TITLE: Freedom Fighters
PUBLISHER: Electronic Arts
DEVELOPER: IO Interactive
DATE RELEASED: October 1, 2003
IO Interactive has crafted another high quality and engrossing game. For those that did not know, IO Interactive is responsible for the critically acclaimed Hitman series.
The game begins with an excellent cinema which helps to set the tone, and dreary mood of the game. The Soviets, through force, slowly invaded and took over Europe-and next on their list is the United States. The first attack on the U.S. occurs in Manhattan as the Soviets invade and ruthlessly seize power of the broken city. This is where the player takes over the role of the unlikely protagonist Chris Stone. Chris is a plumber, and on his way to a job he is thrust unwillingly into the conflict.
Freedom Fighters is a third-person tactical shooter. Those who have previously played Hitman will feel right at home with this game. All mission start out in the sewers which acts as a central hub for the game. This is where the player can save the game, acquire guns and ammo, and receive mission briefings. The missions are accessed through a map, and each map has a few areas where the player can start. Some areas can only be finished or accessed after getting an item or destroying an object from another. The game itself is somewhat linear, but it does a good job of keeping the player involved in the action. After completing
Previously I stated that this was a tactical shooter, meaning that the player controls a small squad of AI teammates. Issuing orders and controlling your squad could not get any easier. You can tell your squad to attack, fall back, and defend a position. Each command is represented by its own button on the xbox controller. Another great feature about having a squad is that you have to earn your members by gaining charisma. Charisma is gained by healing other fighters you come across throughout the game. When your charisma bar fills up, you can recruit another fighter to your squad. Eventually, you can control up to 12 freedom fighters in your squad, unfortunately this does not occur until the last few missions of the game. I think that IO Interactive did an excellent job on the squad AI. Your squad will follow commands accurately as you input them.
The only downfall of this game is its length. I was able to finish the game in two days for a total of 8 hours of gameplay. There is a multiplayer option added, but it really is not anything that will keep you coming back for more.
Considering that this is a multi-platform game, the graphics are surprisingly good. The environments are extremely detailed and believable. It really seems like a war torn Manhattan. Soviet signs and posters litter the environments along with destroyed and crumbling buildings. The game runs at a very smooth frame rate and it rarely drops or stutters. Freedom Fighters makes use of a bright color palette, which helps to create a believable atmosphere. The characters themselves are detailed and animated fairly well also.
The team at IO interactive hired professional voice over artists to lend their talents to the game, and it definitely shows. The voice overs are very well done and are not overly dramatic or cheesy. The score that was created for the game is fantastic and adds a great deal of depth to the accompanying action on screen. Also, Freedom Fighters makes good use of 5.1 audio. Explosions and gunfire are very clear.
Overall, Freedom Fighters is an excellent addition to your xbox game library. Great action, sound, and graphics set this game above most others in its class-most notably Conflict Desert Storm. So do yourself a favor and go purchase or rent Freedom Fighters.
Gameplay - 8.5
Graphics - 8.5
Audio - 9.0
Overall - 9.0