Review by DKamikaze
Reviewed: 09/25/02 | Updated: 09/25/02
Hugely underrated little game.
OK, picture this. You walk into your local games store (Well, my local is 26 miles away but you get the drift) looking for a game. In my case, Resident Evil 3. They didn't have it - not wanting to go away empty-handed, I browsed through their selection of games. Then one caught my eye - beautiful box-work, and a rather tasty sale price of £2.99 - quite honestly, how could I lose? In fact, when I got home a few hours later and booted the game up, I was in for one heck of a surprise...
Now, I've done a bit of digging, and apparantly Anne McCaffrey is a good writer. Freedom is one of her works, translated to game form. Yes, it's heavily story-driven. You take the role initially of Angel Sanchez, a troubled young woman who has lost her family and fiancee during an alien invasion. Holed up inside a refugee camp in what used to be a mall, she gets a note from the Resistance. Intrgued, she starts looking for a way out...
OK, so my breakdown is pathetic. But the story in this game happens to rock the socks off some games I've played. It doesn't get dull either, the story moves along at a nice, even pace and you never feel swamped with too much going on at one.
OLD GAME, NICE GRAPHICS
Next thing is graphics. OK, I have a problem - the game won't run videos on my GF3, but my friend with a TNT2 also installed this game and either way, the graphics are amazingly crisp. The environments are imm,ensely detailed and lighting is well done. The graphics reminded me of Unreal Tournament, which isn't a bad thing really.
The characters are the amazing thing. Angel herself looks phenominal and the other characters, especially the NPC's, are very detailed, they speak very well and have a personailty. You have to deal with people in different manners - the nice guy approach doesn't always work, while some characters don't take kindly to sarcastic comments. The game forces you to think.
OK, this is pretty much how i felt the Character Switching system worked. But it's good. You need to use more than one character in many of the puzzles. Say, a switch opens a door and you have three seconds to get in. You can't run there fast enough. So get one character to open the door, and the other near the door to walk in there. Then to get out do the same again. A little logic solves the puzzles, they're never too difficult to understand or solve. This might not help the hardened puzzle-addict, but it does make sure the game never gets too stuck in one area.
Combat is a double edged sword in this game. Not in that sense though. There are some impressive things in this game to use in combat, problem is, you'll rarely need them. Angel hits so fast foes never have breathing room. Take them one-on-one and Angel rarely loses.
It's a shame, later enemies require more tact and maybe the heavy artillery but for the majority of the game it's never really needed. Big shame but I guess in the later stages of the game you need the ammo so itis somewhat forgivable.
The game does create an atmosphere that is tense, but it's not scary. I doubt it's supposed to be though. This game doesn't rely on shock tactics or the millions-at-one enemies trick. It's a nice looking game that has introduced me to the world of Freedom. And I like it.
Games based on books are a hit-or-miss affair, and despite the fact no-one has reviewed this before except in the single FAQ available, and despite the no-activity-in-the-forums problem, this is a game that is worth a look. It's not exactly ground-breaking, but it works, it plays well and is a nice break from playing Half Life and Q3a. It's refreshing to find an unknown and obscure title that delivers. This is it. Have a look for it, it can't be expensive... it's an enjoyable experience. Can't get any higher praise.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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