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IO Interactive
Electronic Arts
September 25, 2003

Freedom Fighters

Have you ever asked yourself what the world would be like had the outcome of the Cold War been different? Have you ever contemplated how we would live under the rule of the Soviet Union? We will never know the answers to these questions, but they are intriguing nonetheless and developer IO Interactive (Hitman 2: Silent Assassin) is hoping to answer these questions in the safe confines of the video game world. Although we won't have to break the shackles of an oppressive Communist regime by blowing them to pieces anytime soon, we can still have our fun simulating it with the release of Freedom Fighters!



Freedom Fighters puts you in the role of Christopher Stone, an average plumber trying to survive under the recently imposed Soviet rule in New York City. Unfortunately for Christopher, one day he and his brother inadvertently become involved in the growing opposition movement and Christopher quickly joins the ranks of the revolutionary forces. Players will control Christopher as he develops from an average civilian into a leader of the anti-Communist forces.

Christopher’s progression through the leadership hierarchy correlates to his performance on the field. As tasks in the game are completed, such as healing a wounded comrade and rescuing prisoners, points are accrued which increase your charisma rating. This charisma rating is used to recruit new members of Christopher’s squad, which players must lead into battle. Of course, this also means that players must yell orders and direct the actions of the squad members, which has caused similar games to have awkward control schemes. Fortunately, IO Interactive has avoided a clumsy and cumbersome order-calling method by using only a few basic commands registered with a single button tap. Streamlining the command controls leaves you free to survey the environment in combat instead of trying to figure out how to call-out the correct order.

Manipulating the environments to your advantage is essential to success. New York City is one gigantic urban war zone, and the crumbling environments provide plenty of potential strategic advantages. Natural barriers must be used to overcome the swarms of Soviet soldiers that rain upon Christopher and his squad. For example, as a platoon of Soviets enters an area, you might lead your squad to a position you feel is safest and hold your ground. If you are trying to capture an enemy outpost, you will have to take cover in certain spots as you move in towards the goal. IO Interactive is making sure you feel like you are in a war zone, both in the aforementioned game design and the production aspects.

The visuals in Freedom Fighters are impressive; the scope of New York City is amazing and the color schemes and combat details reflect the gritty environment in which players find themselves. Thanks to IO’s proprietary “Glacier” engine, the game boasts state-of-the-art real-time effects such as rain, snow, smoke, and explosions. The audio elements are also well-crafted, with sound effects that express the hard-hitting fighting on the streets. The music is being performed by the Hungarian Radio Choir, a smart design decision due to the heavy use of Soviet and other western European influences. These various production elements are shaping up to make Freedom Fighters an intense action experience.

Don’t be discouraged by the in-your-face combat the game offers; it is still only a game, and games are meant to be fun. Freedom Fighters appears to have plenty of mission variety to keep things interesting, and the actual shooting portions look fantastic. There are many different weapons and enough ammo to blow-up the world three times over, and the enemy A.I. should create some interesting challenges. Personally, I want to be able to charge into impossible odds like John Wayne, park myself behind an overturned vehicle, fling a few trusty Molotov cocktails and relish the glory of my victory. Freedom Fighters will be a visceral rush that should fill action gamers’ insatiable bloodlust.

Word on the Street

Early "reviews" of Freedom Fighters have been very positive. It won’t be a “game of the year” title by any means, but it will be an enjoyable, rock-solid action game.

From the Horse's Mouth

With fierce conflict unfolding in the streets of America, it’s your patriotic duty to fight back. Take on the role of Christopher Stone, and evolve from an average New Yorker into a fearless patriot who recruits and leads an army of freedom fighters in the streets of New York City. Freedom Fighters combines the depth of a squad-based game with the intensity of an action-packed war game, all of which unfolds in the streets, subways, and buildings of the ultimate urban battleground.

  • War Transforms Your City and Your Character.
    Witness the transformation of your character from ordinary citizen to the world’s toughest Freedom Fighter. New York City itself slowly degrades into a massive battlefield.
  • Become a Leader, Save Your Nation.
    The fast-paced, squad-based action lets you recruit and lead up to twelve Freedom Fighters into battle. This is your army -- lead it wisely.
  • Intense Third-Person Action.
    Gritty, urban guerilla warfare scenarios range from small sabotage missions to large battles in which you must conquer enemy installations.
  • Charisma-Based Recruiting System.
    Gain points for rescuing prisoners or capturing key installations. The more charisma you have, the more fighters you can recruit.
  • Battle for the Big Apple.
    Fight for your city using a variety of weapons including machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and Molotov cocktails.
  • Enhanced Rendering Technology.
    An advanced engine renders amazing 3D special effects such as real-time lighting, rain, snow, smoke, and explosions.
  • The Sound of Freedom.
    From shouts and commands barked out in battle to a pace- and mood-setting soundtrack, the rich environmental draws you into the action.

If you enjoy action games, Freedom Fighters could be a great addition to your GameCube library.



word on the street

press release notes


Staff Avatar Christopher Reed
Staff Profile | Email
"You can't swing without the bling."

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