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Freedom Force

Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Irrational Games
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:

Freedom Force brings super hero comics to the computer screen with vibrant visuals, and excellent sound and music. A number of video adaptors, resolutions and color depths are supported by this DirectX 8.1 compatible game, which has outstanding 3D graphics.

The game allows you to zoom in and out, as well as rotate the view. All characters and objects are clearly defined, and extremely detailed. Raised surfaces such as mounds of snow or buildings show good depth, and super heroes can jump or fly in a convincing manner.

The music is varied and fitting, and provides an excellent background to the gameplay and cutscenes. Sound effects and voiceovers are spot on, and help to round out the entire presentation. There were a few occasions when the voiceovers seem to fade or cut out, but it wasn't clear what was causing the problem.


Freedom Force offers tactical combat as well as a deep character development system, and while it is essentially an isometric 3D role playing game (RPG), it doesn't really offer a quest driven story structure, nor does it provide much in the way of character interaction.

Freedom Force allows you to pause or slow down the game while issuing orders to your team, which gives you the kind of control you would expect from Bioware Infinity Engine games like Baldur's Gate II. It also offers a fully destructible environment, so an essential part of gameplay includes removing items like street lights or roof-top air conditioners, and throwing them at your enemies.

The single-player campaign is broken into missions, with the first several serving as both a tutorial and an introduction of the first four super heroes. After each mission, characters receive a certain number of experience points (XP), and you can using the XP to train them, which allows you to increase their powers and attributes.

You can also create your own super heroes, and when you have enough prestige, which is also given for successful missions, you can recruit them, or any of the heroes that are introduced throughout the campaign.


Freedom Force offers a number of difficulty levels, and it provides quite a challenge even at the default setting. Besides the tutorials at the beginning of the game, there are no other aids to make the game easier to play.

As is true with most games of this type, it is necessary to pause or slow down the game in order to react to situations effectively. Sometimes it is easy to get overwhelmed with several enemies attacking you at once, so being able to individually give your team orders and then letting them execute the orders is essential.

Game Mechanics:

The Freedom Force user interface is streamlined and unobtrusive. Besides a status line at the bottom of the screen, and the action bar and character portraits in the bottom left hand corner, there are no other on-screen elements. Messages and other feedback are provided in comic book style bubbles that popup, and you can easily issue orders to team members by right-clicking on enemies or locations, and selecting the orders from the menu that displays.

Saving and loading games is quick and easy to do, and the keyboard is fully supported and customizable. The manual is adequate and provides background material for each of the super heroes, as well as gameplay and character development information.

If you're a comic book super hero fan, or someone who loves tactical combat and RPGs, then Freedom Force should appeal to you. If you are an RPG purist, on the other hand, then you might be put off by the lack of quests. The story provided is quite strong, and the cutscenes, graphics, music, and sound all provide an enormous amount of depth to the game. Overall, this is an excellent game for those willing to invest the time in the deep tactical gameplay.

-Gordy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Gary Lucero

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, 96MB RAM, 300MHz Pentium II, 4X CD-ROM, 31MBB HD space, 16MB 3D video card, DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card

Test System:

Windows XP Professional, 1 GHz Pentium III, 384MB RAM, GeForce 2 Ultra with 64MB RAM, SoundBlaster Live! Value, 32x DVD-ROM.

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated