For the Greater Good!
Freedom Wars is an interesting yet widely unknown IP Sony has created as a psVita exclusive. By gameplay standards it takes a stab at the "Monster Hunter" genre, while having some tricks of its own. Most of which is the game's overall "theme"... or the presentation of its world. Whether you've heard of this game or not, let me assure you - its a big Ol' slice of ORIGINALITY PIE.
Delicious original pie
Freedom Wars is set in a future where all human settlements are giant prison city states, or Panopticons. Watching and hearing everything... each panopticon controls what its citizens do. These Panopticons are in constant fights with one another to gather what little resources are left, be it materials or people. The player takes the role of a "sinner" which are the soldiers of the panopticons, where you either raid enemies or defend against them.
Punishment... 1,000,000 years!!
Everyone is given a 1 million year life sentence and the only way to reduce your sentence is to engage in missions and donate items to your panopticon for the greater good. As you do more missions you get authorized to take tests to raise your sinner rank - which grants you more privileges.
The world, whats left of it, is unforgiving. Deserts, abandonded city ruins, and dark industrial parks are only sights you'll see. That is, when you're ALLOWED to see. Yes, vision is an entitlement you have to earn. Bleak and lonely, you won't see any bustling colors in this game world. In fact... you have to earn the right for color too!
Each sinner is implanted with "thorns" which are magic rope things that let you pull yourself around like spiderman, drag down large enemies, and other tricks depending on the type you use. These thorns, as well as the mecha-skeleton "abductors" run on a type of energy called "Will-O". I'm at the end of the story campaign and still can't EXACTLY say what "Will-O" is supposed to be... but as long as its not "Will-O-Wheaton" I don't have to worry about losing every board game that I play.
Take that Wil Wheaton.
I love you
While the single player game is solid enough as is, this game was designed to be online. When you start Freedom Wars for the first time, one of things you customize is the panopticon you align with. These are based on real-world cities... and everything each individual player does (yes even in the 1p campaign) contributes to the world ranking of each Panopticon. You can decide to change homes later, but what this lets you do is engage in raids against rival cities. While not mandatory its a fun way to role-play the constant struggle Freedom Wars presents through the story.
Fight for your Freedom!
Of course you can also do not-so-aggressive co-op missions with friends regardless of which Panopticon you belong to. You have a choice between optional ones (which are pretty hard) or replaying any number of the story campaigns. There is also the ability to do these story missions for the first time with friends. Part of the rewards are a certificate showing that you passed... allowing you to skip fighting it all over again during solo play (though it does not cut out event scenes for all you plot people).
Does this smell Japanese?
Another thing you'll notice about Freedom Wars is that it's Japanese. Very Japanese. While the language might be in... (your region of choice) the audio comes in one flavor only. The dialogue scenes in the story maintain clarity because of subtitled text but the PSA messages over the megaphone from Perci Propa (cute mascot) are never translated... leaving casual anime-fans in the dark. This along with some loading screens and the logo itself give the game an "imported" feel even though it may be localized. Better Ni-hon-go to the Library kids.
Freedom Wars is a prisoner to itself (so deep)
This game could have a lot more fans if it had gotten a sequel (or even expansion) since it's 2014 release or broadened it's platform to the ps3 or ps4. If the game is GUILTY of anything its being prisoner to its own platform and not branching out in anyway. There could be a Freedom Wars show. It's anime enough. Whatevs - BACK TO THE GAME.
- Fun Factor? Solid
- Controls? Alright (I'd like more sensitivity options for shooting)
- Story? Yep
- Longevity? People are still playing :O
- Style? Full Marks
Freedom Wars receives a sentence of 82 out of 100