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Written by  :  Dwango (300)
Written on  :  Apr 12, 2005
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
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An Amazing, Incredible, and Smart Way to Play the Comix!

The Good

Style: I have to say the best part of this game is the way it sets itself up and shows off its comic style. It really is best when it plays it over-the-top, which it does often. The bad voice acting, rich colors, goofy cast of characters, over-dramatic story, ridiculous naming conventions (Liberty City, Minute Man and Liberty boy, Nuclear Winter) really create a great caricature of the classic comics (don't know? Try some Marvel Essentials to see how true to the original they are.) All these separate parts come together in a masterwork of kitschy ness and camp, highly enjoyable.

Game play: The game plays similar to Baldur's Gate, except on a smaller scale. The player selects the stock heroes, or their own home brew. Then they are given various goals such as defeating all the enemies or protect people. The game allows pausing and lets the user give commands, making it somewhat phase based. This is a strong formula that is highly involving, making time pass quickly as you go about your heroic deeds. And you have a lot of actions to choose from, such as attacking with various powers, picking up the local items to attack, such as cars and light posts, finding various canisters to boost power or heal. And the game is well balanced with the stock heroes, as none are too powerful to fight on their own, and each is good in some situations, but terrible in others. Building the right team matters.

Another aspect of the game play is building heroes. You can build almost any kind of hero you like with the game, from super-men to psychic brainiacs, it’s almost all there. And you have plenty of models to use, as they can easily be downloaded on the net. Even better, you can add user made versions of your favorite comic heroes.

The A.I. is appropriate and challenging. You will find most villains do what would be expected, though there are some issues.

Interface: The interface is elegant simplicity. You can click on any place or person, and an appropriate menu will appear in context to that item. The list of items is easy to read and makes sense in the light of you character. They even switch as you change heroes, but keep the item in focus.

Music: The scores are excellent and never feel repetitive. The music fits the mood of the enemy and adds to the atmosphere of pure camp. You'd think this stuff would be standard stock of any super hero cartoon.

The Bad

Game Play: Despite the involvement of the system, you will find those little annoyances that drive you crazy. When you pause and select actions for your heroes, sometimes they just don't respond, so you lose time having to figure out they aren't doing anything and get them to act again. Also, the focus on enemies does not shift to a new enemy, so if you click on attack another enemy, they attack the same enemy. And many times, you will be your own worst enemy as you heroes can hit each other or knock them selves out if they are too close to their own blasts.

Also, this game it not fast paced, as you will find yourself pausing many times to keep up with the flow. You really will have a hard time navigating menus in real time, a problem in the multiplayer.

And the creation system, while thick with many options, has the usual problem of some powers being too powerful, easily creating one trick ponies to dominate the single player and multiplayer games. This was nerfed somewhat in patches, but issues still exist.

Bugs: There aren't too many, but one exists where the characters with get stuck under the ground.

Multi-Player: This is the weakest point of this game. As mentioned, certain powers allow dominance in games, and there is no pause, so it’s a much speedier game lending to beam and smashing the main course of action. There is some co-op with the added danger room, but it only goes so far.

The Bottom Line

Freedom Force is a strategy / RPG where you can create heroes to fight villains in a 60's style comic book send off. Freedom Force is somewhat mis-classed, in that it’s more of a tactics game than a role-playing game. It has the ability to create all kind of heroes using stats, but it relies on small maps with simple objectives in a beat the other guy before he beats you strategy. It could easily have become repetitive except for the kitschy comic book style that just leaves you grinning and somewhat nostalgic for the old comic, and the old games. Overall, if you are the nerd type or love a challenging strategy game, this one is for you.