Mixing X COM with superheroes. Freedom Force is the first game for as long as we care to remember featuring grown men in tight leotards flying through New York and wrecking buildings in the name of justice and capitalism. Tactical combat doesn't get in the way of fun and you can even recreate your favourite comic book characters.
What's The Big Deal
When the people behind a new game have worked on Thief and System Shock 2 you sit up and take notice. They are self-confessed comic book fanatics, so even if the characters are all made up, the spirit will be true to Stan Lee's 1960s creations.
While superheroes have enjoyed a resurgence in big budget films like the Batman series and X-Men, and have been continuously misused in shallow console beat 'em ups, they have been strangely absent from our PC monitors. Who better to finally break the super-silence than the people behind one of the best games of the past decade, System Shock 2?
Free from the constraints - both creative and financial - that a big-name licence would bring, Irrational Games has developed its own brand of '60s-inspired superheroes. Harking back to a simpler, more innocent age, both the design and story immediately bring to mind early Marvel comics, with bright colours and ludicrous lycra costumes. Definitely more Adam West than Tim Burton. Among the characters are Minute Man - clearly the game's version of the fascist Captain America - and Manbot - who both looks and sounds like a version of Iron Man. The characters will have superpowers including the ability to fly, jump great distances and crush buildings with one finger.
The game is powered by the same engine driving the Gollops' Dreamland Chronicles. It also shares that title's X-COM influence. Most of the action is viewed from a pseudo-3D isometric camera and the combat uses the same kind of'active' turn-based system found in the Final Fantasy series: you have to wait for a character's turn before you can tell him what to do, but you have to be quick about it, as time doesn't stop for you to fiddle about.
As you can see from the screenshots, Freedom Force has also been injected with a healthy dose of humour, in sharp contrast with the deadly seriousness of SS2. Picking up school buses and throwing them at enemies, then snapping off a lamp post to beat them into the ground with is just a sample of the sorts of things you'll be able to do during battle.
The game takes place in New York where, for some strange reason, people are turning into superheroes and supervillains. As part of the group recently transformed, your Freedom Force must investigate what's causing this epidemic.
As you progress through the missions you get to control more heroes, while the RPG side of the game means that you can improve the ones you start out with, although they will only occasionally gain new powers.
If you've been driven into a dark hole of despair after reading that the game doesn't feature any of your favourite heroes, don't worry, you can customise characters and even create your own. This means that multiplayer games will undoubtedly be populated with every Marvel and DC Comics hero imaginable. We look forward to trying our hand at Bananaman.
Processor: PC compatible, P-100
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode
Freedom Force Screenshots
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