Freedom: First Resistance
Freedom: First Resistance is a third-person action/adventure game from Red Storm Entertainment that has been adapted from Anne McCaffrey’s series of novels about the enslavement of humanity by an evil alien race called the Catteni. Millions of people have disappeared and those who remain have been herded into concentration camps under the watch of humans collaborating with the aliens. You assume the role of Angel Sanchez, a prisoner in one of these camps, immediately after she receives a mysterious offer to join the human resistance.
From there the plot in Freedom: First Resistance proceeds through 18 missions in which Angel signs on with the freedom fighters. You’ll launch your own invasion of TV studios, occupied hospitals, a sewer, a warehouse, and so on. Previews for the game made much of the “object-based puzzle solving with cascading events” featured during each mission, but they never mentioned that these conundrums would involve nothing but ever-more-elaborate key quests. Whether you’re liberating medical supplies or hunting down a missing teammate, you always need to scrounge up keys or some sort of passcode.
Adventure elements are bolstered by some role-playing aspects that come into play later in the game. You’ll eventually lead teams of three resistance fighters (chosen from a pool of five) into each mission. Each has specialized skills needed for particular tasks. Leo, for example, is best at figuring out technical matters, while big Jimmy can smash things real good. Unfortunately, the characters are basically limited to performing specific tasks and are little more than tools in the grand scheme of things. And some of these specifc tasks could, in reality, be performed by anyone. Claire’s athletic abilities are needed during the TV station mission simply to climb over a two-foot gap between stairs, for instance.
The action side is even less fulfilling. Angel and her companions get into many fights, but these involve nothing more than lining up an enemy and clicking the left mouse button as quickly as possible until someone drops. Melee weapons such as your fists and shock poles are actually preferable to more powerful devices like Catteni pistols because the game doesn’t feature an aiming reticle. As a result, it’s virtually impossible to hit enemies from any distance. You also can’t fire while moving. It doesn’t take long to realize that going toe-to-toe with the bad guys is the only way to fight in Freedom: First Resistance.
With a terrible camera, crap controls, bad combat and a dreadful stealth mission (every adventure game needs one, apparently), there are few saving graces to keep Freedom: First Resistance on your hard drives. And with so many quality adventure games out there, it’s ultimately a game best forgotten.
System Requirements: Pentium II 300 MHz, 96 MB RAM, Win95
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