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Freedom Fighters (Windows)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  kbmb (399)
Written on  :  Oct 05, 2003
Platform  :  Windows

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Summary

A fantastic game, if a bit short.

The Good

This is one of the better games I've played, even though I finished it within a day. Maybe I'll play through it again tomorrow?

Freedom Fighters has an interesting storyline that I'm surprised hasn't been done before. Russians have taken over America and it's up to a growing group of rebels known as the Freedom Phantom to take it back! Or at least take back New York, in which the game is set.

The controls are simple and it works great. You control yourself, and command a number of squadmates through each mission. The view is third person, similar to Hitman (Freedom Fighters uses the same and is developed by the same people), which is perfect for most of the situations you get in to. By clicking the right mouse button, you "aim", in which the camera zooms in to a closer angle so you can get the best shot possible. You only have three commands at your disposal to command your squad with; follow; attack; and guard, but it works marvelously and doesn't tire itself from overly complicated leadership.

The AI is supurb. Your squad and enemies alike will find suitable cover and seldom will they just hang around in the battlefield waiting to get shot a la Rainbow Six. Tell them to guard an area, and they'll find cover, man a gun turret, duck behind walls or dive into a trench, whatever they can find, shooting down any enemies they see.

Every level has several ways of completing it. You could just storm the entire level and hope for the best, or you could do it the very tactful method. Or you might find a passage to a top of a building, allowing you to fire down upon the enemy. One particular level, I told all but one of my troops to charge down a street, while I took an alleyway that lead me to the same area. I was able to sneak into a building, kill the snipers on the top floor and cover my men as well as issue orders to them from that position. It was executed perfectly. There are just so many ways to go about doing any given task in almost every level, that alone makes up for the shortness of the game.

The levels are also action-packed and varied. One level requires you (well, doesn't *require* you to, but it's a good idea) to progress through it using stealth techniques, another level you find yourself amongst ruined helicopters and floating platforms of ice, some levels are just charging through abandoned city streets. Each one has its own uniqueness to it and each one has many ways of beating it.

The cutscenes and acting are very good, as well.

The Bad

It's short! Very short. There are only like eight levels. And while you usually have a selection of what level you want to play through, it's much more linear than it pretends it is. For instance, you might have a selection of four levels...but due to a helicopter making the levels almost impossible, you must destroy the helipad in one level first. But to get there, you must get some C4 in another level before that. So really you have to do those levels in order, unless you want to deal with a helicopter ruining your day (though, the very last level is a hilarious sight of destruction if you choose to attempt that before you do all the other levels in the area first.) I did like the strategic element of destroying obsticals that would get in your way in other levels, but you don't really have much of a choice.

Graphics aren't photo-realistic or anything.

At the end of the game, I was commanding a squad of ten men. When you're ordering around ten of them, planning strategies becomes much more difficult and at times futile. After that point, I pretty much just told them all to storm an area and hoped for the best.

The Bottom Line

A fantastic game. One of my all-time favorites. The ending sort of leaves room for a sequel or an expansion, and I hope they do one, because this game is simply much too short. If you're looking for a fun game with great AI and simple squad-based gameplay, Freedom Fighters gets my highest recommendation!