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GAME REVIEW

Freedom Force

Stand Tall and be Proud

By Chad Serrant

staff writer

Freedom Force

Published by Electronic Arts

Made for the PC

Rated T for Teen

$39.99

Welcome fellow citizens. I am here to introduce you to the group of guardians who fight for justice and liberty: The Freedom Force! You can purchase a game containing their journeys and adventures and it is well worth it. The gameplay is top-notch and the customization options have won this writer’s heart. Besides, who can resist the classic appeal of comic books?

Come watch Minute Man, El Diablo, Liberty Lad, and several others as they beat bad guys and keep this country safe for regular citizens like you and me. My sources tell me “Freedom Force” is directly related to “energy X,” which allegedly gives people extraordinary powers.

This game has a good blend of strategy and real-time action. The “stop and go” time mechanism of Baldur’s Gate has been borrowed so people can issue commands while the game is paused. Some people say that stopping time has made them feel a little too disjoint from the action, so Freedom Force allows the player to slow down the game. This way, citizens can still view projectiles and issue commands at their own pace.

The adventures involve a group of four heroes entering one of our urban areas. They have mission objectives that must be completed. Defeating villains, protecting citizens, and preventing disaster are all in a day’s work. They must be careful and not destroy buildings or hurt the innocent, or they lose prestige.

Prestige is used to recruit new characters into the Freedom Force. The more powerful characters require more prestige, so don’t expect an army of Supermen joining our beloved protectors anytime soon. Besides, the Freedom Force is already strong enough to cover all of our powers: mental control, explosives, energy beams, super strength, duplication, and teleportation ... the list is long and diverse. Freedom Force will need all of those powers in order to succeed.

Each member of Freedom Force has a unique style and personality. Minute Man is the patriotic defender of this fine country. Man-Bot lived in the lap of luxury until his foolishness cost him his brother’s life. And then there is the mysterious Mentor. It seems obvious that he knows a lot more than he says. Fortunately, several heroes are willing to show their secret origins through 1960 comic book style cut scenes dispersed throughout the game.

Customized heroes may join the Freedom Force. Choose a mesh and skin for the character. These are available through the Internet or can be created. Once he has donned the right costume, it is time to adjust his stats in terms of strength, speed, agility, endurance, and energy. Then give him one of over fifty attributes like wall climbing, solid skeleton, and claws. Add a few customized attacks to make a powerful guardian that will catch Freedom Force’s attention.

While testing the game, I had difficulty with the user interface. Although the camera is excellent and covers several angles that I would want to use, a map was sorely needed. When Freedom Force broke into parties I could not follow them both very efficiently. Sometimes thugs would attack the group I wasn’t paying attention to. An additional problem is that some areas are too dark. I had to brighten my monitor to view the underground areas.

This writer has been waiting for quite some time to see an enjoyable superhero game. Irrational Games promised to make a superhero game no one would be ashamed of. The gameplay and customization easily outweigh the minor user interface flaws. I encourage all PC gamers to stand tall and thank Freedom Force for a job well done.