Freedom Fighters (video game)

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Freedom Fighters
Freedom Fighters.jpg
North American cover art for Windows
Developer(s)IO Interactive
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
IO Interactive (PS2) (EU)
Writer(s)Morten Iversen [1]
Composer(s)Jesper Kyd [2]
EngineGlacier (modified) [3]
Platform(s)Windows
GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Release date(s)
  • PAL September 26, 2003
[4]
  • NA October 1, 2003
[5]
Genre(s)Third-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
DistributionCD
DVD
Nintendo optical disc
 
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Freedom Fighters
Freedom Fighters.jpg
North American cover art for Windows
Developer(s)IO Interactive
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
IO Interactive (PS2) (EU)
Writer(s)Morten Iversen [1]
Composer(s)Jesper Kyd [2]
EngineGlacier (modified) [3]
Platform(s)Windows
GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Release date(s)
  • PAL September 26, 2003
[4]
  • NA October 1, 2003
[5]
Genre(s)Third-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
DistributionCD
DVD
Nintendo optical disc

Freedom Fighters, originally titled Freedom: The Battle for Liberty Island,[6] is a 2003 third-person shooter video game available for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and Microsoft Windows. It was developed by IO Interactive, using a modified version of the Hitman 2: Silent Assassin game engine, and published by Electronic Arts.[7][8]

The game is set in an alternate history where the Soviet Union has invaded and occupied New York City. The player takes the role of Christopher Stone, a plumber turned American Resistance movement leader, fighting against the invaders.[9]

Gameplay[edit]

Freedom Fighters is third-person shooter, in which the player navigates through the streets of New York with a controllable squad of team mates while fighting the occupying Soviet forces. The player gains charisma points by performing various deeds, such as capturing a base or destroying enemy supplies. The more charisma gained, the more squad mates the character can recruit, up to a maximum of twelve. The player can direct recruits by giving them simple orders such as "follow," "attack," and "defend."[8]

Multiplayer[edit]

The console versions' multiplayer revolves around securing flags and bunkers. The flag is usually in the center of the map. Bunkers are positioned around the map, and spawn either Soviet soldiers or American freedom fighters. A game can host up to four players via split-screen who may choose between the Soviet and American sides.

Each side has a different set of weapons which the players can switch durring battle. The players' charisma meters are set to eight, so each player can have a maximum of eight soldiers under their command; however, if it is a four-player battle, each player can control a maximum of four soldiers.

The PC version does not support multiplayer.[10]

Plot[edit]

The Soviet Union became a world superpower by dropping the first atomic bomb on Berlin, ending World War II, and propping up communist states throughout the globe which begin to surround the US in the present day. New York plumbing brothers Chris and Troy Stone travel to meet with their next client, an activist named Isabella Angelina, only to find her apartment abandoned. The Soviet Union launches a surprise invasion of New York City and suddenly Soviet soldiers, led by General Tatarin, seize Troy. Amidst the attack, Chris escapes to the streets, encountering a man named Mr. Jones and resistance member Phil Bagzton. After rescuing Isabella from a police station and Troy from a post office, the group retreats to the sewers and sets up a base of operations as New York is lost.

Months later, Chris, Phil, and Isabella sabotage key Soviet facilities and reclaim areas within the city, building up a resistance group of New York citizens and disillusioned Soviet soldiers. Chris becomes known as the "Freedom Phantom" within the Soviet-controlled media network, SAFN. Troy is captured by Soviet troops and tortured for information. Forced into issuing a public statement aimed at the resistance to cease their actions, he breaks from the prepared text and urges Chris to continue fighting. In response, General Tatarin has Troy taken to Fort Jay and executes him personally. Mr. Jones suggests assassinating Tatarin in retaliation. Chris succeeds, but returns to find Isabella missing and the resistance base occupied by the Soviet army. The operation was orchestrated by Mr. Jones who reveals himself to be KGB agent Colonel Bulba. Chris escapes with Phil and others to a new underground area while SAFN reports on the death of Tatarin, Colonel Bulba's promotion to General, and the end of the resistance in New York.

During the winter, Chris leads the resistance deeper into occupied New York, culminating with a major raid on SAFN Studios. Chris uses the station to send a broadcast encouraging the city and beyond to rise up and bring an end to the Soviet occupation. A final assault on Governor's Island, consisting of massed resistance forces, is planned. After capturing Fort Jay and rescuing Isabella, New York is liberated for the time being as Chris and the group solemnly celebrate their victory. Chris knows the Soviets will not give up the occupied United States easily, but resolves to fight on as long as is necessary.

