Game Review - by James Allen
It's been a recent trend to develop other aspects of media into computer games, whether it be movies, television shows, or books. In the case of Freedom: First Resistance, Anne McCaffrey's series of Freedom novels have been adapted into a game from Red Storm. Surrounding a story where aliens have come down and enslaved the humans, Freedom surrounds one main character, Angel Sanchez, her friends, and their mission to eradicate evil. Will Freedom prove to be yet another astounding computer adaptation, or be cast aside as another poor attempt at reaping the goodness of the written story?
In Freedom: First Resistance features third person single player missions, in which you battle the evil foes of the resistance. There is no multiplayer, which fits the story-driven single player campaign. After you complete each mission, more are unlocked, until you beat the game by finishing the 20 or so included missions. And that completes the features. There are no real reasons to play Freedom more than once (or once at all, for that matter). The lack of any other aspects of gameplay other than the single player mission adds up to not much replay value for Freedom.
The totality of the sound is the adequate voice acting and the overly dramatic background music. The plus of the sound is that all of the extensive dialogue includes accompanying sound, although it sometimes differs from the actual conversations. The music is, in general, mostly background material that is easy to ignore. If an enemy spots you, a huge crescendo emanates from your speakers, which on most occasions only clashes with the overall theme of stealth found in the game. Even with all of the chats translated to sound, the extreme music interrupts the game at the most inappropriate times.
The gameplay is difficult, annoying, and too repetitive. The best aspect of the gameplay is using more than one character to solve a problem, which is necessary in some cases. Unfortunately, this method is used infrequently enough to not save this game. All of the levels are very linear, as you must complete each objective in the correct order. Even though you are supplied with the most important objectives at the beginning, it takes trial and error to discover how to complete them in the correct order. This adds unnecessary tedium to the game, and slows the pace to an excruciating pace.
Freedom: First Resistance consists mostly of sneaking around guards, interacting with objects, and talking with other people. There isn't much wrong with stealth in a game, it's just overused in Freedom. You must sneak in the exact correct manner that the designers thought of, or the guards will swarm to you like bees to the biggest flower in the world. The third person method of controlling your characters does let you see around corners that you shouldn't be able to, which does make sneaking easier. If you to trip the poor AI, which can't decide if it can see you hundreds or two feet away, the combat modeling is very rudimentary. Just point and click. Aiming is not necessary at all, and it seems as though combat was added as an afterthought, since the method of downing your enemies is both boring AND unrealistic. This is not a good combination.
With all of the objects included in the game, it seems a wonder that you can only interact with a select few of them. You can't even converse with everyone in the game: a simple "leave me alone" would have sufficed. This directly ties in with the overly linear nature of the missions. When you do happen to discover another person to communicate with, the dialogue model is too drawn out. You must complete each tête-à-tête to its fullest before leaving the scene; you can't even exit the game during a discourse. The letterbox format only serves to provide space for the text dialogue, and to show the low quality of the character textures. All of these poor gameplay elements destroy the slightly compelling story and character development, leaving Freedom: First Resistance to be a heaping bowl of crapola.
The graphics are a mixed bag. From a distance, your surroundings and the characters themselves look good, but once you come up close and personal (especially during conversations), the muddiness of the models becomes apparent. The characters themselves are very reminiscent of those found in Timeline (not a good thing), and the characters mouths only mimic the dialogue once in a blue moon. While the environments are generally much better than Timeline, it seems the developers didn't try enough to make the graphics crisp at nearby distances.
Freedom: First Resistance is a poor attempt at developing a gripping story-driven computer game. The graphics are good at a distance, the features are capable at best, but the horrid gameplay destroys any reason to purchase this game. Even with the slightly innovative multiple-character driven missions, Freedom: First Resistance isn't a complete enough game to warrant your time and energy.