, however, the graphics are very good for this genre.

In terms of sound, the character voices get annoying and are far too over the top to be even considered funny. The music is mediocre.

Overall, Freedom Force does well with the idea of using superheroes in a tactical RPG, and it is only my opinion that many of the faults that lie within the game are inherent because of the nature of the comic book superhero. Nevertheless, the designers could have used more thought in terms of depth, and taken away the ridiculous 50s golden days of comic books and added some excitement into the game.

I therefore give this game a 7 out of a possible 10.

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