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    jp's Freedom Fighters (GC)

    [December 16, 2006 11:15:00 PM]
    The final bonus level is special.

    It's obviously unfinished and I'm not really sure why it was included in the game except for the location in which it takes place; the island where the statue of liberty is located!

    It's definitely a "Planet of the Apes" moment as you lead your team up the now-shattered tablet lady liberty held. The level ends when you enter the head of the statue which is lying lopsided on a snowy ground, cracked open.

    You finally reach the end of the game by putting yourself inside the head of liberty. Nice touch. ;-)
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    [December 14, 2006 08:09:35 PM]
    Woohoo! Finished the last level!

    Well, not really... 'cause once you finish the game you unlock a special bonus level which I only took a quick look at.

    Anyways, I've had a chance to reflect on this game a bit since I wrote last (as well as played it, because I'm writing this quite a few days later). Despite some issues that I found really annoying, and which I've already commented on, this game is quite compelling. More so than I thought.

    The setting is strangely attractive. The cut-scenes play the soviet invasion of the US for great comedic value and playing as a "freedom fighter" who wants to liberate New York juxtaposes nicely with the current situation in Iraq. The difference between freedom fighter, insurgent, resistance fighter depends on what side your own. Right?

    So, how is this reflected in the gameplay? What are the main avenues for a player to succeed? The first, and probably most important is through violence. Pick up weapons and shoot people. However, violence (against the soviets) isn't enough. Quite a few levels require that you raise the american flag. (lowering the soviet one in the process). Doing this will raise the morale of the people and give them hope. The resistance will then supposedly gain strength. (you also gain charisma points that increase a meter, when it fills up you can recruit an additional fighter to help you out).

    So, this game starts you out by running and gunning, but all of that is only useful if you're able to raise the american flag at the end of a level. As an individual, your actions have less meaning and impact than Hollywood action heroes would lead you to believe. (ie, Rambo won't change things).

    I found this VERY interesting! The message here is one of rallying support for you cause, not one of solving problems with weapons!

    In fact, as you progress in the game and gain the power to control more characters, you, the leader, become less important. I found that I was dying less and less as I became more reliant on sending "me crew" in to solve the problems. I would follow from the rear, heal up those that were down, and then point them in a new direction. The more I played the game, the less important my shooting skills became.

    Once again, individual actions become less important as the game progresses.

    Isn't that strange? For a game that is all about restoring liberty in the US, I found that this message was at odds with the pop(?) image of the US. Rambo would have lost at this game! :-)
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    [November 26, 2006 09:26:12 PM]

    After more than an a few (maddening) attempts, I've finally cleared the level called "Enemy Within". Basically the idea is that your team of rebel fighters has been sold out and your secret base has been infiltrated. You need to escape. Alone. With no help...and without any save points either.

    I was jsut getting used to giving orders to other fighters and how to make the most out of the savepoints...when BAM! comes this level in which you have none of that. Oh well... it's still been fun.
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    [November 6, 2006 08:29:26 PM]
    I've played a lot more of this game than you would imagine from my GameLogs, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about what to write! ;-)

    I must confess that this game had me utterly frustrated, and it wasn't until I realized what was going on, that I was able to make some progress, get over my frustration and start enjoying myself.

    Basically, I was confused by how this game segmented its gameplay. (ha! the Game Ontology is useful!)

    Yes. It's a strange thing to admit...but let me explain:

    I was stuck on a part of the game called: "In a New York Minute"..or something like that. There were three areas available for me to clear. Cool, I thought... I can pick which one I want to do, finish it, and then do the others.

    In my head, the thought was "You have to do them all, but you are given freedom with regards to the order in which you do them".

    Each area has an accompanying narrative where it is explained what the effects of clearing each one will be on the overall game as well as any "sidequests" there are for you to complete. For example, in one area there is a helipad you can destroy although the main mission is to attack a warehouse. The soviets are stockpiling weapons in the warehouse, so taking it out will seriously affect their firepower, and blah, blah, blah.

    Also, each area has a bunch of locations (manhole covers) where you can save/quicksave. Wherever you last saved is the manhole cover from which you arrive in that area.

    Now, I figured that the segmentation in this game was such that you could finish each area independently. Finishin other areas might have an effect on the one you are trying to do...but you basically have freedom of choice.

    It turns out I was wrong. You basically need to complete certain objectives within each area in a certain order if you wish to have ANY degree of sucess. So, in this case you have to take out the helipad asap because that way the helicopter won't attack in the other areas...but you don't have to clear the area with the helipad completely! In fact, it made more sense to go to another area, clear that, and THEN come back to finish off the one with the helipad.

    An issue of segmentation of gameplay. My assumption that you could attempt each area independtendly was wrong. You had to consider them all together, and pick and choose different sub-objectives within them. (Helipad from area A, then Blah from area B, then back to area A, etc.)

    Now that I figured that out..this game is sooo much more fun!
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    [October 23, 2006 09:23:30 PM]
    I've finished the first two missions and I feel that I'm still in that "figuring out" stage. In other words, there are things I find annoying and things that I'm enjoying but I feel that I still need to play it some more before I can really get a feel for what this game is about and how it's supposed to work.

    I watched the intro movie, which I really enjoyed. I hand't done that in a loooong time, preferring to usually skip past that stuff. However, I really enjoyed how the intro, via little text bites, set the scene for what the whole game is about. Basically, the USSR invades the USA and you're an american insurgent! (LOL, supposedly you'd be a freedom fighter, but I like to think of it as an insurgency)

    The intro set the tone for the game thanks to some "facts" of the history of the gameworld. For example, in 1962 the UK joins the Soviet Union (or some date like that) and so on and so forth...

    Here's a list of stuff I've been thinking about:

    1. The first few times I played, I hadn't noticed that the game lets you fire your weapons in 3rd person mode! I would switch into 1rst person, take ages to aim..and get shot down pretty quickly. Shooting in 3rd person makes it much easier..but not that much!

    2. Then, I played a mission with some sidekicks/buddies/teammates. Oh! Now I get it, this isn't a game about gun-ho's about tactically coordinating your assault team! The first teammate mission was a cakewalk!

    3. But after that...well, lets say I've been REALLY stuck. Haven't been able to finish any of the next missions. Grrrr.

    4. I really wish there was a way to adjust the brightness. The screen is WAY too dark for my tastes.
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    jp's Freedom Fighters (GC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 21 October, 2006

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 16 December, 2006

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    It's better than it sounds, despite some frustrating moments I grew to enjoy it. The setting definitely helps.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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