When discussing the games we’d like to be given a HD remake here at HITC, there was one game that immediately that sprung to my mind - Freedom Fighters. I love this game. So, because I played so much of it when it was released, and because I hold it close to my heart, I decided to give this little gem its own dedicated article.
Freedom Fighters was Developed by IO Interactive, you know, the guys who created the Hitman series. It was also published by EA. This third-person action game gazed into an alternate universe where the Soviets invade America. As unassuming New York City plumber Christopher Stone, you take on the role of leader for the resistance movement, to fight against the Soviets and take back your country.
I remember picking it up for the PlayStation 2 (also available for Xbox, GameCube and PC) when it first came out back in 2003, and I fell in love with it straight away. I would play it constantly, and after I’d finished the game I used to re-play it through again and again, trying out different tactics.
One of the greatest aspects of the game was that you could control a squad of resistance fighters, ordering them to ‘attack’, ‘defend’, or ‘follow.’ Initially you could only have a few fighters at your command, but once you completed various mission and gained ‘charisma’, you could convince more people to rally to your cause. Commanding soldiers was great fun great, for example you could set up a defensive line to distract the enemy whilst you snuck around behind them to flank and finish them off.
Just you and your buddies taking out some reds.
Over time you could see your resistance movement growing in number by the extra tents and lights scattered about your underground sewer headquarters. You got a real sense that you were rallying more citizens to your cause with every mission you completed.
As time goes on whilst you complete these missions, you can see the Soviets’ grip on New York City tighten, with propaganda and increased numbers of soldiers. You could complete missions in pretty much any order you pleased, and completing certain objectives in one mission area may loosen up the threat you’d face in another.
Multiplayer wasn’t too shabby either, my friends and I would often play 3-player split-screen against each other using the PlayStation Multitap – remember that? Now I’m not blowing my own trumpet here, but as there were only three of us and there were two teams - Americans and Soviets – my two friends would often play against me on my own, which was pretty damn challenging. We played like this as I had played the game the most, so I had quite an advantage. No gloating here, honest.
Ensuring you and your squad had cover was massively important.
The multiplayer was split between the two teams with bunkers throughout the map that would spawn soldiers. Each player could recruit a maximum of four soldiers to command each (eight if there were just two players), and then they would have to secure flags in order to win.
The story was predictable but held up well enough, the whole experience was just as good as the Hitman games that made the developer famous, and the gameplay was pure tactical third-person joy. I remember there were whisperings of a sequel to Freedom Fighters some years back, but all that fell through unfortunately.
I have very fond memories of this game, and for it to completely captivate me how it did is testament to its greatness. The story didn’t really have any re-playability whatsoever, and the game was too short for my liking too. But, the challenge of building up a resistance army and overcoming your oppressive new rulers had me coming back time and time again. IO Interactive, if you’re reading this, we’d most definitely like a sequel or reboot of Freedom Fighters, make it happen.
Take a look at some gameplay of Freedom Fighters in the video below - the quality isn't great, but you'll get the idea of what's going on. Enjoy.