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Freedom Force: Still As Boring As Ever

Yeah, I know – March was Retro Gaming Month. Well, excuse me for not having posting privileges then.

And now it’s time to feeeeel the flaaaames!

Ahem. What I mean is, I think I’m one of the only people on Earth (along with Sparse) who didn’t like Freedom Force when it came out. I mean, yeah, the premise was awesome (playing as comic book characters? Sweet!), but the presentation seemed rather lacking. But the game was a critics’ favorite, as well as a fan favorite. So after taking all of this into consideration (not to mention the fact that the passage of time can do wonders for one’s opinion of a game, and I hadn’t so much as looked at Freedom Force since I initially uninstalled it off my computer back in 2002), I decided to give the game another chance; maybe there was something I overlooked the first time around (something like what happened to me regarding Oni – despite it’s flaws I really liked it my second time through after not touching it for two years)…maybe this time, I thought, things would be different.

Uh, no. Sorry. Still can’t stand the game.

To be fair, there’s nothing really wrong with the game itself – the graphics, while not outstanding, are decent. The sound is indistinct. And you really feel like you’re playing an honest to god comic book, with convincingly retro drawings, backstories for the heroes, and the like. The gameplay just never really grabs me – the game is boring as hell.

Okay, well I guess that means that there is something wrong with the game. The execution is tepid.

Anyway, I went through the first two or three missions, hoping that at some point the action would pick up. Nope. All I did was a) click on thugs until my character knocked them out, and b) repeat endlessly. Where are the REAL villains at? Sure, there was the stereotype Commie Villain™, but that 2-second fight was hardly worth it. Maybe the game gets better as you go along. I guess I’ll never find out, because if a game hasn’t shown me SOMETHING by the third mission, I’m not going to keep playing it hoping for a crumb of something worthwhile (and yet, I thoroughly enjoyed Xenogears, so maybe it’s just me). So back the CD goes into the “never play again” pile on my computer desk (which includes such winners as Nightfire and Street Legal aka “You Have To Patch The Entire Game To Even Play It”). Meanwhile I wait for my new DVD-ROM drive so I can play Silent Hill 4, which has already provided me with more enjoyment than Freedom Force ever could—and I haven’t touched SH4 yet.

And hey! Look! There’s a sequel to Freedom Force coming out. Sorry, Irrational Games. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, yada yada. I think I’ll just wait for BioShock to come out. It’s really hard to believe that the guys who are doing BioShock (and also who came up with System Shock 2—possibly the greatest game EVAR) could come up with this snoozefest. As long as BioShock is TEH AWESOME, though, I can overlook Freedom Force.

And with that out of the way, RANDOM THOUGHTS:

I was at my local Media Play yesterday, checking out the games (including yet another Law & Order game that was apparently just released), when I came across this gem. Hey, I know! Let’s make a Sims-clone, except make it all about the nookie! (Sorry for the Limp Bizkit reference there, it shall not happen again) Though it’s by Eidos, the same fine folks who gave us Boob…er, Tomb Raider, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. I mean, playing The Sims gets tiring after a while, and that has far more much to do besides trying to hook random game characters up, so I can’t imagine you’ll be playing this game past the, oh, five minute mark (if you even get that far). I truly feel sorry for whoever picks this game up.

And finally: I wish the media and everyone would just SHUT UP about how the Boston Red Sox have not won a World Series since 1918. Just SHUT UP. Why, the Chicago White Sox haven’t won a World Series since 1917 – and you don’t hear their fans bitching and whining and talking about the “Curse of ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson” or the “Curse of the Nincompoops Who Fixed the 1919 World Series”, now do you? Hey, at least your team is generally competitive and gets to the World Series on an average of nearly once per decade (even if their last four trips have been excruciating losses, all in 7 games). Try cheering for a team that lost 119 games last year and hasn’t been competitive for over a decade. And oh yeah, Red Sox fans? Your team still has won more World Championships than the good old Detroit Tigers, so nyah. (Yeah, the Tigers have more titles since 1918, I know. They still have won fewer overall than the Red Sox, though.)

Uh, don’t worry. I won’t be using this space to air sports commentary that often. I just had to get that off my chest.

And now—time to draw!