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Freedom Fighters - Ntsc


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#1 Parnic

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 05:56 AM

Title: Freedom Fighters
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: IO Interactive
Release date: 09/2003
ESRB: T
Author: Parnic (gamereviews@parnic.com) Parnic.com

Plot summary:
You are a New York City plumber whose brother is captured by the Russians who have taken over the city and plan to take over the entire country. Enraged, you begin to build a name for yourself by slaughtering Russians and their oppressive government in an effort to regain your brother as well as your beloved city. You become well-known amongst the resistors to the Russians and slowly gain their trust in the battle to reclaim the country for all Americans!

Controls:
Freedom Fighters employs a unique and very effective control style. For the weapons selection, you are shown a wheel with 8 slots to keep automatic weapons, sidearms, healing packs, etc. and they are accessed by clicking the right thumbstick and moving the left thumbstick in the direction of the weapon of your choosing. An alternative to this method is simply using the d-pad, but the thumbsticks are surprisingly easy to use. The medkits are always assigned to the same spot, as well as your automatic weapon, your sidearm, and other accessories, so once you’ve played a level or two, knowing how to get out the weapon or item you are looking for is very easy. Also, if you choose medpack, immediately after you use it you are given back your previous weapon. This comes in very handy for quick patch-ups in the midst of a firefight. Another one of Freedom Fighters innovative features is the ‘charisma’ level which allows you to have a certain amount of people assisting you (depending on your charisma level). You can give each of them orders individually or as a group by pressing either X, Y, or B and to give an order to the whole group instead of just one, you simply hold the button a little longer than normal. I found these controls extremely easy and a welcome change from the norm.

Gameplay:
This game is able to maintain the classic shoot-em-up style gameplay without becoming redundant. It achieves this by allowing you to have a team of fighters on your side assisting you. It becomes difficult to simply rush head-first into large battles and you have to learn to utilize your team strategies to the full in order to come out on top. Your team consists of rebels who are fighting for the same cause as you: freedom! Give them a general location to go check out and they will smartly destroy any enemies encountered along the way or located at and around their destination. But beware: they are fragile creatures! Should one of them be killed because you carelessly sent them into battle injured, you will have to spend one of your precious few medpacks to revive them (or leave them laying there, doing you no good tongue.gif). Freedom Fighters includes a sophisticated and unobtrusive camera system which allows you to do your job without worrying about not being able to see your aggressors. One thing which throws people off when first playing the game is the lack of a crosshair on the screen. The game is a third-person shooter, but how are you to know where your bullets will wind up when they come spinning out of the barrel? Simple! The game does a very good job of smartly auto-aiming your gun at the person who is generally in front of you. However, if your character is looking at the ground, he obviously will not simply snap up and fire at the bad guys. You are still relied upon to aim, but the game almost “knows” who you are trying to attack and makes sure the character is smart enough to point the gun in his or her direction. One of my complaints with many other games has been that the main character does things that he or she would never do if they were in the situation themselves. Freedom Fighters allows the character to have a little bit of common sense in this area. You are also able to destroy any nearby objects such as cars or gas canisters to injure any enemies who have stupidly taken up residence too close to it. This is a very fun single-player game, but the multiplayer is definitely lacking. There are no system link or Xbox Live! capabilities included and you have to play with at least 2 human players (no AI available). And 3 players is not very fair either as one side will then have 2 players to the other side’s 1, and with each player able to recruit several computer-controlled teammates, it becomes a slaughter quickly.

Graphics:
Freedom Fighters’ graphics are top-notch; but what else could you expect from the makers of Hitman 2? The areas are clean and smooth-looking, the models move realistically and rarely get in each others’ way. The epic war against clipping has seen more or less a victory in Freedom Fighters as very little clipping actually occurs. The way you claim an area for the Americans is by running up to the Soviet flag and replacing it with the American flag. When you do this, the camera swirls around the flagpole as the flag is raised and beautifully displays the power of America. Nothing makes a patriotic American more proud than raising our flag victoriously and Freedom Fighters makes this into a beautiful event. I am extremely pleased in the graphics presented in this game and I think they have done a wonderful job in making it smooth, clean, and believable.

Sound:
The voice acting in this game is creative in keeping with the storyline. Your underground resistance friends each have their own personalities from the funny ghetto hacker to the war-veteran commander. The dialogue is short enough to not get boring and compliments the game in a way that you may actually want to listen to it for it change. Mission briefings are usually quick, barring any significant developments in the war. The game employs Dolby sound which further immerses you in the battles you fight. You can actually hear where you’re being shot from without having to quickly scan the buildings for the attacker (assuming you’re in a surround-sound environment). The rat-a-tat-tat of gun fire as it whizzes past your head as well as the enemy screams when you lob a grenade at them is satisfying and draws you into the game.

Summary:
Freedom Fighters is a game you never want to stop playing until it’s done…then you wish there were more levels so you can keep going! It should definitely become a Platinum Hit as it is a must-have for any Xbox owner that enjoys a good 3rd-person shooter with a bit of strategy thrown in. An innovative control wheel for selecting your weapon or item is a welcome change from the boring controls of other games, and the beautiful graphics are stunning level after level. The voice acting and dialogue is interesting and worth listening to and never becomes trite while the sounds of gunfire and character interaction around you draws you deep into the game. This is one of my favorite games for the Xbox so far and my only complain is the lack of a more involved multiplayer system. Freedom Fighters gets a solid 9/10 (would probably get a 10/10 if they just had a better multiplayer system).

#2 petah

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 03:50 PM

I agree that this game is great. I have quite a few titles and this one is rapidly approaching the top of the play list.

Only one suggested improvement: allow the cointrols to be further customized. In general they are great, and the system for selecting items IS very slick, however, the damn crouch button is 'locked' to the white button, which can make looking and crouching difficult when using the two stick (one move/strafe, other look/turn) option. Nitpicky, yes. A minor irritant, yes.

It doesn't stop me from logging some serious FF time though. Petah approved.

#3 Parnic

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 06:35 AM

Heh, yeah, I was overall pretty satisfied with the controls and I never had a problem with needing to crouch and use the right thumbstick at the same time. To each his/her own though. I loved this game so much...maybe my love for it overwrote the memory of any problems...*shrug*




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