Freedom Force Vs. the Third Reich (Freedom Force 2) follows the original (review
), which was released in 2002 by Irrational Games. Like the original, it features dozens of playable dynamic comic book heroes, fully interactive and destructible environments and an amazing story. Freedom Force 2 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!
If you ever played the original game, you'll already know that the game was stacked full of comic book heroes, all blabbering on about freedom and the Americans. Freedom Force 2 is a direct continuation of its predecessor and really isn't much different. As in the first Freedom Force, you control and play the game from a top down 3rd-person perspective, controlling the various super heroes in real time through an real-time strategy-like style interface. A totally dynamic/destructible environment lets buildings crumble/detonate and is the only way to make use of all of those potentially lethal weapons disguised as innocuous items like streetlights, pickup trucks, and manhole covers.
Again, you have to recruit, train, and lead a squad of original comic book superheroes (there're 6 new superheroes - Tombstone, Sky King, Quetzalcoatl, Green Genie, Black Jack and Tricolour) each with their own unique powers - as they strive to defeat the forces of evil. The new characters each have their own cool origin stories as well. For instance, Green Genie, the carpet riding "giggling glamour girl," is really Jani Al-Hajani. She was brought to Patriot City to fulfill an arranged marriage. She was struck by an energy bolt and given mysterious powers. Of course, there also the well-known faces such as Mentor, El Diablo, Minute-Man, Alchemiss, and Man-Bot.
For those who are unfamiliar with character creation in Freedom Force, the game had several different ways to alter existing characters and create entirely new ones. The game allows you to change every stat on every power, character and effect. You can mix and match stats and assets to create your own custom characters. Before taking a mission, you will select a squad and literally "enter the fray." Each hero has a default attack which he uses when you click on an enemy, although you can change that default at any time. All the new characters have 8-10 brand new powers.
The game types consist of Campaign, Rumble Room, and Multiplayer. The Campaign is basically the story-driven single player version - structured like a comic book series. Rumble Room (skirmish) is about whatever the player wants it to be. Here you can try out new powers or characters, challenge yourself by taking on single player levels using completely different characters, or just train yourself in just about every aspect of the game.
There's also a four-player multiplayer mode (LAN/Internet), featuring 9 maps and several different game types (Arena, Team Arena, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Massacre, Team Massacre and Tag), each allowing you to pit your small squads of superheroes against those of opposing players. Needless to say the multiplayer extends the life of this excellent product.
Like the first game, Freedom Force 2 is quite simply fantastic. The easy-to-grasp controls go hand in hand with the superb and original storyline - exactly what us gamers need. I really enjoyed the original Freedom Force and this second version is just as good if not better. It's a game that makes you lose all sense of time.
If you have not played the first game, you should go get on the cheap now since Irrational Games finally came out with a Win XP patch for it to see if you like it before buying this one.
Minimum: 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, DirectX compatible sound card, 4X CD-ROM, 700MB of free hard drive space, 56K modem or broadband internet connection for online play
Recommended: 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