In the future, the world has basically gone to heck… it’s sandy, the air is dry and let’s not even mention the toilets… at least that’s the way Freedom Wars tells it. Freedom Wars, finally released in English, paints a bleak picture of the future. You’re born, immediately branded a criminal and sentenced to 1,000,000 years in prison… that’s quite a bit of cell time.
But of course if a million years isn’t long enough for you, then all you have to do is look at someone the wrong way and they’ll just add more years to your sentence. So just sit tight and get to work. The only way to achieve freedom is to work for your city-state — Panopticons. You whittle down your sentence by saving citizens from the Abductors (the big bad robots) which roam the land and whatever else the government wants you to do.
Freedom Wars is filled to the brink with lore to a point where it just might be a little too much and you tend to find yourself skipping and glossing over stuff to get to the battles — purists and lore-hounds would love it though.
At the start of the game you get introduced (by way of amnesia) the strict rules that society has in store for you. Basic privileges are just that… privileges. So if you do something you’re not supposed to, like walking around too much or taking a nap, you get more years added to your sentence. So tough it out as you progress through the story and have paid your dues to society.
The fight mechanics of the game will be familiar to monster hunting enthusiasts, with the added factors of a gun and a thorn. Melee weapons do the most damage but that always puts you at risk — while the gun keeps you at a safe distance at the cost of damage. The Thorn however, is an interesting mechanic as it allows you to pull the enemies down to the ground leaving them vulnerable for a short period of time– or pull you up. However it takes time to pull the enemy down leaving you wide open for an attack at any moment disrupting the sequence of bringing the enemy down. Of course there’s an array of weapons to be discovered hat will make you stronger to fight bigger enemies.
And then you have the Panopticons. This mode is active once players select a country to play in — the guys at Sony hope everyone chooses the real country they’re from and not (tempting) to choose the country that’s highest on the leader board rankings. Players will then ‘fight’ for their countries in the multiplayer by challenging players from other countries racking up points contributing to the panopticons leader board score.
Overall, one of the better games out there with good graphics that don’t lag as much and a very dystopic storyline that has quite a unique feel about it. It does shine for me in the multiplayer department though — although personal internet connectivity will always be an issue — the Freedom Wars handles itself well.