Freedom Force Review and Skins|
The Superhero Curse. You know it exists. Most Superhero games, quite frankly, suck. Oh, there are a few superhero-related games that are good like Marvel versus Capcom, and the occasional game that actually gets the superheroness for one person right, like Spider-Man for- well pretty much EVERY CONSOLE IN EXISTANCE, but I dont think anything has done the genre in itself justice..
Well listen up, true beleivers: Freedom Force is here, and it's everything it ought to be. Set in the sixties, the game is a tribute to comic book silver and golden age- with over the top acting and characters, including the main hero-villian rivalry of the ultra-patriotic Minuteman and the evil communist spy turned supervillian Nuclear Winter. The story is that an evil alien race wants to take over the planet, but their supervillian creation planned backfired when mass quantities of Energy X spilled across Patriot City creating superheroes and villians almost at random. From the speedy Bullet, to the nerd-turned-superhero Ant, to the depressed ex-playboy Man-Bot there are characters here for everyone- and a large quantity of villians to fight as well. Time Travel, cloning rays, and underground lairs- all the evil plots are here you'll ever need.
The game plays sort of like a mission-based Baulders Gate. You can pause and give commands but everything happens generally at real time. There are a few flaws- it's hard to manage multiple team members or look around the level away from your characters, and you cant tell if someone has an order already unless you unpause, but since they'res only four people in your squad it isn't much of a problem.
One of the coolest things you can do with the game is that you can interact with nearly everything. Buildings can be blown up, cars can be tossed, lightposts can be ripped out of the ground and used as weapons. Of course, characters with a low strength score aren't as good at throwing and picking up, but generally most characters will be able to pick up small objects to use as weapons
The big draw for the game is that it has what is, without a doubt, the most complete and robust character creation system in gaming history. You can create meshes and skins, or download one of the over-1200 ones you can get from FreedomForceCenter (or below). You can choose stats, and give the character five attributes from a list of over seventy (Including favorites like Density Control, Blind, Wall Crawling, Fast Healing, Danger Sense...) and then you get to the best part: Power creation. You can pick types of powers, their effect, how many spawning projectiles, what kind of damage, what kind of knockback, the graphical effect, the name - pretty much everything. You can have a punch that irradiates things or a beam that temporarily exiles people from this plane of existance. You can have passive and active shields, teleporters, and such, and pretty much make any power you want. Next, you can pick a voice and material (Stone, Ice, Flesh, Rubber etc) which effects resistances. The system allows you to make anyone from Mild Mannered Bruce Banner to his Incredible Hulk form, and it's kept balanced by measuring the power of your hero by prestiege. In the single player game you can recruit your hero if you have that much prestige, and you yourself can be in the game punching Deja Vu in his rhyming jaw.
Multiplayer is standard fare, just 4 on 4 (on 4 on 4) hero bouts, with up to four players with up to four characters each up to a given prestige. Theyre has been talk of new modes from the developers however, so keep your fingers crossed=)
My reccomendation? If you have the PC to handle it (Try the demo at your local.. demo. .download.. place) and like superheroes, it's a no brainer. Oh, and here are some of my skin creations=)