Freedom Fighters

aka: Freedom: Soldiers of Liberty, Freedom: The Battle for Liberty Island
Moby ID: 10560
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

The Soviet Union has invaded New York City! Chris Stone is just a plumber, and he was willing to live out his life normally even after the occupation until the Soviets picked up his brother Troy and charged him for being a terrorist (i.e. freedom fighter). Now Chris must contact the real freedom fighters, get his brother out, and eventually, drive the invaders out of New York.

Freedom Fighters is a third-person shooter with squad-based tactics, with a variety of typical weapons such as pistol, revolver, assault rifle, submachine gun, shotgun, rocket launcher, grenade, and so on. As you proceed further in the game, you can control more and more people in your squad, until you end up with up to a dozen different freedom fighters all fighting alongside you in your quest to drive out the invaders.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 81% (based on 52 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 86 ratings with 7 reviews)

Nostalgia is a traitorous foe, but this game still holds up pretty well

The Good
Like most GameCube games there is a very entertaining multiplayer mode. Freedom Fighter's multiplayer has up to four players playing as either the Rebels or the Soviets (no real differences aside from the starting weapons) and capturing a control point in the center of the map. Once taken over the timer will start to run and the team who's timer is down to zero first wins. Most of the time however, we decided to ignore the flag and just enjoy the fighting that works the same as in the singleplayer except you have to take over bases to recruit more soldiers.

The auto-aim works pretty well, meaning that it's both functional and it doesn't make the game too easy. It's easy to go wrong with such a dangerous feature, but Io interactive pulled it off nicely. The idea is that you can shoot without aiming, the character will do that for you, but you can only hit one enemy at a time, so you will have to make the most out of taking cover and ordering soldiers around.

Commanding your men is also a lot easier then it could have been, by pressing the A-button you will tell them to follow you. You can also press X to make them defend a location or Y to make them attack. Most of the time they will figure out on their own where to defend and which enemy to attack, but if you want to control everything, there is also the option to aim your orders (aim your gun at the location/enemy).

The story mode is so fun that I used to play through it once a day back when I was younger, the story is your standard Cold War goes wrong scenario in which you play as a New York plumber caught in the middle of the conflict. You gather up a small army of allies and take on missions that involve sneaking into Russian bases and ruining their day behind the front-lines. It tells a pretty decent story within cut-scenes and it can be finished within a day (which is perfect for me). It's also accompanied by a soundtrack that mostly features well-times dramatic and heroic orchestra music.

I really liked the fact that there is a small chance that friendly soldiers will get wounded when shot, instead of just dying instantly. Are you going to run back and help a fallen comrade or are you going to save what you have left and hope a new batch of recruits is somewhere around the corner. I have also seen moments in the multiplayer where the more passionate players refused to let a certain soldier die even if it meant wasting all their health-packages on slowly dragging him out of a sniper invested area.

The Bad
The game is linear, which isn't really a problem, I love linear games, but it tries to hide that fact. It gives the impression that you can do missions out of order, but instead you will end up stuck at one point or another because there is something you had to do in another stage. The very first example is when you can free a Rebel leader at the police station or take down a Russian position in a post office, but the post office is out of reach until you complete the police station mission and you can't make it to the station without blowing up a goal in the post office map with C4 found in the Police map. The game is full of stuff like this and it's just an arbitrary "where to go first" puzzle that often forces you to stop a mission half-way because there is suddenly a helicopter blocking your path.

Some of the power weapons respawn way too fast in the multiplayer, the rocket launcher can take down an entire enemy base in one shot (either killing or severely wounding all the soldiers in one hit), but ammo is everywhere and even if you die and lose it, it will already be back before you die. Turrets are also located everywhere and pointing in every direction, so a clever tactic can easily be ruined by a single soldier.

The game has some huge glitches, the most common of which is related to the multiplayer. The problem is that there is a random chance that soldiers will just randomly disappear, it only happens maybe once in a thirty games, but when it happens you will be left with a soldier slot filled by a soldier who is lodged in a wall somewhere (I actually saw that happen once). It's also pretty common to see a turret with perfect aim or soldiers not firing at enemies.

The Bottom Line
This used to be one of my favorite games for the GameCube when I was a kiddo, but time has moved on since and like almost every other shooter, it didn't get off very well. The glitches are very troublesome and I can't imagine why you would want to give the player a choice when the game requires a strictly linear level progression anyway.

It is still very playable though and the multiplayer is one of my favorites, but you shouldn't go into this game expecting a timeless classic. I recommend this game for both teens and adults, younger kids may find the multiplayer to be somewhat interesting, but they would have problems following the story. God bless America. Casper out.

GameCube · by Asinine (957) · 2011

An excellent action and tactical squad shooter.

The Good
Freedom Fighters plays like a solid third-person shooter, with smooth and responsive controls. Squad control is both simple and effective. You only use three buttons to command your troops; attack, defend and regroup. The squad AI is good but it isn't perfect. Your troops use cover to advance and support each other but occasionally they can run into your line of fire or get lost trying to make their way back to you.