Characters[edit]

Development[edit]

In 2002, EA Games officially announced Freedom: The Battle for Liberty Island, which would later be renamed Freedom Fighters, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The concept for the game originally involved a turn-based strategic mode as a major element of gameplay.[6]

The game was developed by IO Interactive, creators of the Hitman franchise and Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, using the 3D Engine Glacier.[7] This engine made use of the OpenGL and Direct X graphic APIs,[11] and would be used by IO Interactive until the Glacier 2 engine was developed for Hitman: Absolution.[12]

Freedom Fighters was released by EA Games in the US on October 1, 2003, a full week after the UK release. An EA spokesperson stated that retailers in the US had requested the delay.[13] The game is one of the few developed by IO Interactive that was not published by Eidos Interactive.[7]

Audio[edit]

Soundtrack cover

The Freedom Fighters original soundtrack was composed by Jesper Kyd and released on September 29, 2003 by Sumthing Else Music Works and Nano Studios.[14][15] It was GameSpot's "Best Game Soundtrack of the Year 2003" and Game Reactor's "Best Game Music of the Year".[citation needed]

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 14 and 16 are performed by the Hungarian Radio Choir.[16][17] The music has grand, Soviet-style choral arrangements, and the synth parts have been described as "Vangelis on steroids".[18]

Kyd researched Russian music and musical scales prior to composing the soundtrack, citing Soviet history and the Cold War as major influences. Kyd composed the score in Manhattan shortly after the September 11th attacks.[19]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings82[20]
Metacritic80[21]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Eurogamer7/10 [10]
GameSpot9.3 [8]
GameSpy3/5 [22]
IGN8.4 [9]

Freedom Fighters received generally positive reviews, with the PC version scoring an 80 overall on Metacritic based on 16 critics' reviews.[21] It was praised for having a excellent AI for squad tactics, which served to enhance the sense of immersion in the "extremely detailed" environments and maintain the illusion of working with a team. The game's sound quality was also of note, both for the realistic combat noises and the game's Russian-influenced music, which "adds a perfect level of drama to the proceedings." [8][9]

Critics noted that while the game "does a marvelous job" of creating a realistic environment, the story was lacking in substance and fairly predictable, and while the squad AI is good, the enemy AI was lacking. Another source of criticism was the games length. The game can be cleared relatively quickly, but offers little replay value. According to Jeff Gerstmann of Gamespot, "The only real problem with Freedom Fighters is that there simply isn't enough of it. "[8][9]

Sequel[edit]

On April 6, 2004 Eidos UK revealed plans for the sequel.[23] Eidos announced it would distribute the sequel in the latter part of 2005. However, IO Interactive announced development of a new game, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, casting the future of a Freedom Fighters sequel in doubt.[24]

In 2010, when asked about a potential sequel, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days director Karsten Lund refused to comment.[25] In 2011, IO Interactive's official Twitter account tweeted that Freedom Fighters 2 is "definitely something a lot of us are interested in doing. But right now, the focus is on Hitman: Absolution." [26] Currently, Freedom Fighters 2 release status is listed as "canceled."[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IO Interactive (2003). "credits". Freedom Fighters Manual. PC. Electronic Arts. 
  2. ^ "Freedom Fighters (2003 Video Game) - Full Cast and Crew". IMDB. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Freedom Fighters - Take to the streets of New York City and fight for your freedom!". ea.com. Electronic Arts. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Freedom Fighters (PC) by Electronic Arts". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Freedom Fighters by Electronic Arts". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Park, Andrew (May 20, 2002). "E3 2002: Freedom:The Battle for Liberty Island announced". Game Spot. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "3D Engine: Glacier". Moby Games. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Gerstmann, Jeff (September 19, 2003). "Anyone looking for thrilling action with refined control and a great premise need look no further than Freedom Fighters.". GameSpot.com. GameSpot. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d Boulding, Aaron (September 30, 2003). "Freedom Fighters Review: IO Interactive is back with another damn fun game". IGN.com. IGN. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (September 29, 2003). "Freedom Fighters Review - Liberate the yanks in Io's freedom up.". EuroGamer.net. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Glacier Game Engine". DevMaster.com. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  12. ^ "3D Engine: Glacier 2". Moby Games. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  13. ^ Feldman, Curt (September 24, 2003). "Freedom Fighters moves to October". Game Spot. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Freedom Fighters: Original Soundtrack". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Jesper Kyd - Freedom Fighters Original Soundtrack". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ "SoundtrackNet: Freedom Fighters Soundtrack". 
  17. ^ "Music 4 Games - The Future of Rock n' Roll & Interactive Entertainment. Est. 1999". 
  18. ^ "5/10/04: CD Reviews Lovely To Look At and Freedom Fighters". 
  19. ^ "Music to Kill For; Jesper Kyd Interview". 
  20. ^ "Freedom Fighters (PC)". GameRankings. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Freedom Fighters (PC)". Metacritic. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  22. ^ Fischer, Russ (October 5, 2003). "Freedom Fighters: Comrade, prepare for simple squad firefights in beautiful New York City!". GameSpy.com. GameSpy. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  23. ^ "New Commandos, Freedom Fighters, and Deus Ex titles planned". Gamespot. April 6, 2004. 
  24. ^ "Hitman maker contracts new shooter". Gamespot. July 17, 2006. 
  25. ^ Cullen, Johnny. "IO gives "no comment" to Freedom Fighters 2". vg247.com. VG 24/7. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  26. ^ "IO-Interactive Tweet". Twitter.com. @IOInteractive. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Freedom Fighters 2". GameFaqs.com. Game Faqs. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]