There are some good shooters on the PS2, but Freedom Fighters isn't one of them.

User Rating: 7 | Freedom Fighters PS2
Positive
- Neat idea to command and fight alongside other freedom fighters
- Splendid music
- Story will keep you going

Negative
- 'Refined' controls make aiming quickly impossible
- Camera is a bit of a hindrance at first
- Repetitive mission objectives

There are a lot of third-person shooters available for the PS2, and Freedom Fighters is not the best there is. This squad-based shooter sets a little twist in the genre with its unique story and controls but something about it doesn't feel that excellent make it a better than average game. It's not for everyone but if you have enough patience, Freedom Fighters will suck you in over time.

The story of Freedom Fighters is one of the game's strongest points. Its setting is in an alternative reality with the Soviet Union now a very powerful nation takes control of the USA. The game kicks with a cutscene with 2 plumbers Chris and Troy Stone doing their duties and go fix a sink of Isabella Angelina. The Soviets attack finding Troy but not Chris which is the character you play with. These guys look for Angelina which has been telling the public secret information about the Soviets. Chris afterwards finds himself from plumber to freedom fighter. As rebels, it is your job to fight for their freedom.

The gameplay is a bit difficult and annoying but grows on you. The controls are responsive but the new controls are forgettable. Aiming is almost impossible in quick time events since you have to press the L3 button to aim. When holding, the camera goes behind Chris similar to what the camera in Resident Evil is. If by mistake you don't keep the L3 held down, you have to do it again. Thankfully enemies can be dealt with by pressing the R1 and shoot. It is not that good since you won't be able to aim accurately but more thankfully by making Chris face that way he can hit them. Normal camera is left a bit too freely, making it a bit difficult to get used to.

By allowing you to become leader of the rebels, Freedom Fighters allows for squad based gameplay. While the first few missions are solo, after these the game gives more freedom allowing you to choose your freedom fighters to fight alongside you. At first you only have 2 but by increasing your charisma, it is possible to have more. Charisma can be leveled by helping injured people you find on missions. You can give orders to your squad with the triangle, circle and square buttons. The square will make them regroup, O defends and triangle attack order. This can be extremely helpful when a lot of enemies around. The ally AI is ok, but most of the time you will kill more since they stay hidden and attack diligently. Enemy AI stays at the same level but doesn't make firefights smart. The enemy hides but sometimes the enemy doesn't notice you even when you are a few feet away because your allies are keeping his attention.

The guns aren't all that powerful either. You can carry 2 at a time, but there is more than that. The inventory can access anytime with the R3 and choosing with the left analog stick. The game isn't paused so you have to hide or be quick so that you won't get hit. You can carry a lot of med kits, which you sometimes need to heal your freedom fighters when they are down and other people who have been injured. The rebel base is located underground which you access to do mission. Choose a mission from your map and press X when ready. Objectives are repetitive, consisting of raising the US flag at the enemy stronghold. This doesn't make the game boring at all since some other things must be done. First and foremost, enemies will attack you and you have to get rid of them. Sometimes there are other things that have to be done.

Graphically not the best around, especially with the yellow color all around. The backgrounds are good but the explosions lack boom. Character models are good as well, but the enemy's dropping dead isn't very good. The cutscenes are remarkably as well, and you will see some here and there, as well as the newscaster which will keep you informed of what is going on. The voice acting is ok, with Soviets of course using a different accent than the American's. The music is splendid and memorable on the other hand. There is a lot of chatter on the battlefield.

This shooter has a good sense of pace and is entertaining at times, but it isn't as revolutionary as some proclaimed it to be. The annoying targeting is forgettable but the setting and story are good enough to make it worth playing. Not everyone will enjoy Freedom Fighters. But there are other third-person shooters which are considerably better than this one in most aspects. Those looking for a shooter shouldn't bother with this, but fans of the game are going to have a blast with this game.

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Graphics = 7.0
Overuse of the color yellow that's for sure. Background and character models look good. Enemies needed a bit more depth.

Music = 8.0
Memorable music and good voice acting. A lot of talking in battlefield, but the enemy's accent is annoying at times.

Presentation = 7.8
Great cutscenes. Low on production values though. AI can be smart at times. Multiple level of difficulty to choose at the beginning. Camera is a bit annoying at first.

Gameplay = 7.0
The induction of squad-based tactics adds a twist in the gameplay. Targeting system with the L3 is one of the worst I've ever seen but you can still play with just the R1 but still not that good. Repetitive objects.

Story = 7.7
Story takes place in an alternative history where the Soviets attack the US. The idea of freedom fighters is unique. No particular interesting characters though.


OVERALL = 72 / 100
There are some good shooters on the PS2, but Freedom Fighters isn't one of them.