The Ninjabot

Freedom Wars Review: A Million Years In The Clink

Posted on November 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm by Victor Chaves

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The Grind as a feature in games is given a negative view so often in games, yet there are several video games out there that are praised in spite of having excessive moments of Grind. In a way, a good Grind is when the player is grinding the game into a nice piece of art like Monster Hunter, while Freedom Wars grinds the player from enjoyment to boredom.

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Gunning For Freedom

Comparing Freedom Wars with the Monster Hunter series is extremely apt, as both games have you taking on missions against creatures (Abductors in Freedom Wars nomenclature) larger than the player while grinding resources from the environment and kills to create or upgrade weapons. The setting is futuristic, so the weapons in Freedom Wars involve not just swords and lances but assault rifles, missile launchers, and laser cannons. Since the player is able to carry two weapons, it’s pretty nice to be able to switch between a ranged weapon and a short-range weapon whenever you like.

The main enemies you face are the aforementioned Abductors, giant robots that come in three types, bipedal, spider, and tiger. The spider and the tigers have little variance but the bipedal Abductors come with several different arsenals. Some bipedal Abductors have missile launchers on their shoulders, swords on their arms, shields that ignore gunfire, and even a cannon as their head. The spider basically spins and shoots webs on the ground and the tiger pounces around. By themselves they’re pretty easy to deal with, but fighting multiples of them end up being meticulous and frustrating.

When fighting an Abductor, the main course of action is to hit them specifically on their exposed weapons or armor in order to cripple. Although it’s fun to slowly debilitate these enemies to the point where they are husks of what they originally were, there isn’t much variance in gameplay as it ends up just being “shoot shoot shoot” or “slash slash slash”. There is a weapon that is a thorn-whip that every character uses to climb onto Abductors or pull them down to stun, but they kind of end up being useless because there isn’t really a benefit to being on a giant killing machine since now it can kill you more easily. The short-sword is the only weapon that works in conjunction to climbing on an Abductor as it has an option to chop off weapons and armor, but it still requires mashing a button to eventually rip something off.

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When you’re not fighting Abductors, you’re in the Panopticon, which is essentially a colony/prison that has an AI that handles the resource bookkeeping. You play as a prisoner who losses their memory in an accident, and because memory is colony-owned, you are slapped with a million year sentence! Luckily you can work it off by doing missions for the colony, which can take off several hundred years at a time. By the time I got the credits sequence, I had knocked off 100,000 years. There is also a story regarding some of the prison inmates you’re with that involve some casket and the “seed of the word”, but it’s just a boring story that has essentially no memorable characters.

200 Years For Standing Still?!

One of the more interesting concepts of the game is the fact that as a prisoner, the Panopticon strips you of nearly every right you have as a person. The game starts small, letting you buy rights to pace in your cell or chat with your robot partner, and grows to let you leave your cell and talk with other prisoners, other genders, and finally citizens. One of the earlier entitlements is the right to lay down, which because I hadn’t purchased yet, I was slapped with an extra hundred years! It’s a really great world-building tool as it makes the player focus on their environment and investigate what they can and can’t do. Unfortunately that feature stales a bit because later entitlements to buy are just factory upgrades, and this feature eventually becomes forgotten.

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Final Thoughts

My feelings about Freedom Wars is essentially like how the entitlements system ends up being, it’s a really cool concept that has a lot of potential, but by the time you’ve knocked 60,000 years off your sentence, it becomes incredibly repetitive. Fighting Abductors, while cool at first, becomes mechanical and boring, then frustrating when fighting more than one. The story starts interesting with the million year slap, but doesn’t continue with any interesting characters or cool situations. Online functions fine but it doesn’t offer anything new except the ability to skip missions in story if you beat them online with someone else. Everything about the game is really interesting in the beginning, yet it all seems to sputter like a car that barely has enough gas to take you home.

Presentation: 6

Gameplay: 5

Replay: 6

LEGACY SCORE: 5.7

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see him wave his arms in hopes that sempai will notice him.

 

Spoiler Warning: What do you get when you reduce your sentence to zero? Bathing Suits. You don’t get your freedom. Just, bathing suits. Spoiler End

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