A terrific mix of tactical squad-based action and arcade-like thrills.

User Rating: 9 | Freedom Fighters PS2
I/O Interactive, the developer of the stealth-action "Hitman" games, created this homage to the 80's cult flick "Red Dawn" in conjunction with EA Games. It is a team-based third person shooter which plays like a cross between "SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals" and...well, "Hitman". Unlike "SOCOM", you don't play the part of a badass military man. You play the part of a down-on-his-luck New York City plumber who takes command of a small underground resistance faction who stand in the way of an invading communist Russian army. Unlike "Hitman", you don't have a great number of firearms and plush headquarters. You and your troops carry either one type of a pistol or an assault rifle and your base is actually the New York sewer system. What you do have is simple, yet effective commands you can give your troops to scout, evade or attack the enemy. Numbers is a great asset to your cause since you can command a maximum number of twelve other fellow "soldiers". The action shootouts are fast and furious, but if you manage to find an alternative route, usually you can mow down the enemy in a matter of seconds. Using your computer-controlled teammates is the key to success. Each time you do it effeciently, you'll find yourself patting your own back and urging for the rest of the Commie pukes to show themselves. I can't tell you how many awesome moments this game has, but they are numerous. Too bad the game itself isn't very long, but what's there is memorable. The A.I. is very good and the number of characters on screen is huge, all this without any scent of slowdown. Graphics are cartoony and simple, but it's not what counts. The gameplay is what shines here and the rousing musical score compliments it rather beautifully. Ragdoll physics are awesome as well.

There is a splitscreen multiplayer option, but if "Rainbow Six 3" is your thing for online gaming, it won't thrill you too much. Overall, "Freedom Fighters" is a great game. If you're a fan of great shooters, then try this one, it might just surprise you.