[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/freedomfighters/cover.jpg[/floatleft]Have you ever considered what the world would be like if Russia would have won the Cold War? Let’s go a bit further, what if Russia had started to spread their Communism all over the world? Well, in the case of this game, Communism makes an abrupt visit to the United States. Freedom Fighters takes us into the life of an ordinary hardworking American who is forced into the life of a rebel soldier trying to take back an invaded New York City. The great thing about fighting this war is that you don’t have to fight it on your own. As time progresses, your experience is measured by your charisma level. The higher charisma level you have the more people you can recruit to fight with you in a battle. And believe me, these volunteers will be more than happy to fight with you.
This third person shooter has a unique method of choosing weapons, giving commands, and soldier placement. This is not your ordinary detailed squad-based management game. It does not have the command menu like Rainbow six which it lets you choose different precise actions. And this is certainly not a specific pin-point location movement management game either like Ghost Recon. FF is a simple three command squad based game. You simply tell them to defend, attack, or scout. All three ways will have each member of your team attacking the enemy without being told to do so. You can move each player individually, one by one by simply pointing your aim arrow and designating a position there after. If you choose not to control them individually, each member of your squad will follow you like body guards. You can command up to twelve recruits and each recruit carries one of three weapons, a pistol, an AK-47, or a shotgun. I prefer to recruit those with the heavier fire power. You can recruit has many people as you want depending on your charisma level. If your charisma level is at 5 then you can recruit 5 people, and so on and so forth. You are only allowed to carry two primary weapons, three explosives, other handy weapons like a wrench, and a medi-pac. Each item can be selected by scrolling through an item menu during game play. Weapons range from sub-machine gun, an unmounted machine gun, an AK-47, an RPG, frag grenades, revolver, glock, C-4, and the special Molotov Cocktail. The movements of the characters are simple and straight forward. Reloading is automatic along with aiming and mission objectives. One complaint that I have with the controlling is the manual aiming when throwing Molotov cocktails and grenades. Throwing explosives becomes a huge challenge because you find yourself taking too much time calculating distance. If you put too much of an arch on it, the grenade will find itself falling on your head. If you don’t put arch on it then it falls a foot in front of you. Finding a happy medium was quite annoying during a heated battle.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/freedomfighters/ss04_thumb.jpg[/floatright]EA decided to give FF a small hint of GTA when designing this game. I mean, playing in the streets of New York, camera movements, the whole third person shooter action just reminds me of GTA 3. The graphics are a little above average compared to GTA 3. FF and GTA 3 are almost alike with shadows and good lighting and some destructive environments. The buildings have depth and very good texture. Backgrounds are incredible with beautiful skylines and tall enormous sky scrapers. The AI in FF is a little rough around the edges, but overall decent. Enemies will fire if they see you, and they will run and call for reinforcements. Every once in awhile you find a soldier at point blank range crouching in front of you pretending to hide from you. That’s always pretty funny. One thing I found pretty ridiculous was the helicopter explosions. A Russian attack helicopter would hover around mowing all of us down constantly. Every once in a while I would find myself with an RPG. Every time I would blow that thing up it would just disappear. No magnificent explosion with a blaze of glory, nothing. No parts falling from the sky, nothing. It was dull, however, it would take about 5 tries to hit that thing. The helicopter would dodge anything you shot at it.
Overall, I thought EA did a great job making this title. I enjoyed the entire storyline of taking back New York and building a rebel army. I especially enjoyed every last objective of every mission. Raising the Stars and Stripes!! To complete each mission you had to take back certain locations and raise the American Flag. I thought that was a cool touch to the game. This entire game reminds me of the movie Red Dawn with Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, only the game was in the city. Freedom Fighters has a “WOLVERINES!!” feel to it! If you’ve seen the movie then you understand what I’m talking about. I truly enjoyed playing this, I suggest for those of you with a passion for war and squad based games to try this one out.