The levels are well designed. Each mission usually consists of several areas, each with their own number of objectives. There are usually multiple paths to take through each area. For example, in one level you must make your way to a nearby city block. You can choose take the road, however, Russian troops are dug in at the end of the road so you will use abandoned cars for cover or you can find an open window in a nearby building and make you way up to a position to snipe the enemy before you make you way back to street level.

The objectives are varied enough, making each mission a little different from the rest. You will find yourself having to capture a key building, then destroy a landing pad and rescue prisoners. There's even an assassination mission.

The Bad
The problem with Freedom Fighters is that there simply isn't enough of it. Even on the higher difficulty settings, the game won't take an experienced gamer more than 12 hours to complete. It must also be said that the game doesn't provide much closure at the end, simultaneously setting up for a sequel while not really leaving you with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

The Bottom Line
While the game could have been longer, Freedom Fighters is still just an outstanding action and tactical squad combat game. Anyone looking for thrilling action with refined control and a great premise need look no further than Freedom Fighters.

Windows · by Cyberzed (51) · 2003

Entertaining, but very short, squad-based shooter.

The Good
"Freedom Fighters" posits a familiar alternate world scenario that remains strangely underutilized by video game designers. The Soviet Union invades the United States, and a scrappy band of Freedom Fighters (naturally) must attempt to eject the evil empire from the land of the free and the apple pie.

Your main character is quickly enlisted in this guerrilla campaign at the start of the game, and you soon learn that on the highest difficulty level (only pussies play on medium!) this is one punishing game. This seems to be a hallmark of IO Interactive design (see "Hitman 2," another game that will make you scream at your television). Unless you can cap their heads, soviet troops require dozens of hits to down. Since most encounters feature you facing off against multiple enemies, this becomes problematic.

Luckily, you gradually gain the ability to command more and more allied fighters who will assist you in your anti-soviet skullduggery. These guys are quite useful, particularly when you can amass more than two or three of them. They're pretty resilient, and they have infinite ammo. You can order them to guard an area, scout an area or eliminate specific enemies with just a few button presses. Plus, if they do down, you just run up to them and bring them back to full life with a medikit. (but save plenty for yourself!)

The interface is well designed for the most part. Ordering your helpers, as mentioned, is very easy. Swapping weapons is also works pretty well, until you need to switch from a gun to your medikits. I accidentally switched to the molotov cocktail (right next to the medikits in the inventory screen) and cooked myself to death several times during the course of the game. Ouch.

The best aspect of the game is that it seemlessly combines first and third person shooting into one package. You play primarily from a third person perspective, but when you need to aim, you snap into first person. From this perspective, you can still creep around, and this sets up the best setpieces of the game. You'll need to use plenty of cover to stay alive, and quickly ducking, popping up, strafing and firing (all the while gauging when to fire blindly and when to pop into first person for precision aiming) is so cinematic that you can't help but be invested into the action.

Your firearm selection is somewhat scanty but sufficient. You get several choices for sidearms, rifles and big guns, but I found that using the standard AK-47 is the only way to go for most of the game because you're guaranteed plentiful ammo from all the soldiers you'll be offing.

There is a token multiplayer mode, but since you only get a few maps, it comes off as being somewhat of an afterthought. Furthermore, the American team is overbalanced because the American player automatically receive the shotgun with full ammo every time he respawns. The poor soviet players can't hope to compete when the AK (for some reason, its power is downgraded considerably in the multiplayer mode) barely scratches other players.

Overall, I found "Freedom Fighters" to be a fun experience with some nagging problems...

The Bad
As mentioned, it's a really difficult game. However, it's also very short, so while you'll struggle to overcome insanely tough levels, there aren't that many of them to begin with. Even on the hardest difficulty level, I finished the game in a week playing only when my schedule allowed.

What's truly unfortunate is that the plot, which has such great promise for high camp, fails to fully deliver. The characters are thin, thin sketches at best, and the main character has almost no personality whatsoever. The bad guys have more personality (thanks in no small part to their accents), but that doesn't excuse sloppy characterization for titular characters.

The Bottom Line
You can probably find this game cheap now, so go pick it up from the bargain bins. It's a quick experience, but you'll definitely enjoy it.

GameCube · by Lucas Schippers (57) · 2004

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Freedom Fighters appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

References

There's a reference to I/O Interactive's Hitman series near the beginning of the game. On the wall of the apartment you start in, you can see a movie poster for a movie called "Hong Kong Love Story" with a picture of Agent 47 and Lei Ling (the girl from the Lee Hong Assassination mission of Hitman: Codename 47) in a romantic embrace. This is kinda funny because in the original game, Agent 47 couldn't stand her. He can also be seen in several billboards around the city advertising a clothing store.

Voice acting

Nicholas Worth, who did the voice acting for the main villain in Freedom Fighters, also happened to play a very similar role in the game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 as Alexei Romanov - another alternate history game where the Soviet Union strikes at America.

Information also contributed by Rambutaan and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Shoddyan.

Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2 added by Corn Popper.

Additional contributors: Alan Chan, Erwie84, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added October 2, 2003. Last modified January 26, 2024.