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Freedom Farce…

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Freedom Force
Rating: 3.5/5

Freedom Force is a comic-book strategy game that sees you taking control of up to four superheroes as the battle bad-guys. It is not, in the slightest an RPG, as it has been described by Macplay. The game is linear, predictable and has a plot that is fairly unoriginal. Does that mean its horrible? No, not really, it just means it is nothing special.

The learning curve on the game is fairly slight as you are introduced to new abilities and tactics as the game progresses. You gradually acquire more companions for your first character, Minuteman. Minuteman is a dull and fairly weak character who gets tiring to play very quickly. Once you have found more than 4 characters, you can mix and match them depending on the mission. Alas, this point is far in the future and it is possible to get quite bored in the solo game before you have even your first full set of heroes.

Of course, it you wish you may create a character of your own and this feature is great fun. In creation mode have free rein to create some pretty impressive characters with lots of options and abilities. This is probably the best part of the game and is most enjoyable. That is until you find that it will take a long time in the solo game before you add whatever character you have just made unless he is a pathetic weakling like the rest of the early characters.. You can, of course, use your newly created hero in a multiplayer game. If you can find one on Gameranger. Multiplayer is like playing Diablo II online, except it runs much less smoothly.

Therein lies the major problem with this game. The controls and interface are appalling. Add to the fact that the game runs slowly, even on a G4 700mhz with 384MB of RAM, and it makes for frustrating game play. There is a pause function which allows one to make moves. This helps a tiny bit. You will still find yourself with the enemies pounding the crap out of you while your characters are barely moving. Turning down the options in the game does not seem to help in the many outdoor areas of the game. The camera leaves something to be desired as well, although using the track wheel to focus in closer is rather fun.

Graphically the game looks rather good. It has the desired comic book feel down pat. This game is a must if you always wanted to be part of a comic book. The cut-scenes are well done but suffer from the same tetchiness as the game itself.

I find it hard to recommend this to anyone other than that sub-group. For this type of game-play there are far better games like Diablo II, Warcraft III and even Baldurs Gate II. FF tries to be so many things and fails to achieve any of them.

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