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Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich Preview

publisher: Vivendi Games
developer: Irrational Games
genre: RPG

PIII 733, 128MB RAM, 32MB video card
ESRB rating: T

release date: Mar 08, 05
» All About Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich on ActionTrip

Previews are a double edged sword. I mean it's cool to be able to get your hands on a playable version of a new game that you can't wait to play, but usually the version that we get does not have all the features enabled or is just a few playable levels. So while we get to enjoy playing the new game before it's released, we don't get to enjoy all of it and what we do get to play, we don't get to play it for very long.

I love comic books and I REALLY like to wear nothing more than a cape, so I was excited when we got a playable build of Irrational's Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich, the sequel to the original Freedom Force that we enjoyed so much back in 2002. The game got an 93 when we reviewed it. Check the original review here. If you missed playing the first game, you should track down a copy and give it a whirl. Freedom Force combined the squad control elements similar to X-Com but with Silver Age comic book style artwork. Combat and movement occur in real-time but you can pause the action with a press of the button so you can issue orders to your team.

Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich does feature a new game engine from NDL, Gamebryo, which looks fantastic. But players who are familiar with the original game will be able to jump right back into the action without having to learn new controls. There was not much wrong with Freedom Force's game play to begin with and so the team followed the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' credo. As I stated before, everything that was good about the original game is back in the sequel. The heroes, villains, their powers and combat effects look and sound great. Everything on screen looks like it was ripped straight from a comic book.

The story is set in and around Patriot City. The main hero, Minuteman and his team of supers, combats archvillains and their minions as they try to execute their dastardly plans. As you pound on the bad guys and save the citizens from evil, your team gains levels and earns prestige points. With each level your heroes gain, you can upgrade their existing powers or get new ones. The prestige points you earn from completing objectives allows you to recruit new heroes to your team. All in all, Freedom Force looked great, was fun to play and was deserving of a sequel.

In the single level we got to play, we guided our four heroes around the streets of Patriot City as we tried to stop the super hot, super villain, Entropy and her evil minions from completing her dastardly plan. I'd love to give you some indication what that plan involves, but since we only got to play one level, I can't really say what Entropy's master plan is. I do know that in this single mission I had to run around trying to close rifts in the space time continuum while kicking the crap out of her minions. As I put the beat down on the bad guys I was able to destroy cars, street lamps and even buildings that got in my way. The mammoth damage I was inflicting (on accident, I swear!) really helped to drive home the point that I was controlling super heroes. Heroes that could shoot fire from their hands, stun enemies with the power of their minds or take to the air with a jet pack and rain death from above with a machine gun.

So I am pumped to play the full game but I am a bit bummed that I have to wait till later this year to play the full version. In the meantime I guess I can always reinstall the original Freedom Force or I can strap on that cape (and nothing else) and play a little hide and seek with the local police. Is it OK if I call you to come bail me out if things get out of hand? I'll take your silence as a yes.



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