Adventure & RPG
Look Upon My Justice!Freedom Force may take place in the 60s, but the in-game graphics are decidedly more modern, making judicious use of polygons to create a living, breathing world. Cities feature blocks, buildings of various make and height, moving traffic, and innocent citizens going about their business. Parks may have boathouses, lakes, and animated fountains.
True to comic book form, almost everything in each environment can be interacted with on some level. Need to take on multiple attackers? Uproot a nearby traffic light and bash them all at once. Fence in the way? Knock it down. Don’t like that car? Pick it up and throw it at the nearest bad guy. The phrase “Hulk smash” has never been so eloquently expressed before in a Mac game, until now.
The camera, like most RPG titles, offers a top-down view and can be scrolled around, rotated, and zoomed in or out at will
The characters in particular deserve special mention. Besides being well-animated, they boast an incredible amount of detail, particularly in their outfits, and are rendered so that they look smooth and rounded, even when the camera is zoomed in all the way.
Performance seems to be smooth so far as well. I ran FF at 1600x1200 with max settings, and everything ran smooth as silk, even when I was simultaneously confounding minds, setting thugs afire, saving a passerby and knocking down a nearby building. For those with less powerful systems, the graphic options can be tweaked to suit one’s needs as necessary.
Aurally, the game is rife with the overblown voice acting that one would expect from a Silver Age toon. Every character feels the need to voice their thoughts aloud: “Bullet…entered…heart! Fading fast…," which makes for a ton of speech and some great comic book moments. The soundtrack sounds, for lack of a better word, groovy. The appropriate thwacking, crunching, and explosion-type noises also abound, sounding very much like the previously mentioned Batman TV sound effects, and are even accompanied by “whack” and “biff” type sound balloons.
To Be ContinuedFreedom Force is shaping up to be one of the surprise titles of this holiday season. Even in its unfinished state, it bears a highly-polished feel, with gameplay that’s both easy to grasp and fun, slick visuals, and enough voice to choke a horse. It reminds me a lot of WarCraft III, except with less characters to worry about and a good deal more powers and abilities to use. The ability to take out several thugs with one swing of a lamppost doesn’t hurt either.
In short, this title looks like it could be a winner. We’ll have to wait until it hits retail before issuing a final verdict, but if its development keeps proceeding apace, this will certainly be a title to watch.