Freedom Force vs The Thrid Reich
[ Review Comments | Screenshots ]Freedom Force vs Thrid Reich Review
Category : Role Playing
Publisher : Irrational
Developer : Irrational
Release : 3/08/2005
MSRP (US): $39.99
733 MHz or faster
OS: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP
RAM: 128MB RAM
Video: 32MB RAM DirectX®/Direct3D compatible video
accelerator card (GeForce4 Ti 4200 or Equivalent Recommended)
Hard Drive Space: 700MB
threats call for new heroes to rise. As Nuclear Winter returns with a new
ploy to destroy Freedom Force and the free world, three new silver age heroes,
Tombstone, Green Genie and Quetzacoatl, step up to help thwart evil. When
the "Pesky Ruskie's" plan unfurls, Freedom Force finds themselves
transported to war-torn Europe circa WWII! The team will have to make an
alliance with Sky King, Black Jack and Tricolour, three Golden Age heroes
willing to sacrifice everything to save the world from the evil axis powers.
Three years ago the folks at Irrational
Games brought us a fresh look at comic-book themed gaming with a title
called Freedom Force. Irrational bent the traditional RPG/RTS
mold and created a game with not only great gameplay, but an awesome story
to boot. Of course, not many expected much from this title at first, the
comic-book theme was not doing well in video games with cheap titles and
cheesy rip-offs coming out like water from a leaky faucet. However the
developers of System Shock II (Irrational) knew differently, and took
the risk with glee. The result became a cult classic, and still has quite
a following today despite being in the bargain bin.
The next incarnation of the series comes
with Freedom Force vs Third Reich, and fans of the original won't
be disappointed. The sequel features all of the original cast, along with
a score of new heroes and villains. The beauty of this game is indeed
the story and characters that grab you into the campy silver age mood,
and never let go, and it's right on par with the predecessor. Freedom
Force vs. The Third Reich features six new playable characters as
well as a hoard of new villains, a brand new engine with enhanced graphics,
and multiplayer including several brand new modes. Even with all that
and a bag o' chips, it plays true to the original.
those that played the first game, it plays almost exactly the same. The
gameplay reminds me of games like System Shock and the X-Com series, only
the story adds to the much needed monotony that plagued some of those
games. The game features a story-driven single-player campaign consisting
of a linear series of missions, with each task highlighted by an entertaining
mission briefing to advance the storyline. This entire campaign plays
out like real comic-book, complete with cool comic-book covers on the
loading screens, and plot twists that lead you into the next issue. The
pace of the story never breaks, and makes for a very entertaining couple
of nights. As I mentioned above, the themes are campy to say the least,
but unimaginably fun to involve yourself with.
Quite honestly, the gameplay in FFv3R
is refreshingly simple to master and fun. The first mission introduces
you to the basics of your movement and actions in a easy walk through
style, and tips and hints follow you during the next few missions beyond.
It is nice to start the game in this manner, as it gives you some time
to play with your characters various powers, and master different teaming
combinations. You never control more than four super heroes per mission,
so the action never gets overwhelming and you get to spend most of your
time sending out those cool looking frost-rays. While the mouse-driven
UI is much like the original, Irrational has made some nice enhancements
to both the interface and the artificial intelligence, making it easier
than ever to command this mighty team of heroes. Pointing and clicking
isn't all that hard anyway's, and who can complain about sending in your
strongman to wield that light pole, or grab a car and throw it at a bad
a traditional RTS to us here at GCC, we gave FFv3R a RPG category
because of the story depth and immersion. While it plays like a Strategy
game, you can pause the action at will (Or slow it down to a desired pace),
and issue commands to your team. The combat system is easy to get into,
and even more fun to master. Characters have different strengths and weaknesses
and certain members of your team will be better suited for some missions.
Aside from the action RPG-style gameplay
and story depth, the only real role-playing element comes from the character-customization
system. Your heroes will gain experience points between missions and you
then purchase new abilities or upgrade existing using the points gained.
Although it's not a game that forces you to use certain characters, some
plot points are enhanced when using doing so and add to the immersion
qualities. Same basic story either way, so don't expect an open-ended
system, it is very linear.
I can only have words of praise for the immersion qualities of the game.
The visuals slightly surpassed the levels of the previous game, creating
a distinct artistic style and bringing you into the mood of the missions
quite well. The attention to detail in matching the artwork to the story
is incredible, and although not bleeding edge.....It looks darn good on
my monitor! Some of the locations are right out of the first game, but
new environments take you from Cuba and Central Park, to the heart of
the Nazi empire during World War II. As graphics go, the animation, physics,
and colorful look come through and are wilder than a 3 peckered goat.
You won't be left wanting eye-candy after this one, it uses so many colors
of your monitor.
The audio portion of the game is worth exceptional
mention. Irrational got the same talented voice actors, as well as a few
new voices. Each character has a multitude of personality, and it is reflected
quite nicely in their dialogues. I wish the game lip-synched better, but
it's a very small gripe. Not only is the voice acting top notch, but so
is the witty and ironic writing behind it. The music score remains unchanged
from the first game, but continues to set the mood and tone of the game.
Characters all have something to say when using powers or moving too,
and can be quite entertaining at times, repetitive at others.
is somewhat new to the Freedom Force saga, and although it's
a welcome addition, the system definitely needs some work. My first time
logging into Multiplayer was easy enough with a general chat room much
like Blizzard's Battle.net setup, and various ways to host and join different
types of games. The games vary from Deathmatch style to a unique co-op
story driven mode where players can write their own ticket. Irrational
has made some nice tools available for those that would like to create
custom content and stories as well.
The good things I have to say will sadly
end there for MP however, as my first tries at it were very frustrating,
and after trying to join almost 9 straight games I gave up on the idea.
While the idea is nice, many players use custom skins for their heroes,
which delays download times significantly. I am not sure if it's the network
code in the game side of things, or just a simple misfortune and I happened
to be getting all the 56k users in my games. I can say it was maddening,
as players would leave the game while we were all still downloading skins,
and we would be forced to try again. I can't tell you much about Multiplayer
in this review, as sadly, I never got to play a game during all this terror.
The possibility to fielding your own superhero creations against live
opponents can be pretty appealing however, and I don't give up easily.
Mods will be fast and furious for the game,
as the first game had already developed quite a following, and now Irrational
has launched Modforce....Your
own personal guide to Patriot City and the exciting world of Freedom Force
mods. The Mods Center is your first stop on the road to tailoring Freedom
Force to suit your needs, and the developers have gone out of their way
to make this easy for most gamers wanting custom content or skins.
may be a comic-book lover of old, but I can honestly say that even non
comic-book fans would truly enjoy this game. If only for the story this
game is worth the forty bucks. Fortunately, the action itself is very
immersive so the game won't stand alone on content alone, but also on
ease of play and fun. The technical changes I can report are very positive,
and with the open ending we see, you can expect to see yet another FF
title down the road.
Reinhart - March 2005
[ Add a comment ]
No comments at the moment.
To post a comment, you need to be logged in.