Freedom Fighters or Ahead of the Times

It’s as simple as that: Freedom Fighters is one of the most enjoyable games. Ever.

Graphics, animations, story … they’re not that great. It’s true. But in terms of gameplay, Freedom Fighters managed to combine tactical depth and a strong AI with fun: Did you ever want to command up to 12 Freedom Fighters? Yes, there are only 3 commands (attack, guard, follow), but if you order them around individually, it’s just pure fun. Why? Sometimes, less is more. You don’t need 12 commands when it’s done right. The way you play the game is almost completely up to you (there are some missions where you’re on your own): Do you want to be at the front line or do you prefer to play Freedom Fighters as a RTS? Your choice.

You can tackle missions differently as well – one mission in Freedom Fighters is usually divided into 2 or 3 zones – while you must liberate all of them, you can make your life easier by eliminating tactical position such as fuel depots or helipads. The tactical components come to life in the huge levels where you can approach either quickly (aka more dangerously) or rather slowly. Taking cover behind walls is mandatory. And you must be careful – those damn enemies try to flank your crew quite often.

So why has Freedom Fighters not earned the merits it does deserve? As mentioned above, there are flaws: The graphics weren’t great back then, same goes for the animations of all characters. The narrative itself is an alternate reality Cold War story where the Soviets invade the US, yet a plumber from New York becomes a national hero. It’s classic B movie stuff.  Also, while the protagonist isn’t a sharpshooter, just a mere plumber, for Stalin’s sake, the shooting mechanics should have been better! Auto aim is a matter of luck, and pressing L3 for your manual aiming when moving the reticule with the right analogue stick ain’t fun. Your Freedom Fighters tend to shoot better though.

Another problem is a technical one – Freedom Fighters had great ideas but it was simply ahead of the times. Imagine a game such as Battlefield 3 with the ability to light-heartedly control 12 soldiers – a dream! And after Kane & Lynch (the original one, not the second piece of garbage), which tried to revive the spirit of Freedom Fighters yet failed halfway, no one has tried to develop a game like this. It’s a shame!

Rabidgames recommends: Just give Freedom Fighters a try, whenever you can. Rabidgames promises you won’t be disappointed. And why the fuck ain’t there a sequel to one of the most underestimated games of all times?

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