GGMania got a chance to talk with Ken Levine, Executive Producer on Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich, soon-to-be-available tactical RPG that combines the fully 3D real-time tactical combat engine with deep RPG character development and a rich storyline. The game takes place a few months following the events of the original game. The team is essentially out of a job since they did such a good job cleaning up the streets. That is until they get word that a familiar foe is up to his old tricks again. Long story short, the team foils a plot to resurrect TimeMaster, but they are transported back to the battlefields of WWII in the process! Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich just went gold, expected to be on shelves March 8th!
GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little
bit about what you do on Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich?
Ken Levine: My name is Ken Levine and I'm the
Executive Producer on FFv3R. I also wrote the story for the game as I did with
GGmania: Can you give us an overview of Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich,
telling us what the game is all about?
Ken Levine: FFv3R is the follow up to the
critically acclaimed, tactical RPG game, Freedom Force. Like the original, it
features dozens of playable dynamic comic book heroes, fully interactive and
destructible environments and an amazing story.
GGmania: Were you pleased with the reactions that the original Freedom
Force game received?
Ken Levine: Completely. Freedom Force was a huge
success both critically and at retail. The thing that pleased us the most
though, was that Irrational saw its fanbase grow tremendously thanks to the
game. There are literally hundreds of sites devoted to Freedom Force and an
enormous community that thrives to this day.
GGmania: What can you tell us about the storyline for the game?
Ken Levine: The game takes place a few months
following the events of the original game. The team is essentially out of a job
since they did such a good job cleaning up the streets. That is until they get
word that a familiar foe is up to his old tricks again. Long story short, the
team foils a plot to resurrect TimeMaster, but they are transported back to the
battlefields of WWII in the process! There they'll take on the entire 3rd Reich
and tons of brand new villains all bent on changing history for the worse. And
that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm doing my best to avoid spoiling anything
for our fans. Trust me when I say that that's been no easy task.
GGmania: Can we expect to see all our old favorite superheroes from the
Ken Levine: All the characters from the original
will return in one form or another.
GGmania: How will character generation be improved for the game?
Ken Levine: The new version of the Character Tool
will give players even more power to create the characters they've been dreaming
up. Being able to do new things with the effects system, for one, should greatly
broaden modders ability to create cool characters.
GGmania: What sorts of new super powers and abilities will be available?
Ken Levine: The new powers are very impressive to
say the least. Many of them are a lot more complicated than the powers from the
original game. Green Genie's alone were a huge challenge. Her "Object Lesson"
power allows you to turn an enemy into a vase of flowers. Sounds relatively
simple enough, but when you then allow players to pick that vase up and toss it
across the level, things get a little more complex and a whole lot more
GGmania: What are the biggest gameplay changes in Freedom Force vs. The Third
Reich over the original Freedom Force?
Ken Levine: Well, multiplayer was completely
redesigned. We added several brand new modes, in-game browsers and of course,
The single player campaign has countless improvements from complete overhauls to
finer polish work. The team AI was one area that falls into the former category.
They now react on their own so you don't have to do any babysitting.
GGmania: Can gamers expect a huge improvement in graphics?
Ken Levine: Absolutely. There are tons of
improvements we've made over the original. The dynamic lights alone completely
changed the look of the game. It really jumps of the screen now. The countless
improvements to the effects system and higher resolution textures round out the
package quite nicely.
GGmania: Could you us a bit about the multiplayer in Freedom Force vs. The
Ken Levine: This was one aspect of the game that we
weren't happy with in the original game. Needless to say, we learned our lesson
that it takes a lot of dedication to get make a full-featured multiplayer game
on top of a single player title. FFv3R will feature several competitive modes
including "Tag" "Deathmatach" and a few other surprises. The coolest new mode
has to be "Story-Based Multiplayer" though. This allows you to create complex
multiplayer scenarios that you can share with others. It essentially allows you
to live out your own comic book! Things are going to get pretty crazy when
people start putting those thousands of user-created characters to good use.
GGmania: Do you plan co-op mode?
Ken Levine: Given the nature of the product, we
thought it best not to pursue co-op. We decided instead to focus on having a
great single player campaign and tons of competitive multiplayer modes.
GGmania: What kind of hardware should players have in order to experience
good game performance?
Ken Levine: With all the enhancements we've made,
we managed to still maintain a game that runs fantastically.
733MHz Intel Pentium 3 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent; 128Mb RAM; ATI
Radeon 7000 or NVIDIA GeForce GTS or equivalent; DirectX 9.0c compliant 32Mb
video card with hardware T&L; Microsoft Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP operating
system; DirectX 9.0c (included); 4X CD-ROM; 700Mb of free hard drive space;
DirectX compatible sound card; 56K modem or broadband internet connection for
1.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 1800+ or equivalent; 256Mb RAM; ATI Radeon
9600 or NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 video card or equivalent; 24X or faster CD-ROM;
broadband internet connection
GGmania: Currently what is the status of the current progress of the game and
when can we expect to see it in stores?
Ken Levine: We're proud to say that the game has
gone gold and will ship on March 8th.
GGmania: Why should we rush out and buy Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich
when it hits the shelves?
Ken Levine: Come for the genre-busting gameplay and
larger-than-life characters, stay for the awesome story, great polish and new
features like Story-Based Multiplayer.
GGmania: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Is there
anything you want to add that we didn't cover?
Ken Levine: With FFv3R, Irrational is taking our
first venture into publishing. The primary goal we set for ourselves when we
took on the challenge was to create a worthy follow up to the original that
would make our fans happy. More than ever, Irrational is committed to creating
games for the hardcore PC gamer.
playable demo (156MB),
Force review (90%)