Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Freedom Force (PC)
Click the pictures to see them in their original resolution.
But then, by pure chance, he happens to spot that very same co-worker walking across the park to meet with the world's least subtle Soviet agent! Our hero shuffles over to eavesdrop on them, but accidentally gives himself away.
So his old co-worker shoots him in the heart.
No more will Frank Stiles have to deal with communist traitors pushing him around! No longer a frail mild-mannered disgraced nuclear scientist, now he is THE MINUTEMAN, and he's going to beat the shit out of them with his stick.
The music's great too.
The game is actually a real time strategy game. I give Minuteman commands with the mouse rather than controlling him directly. The right mouse button brings up a menu of skills. Different skills have different effects, and cost varying amounts of energy. Fortunately it seems that my energy recharges, or else I'd be out of juice after three good swings with my rod.
Also I can change the intensity of each attack, just to complicate things.
Oh, also, the tutorial's totally skippable. Which is nice.
It's okay, they're all traitors, the pop up message box told me. I don't know what inspired the Soviet agent to bring 20 thugs to a secret meeting, but it seems to be working out for him so far.
I can still give commands and move the camera while the game is paused, which is good because it's been a real struggle so far to get the thing pointing in the direction I want. Unless there's something in the options I've missed, it seems I have to toggle between being able to move the camera, and being able to rotate it. And when I rotate it, the view snaps back to Minuteman. It's making it a real pain in the ass to scout for enemies.
I just hope there isn't someone with a gun hiding around the corner.
I've got a temporary skill called 'National Guard' that gives me some defence against bullets, but it's pretty damn temporary and costs energy. I think I'll just run up and hit them.
I don't seem to see any 'shoot enemy with a rifle' skills there though. Didn't minutemen typically carry rifles? At least the ones depicted in statues do.
Not that I actually know where most of the thugs are. I've managed to find the option to switch on camera turning, so I have a little more control now, but that doesn't help when the thugs don't even appear on screen until I'm close enough to run into them.
I've got a health restoring skill but I can only use it once per level. I should probably quick load instead, but for all I know it'd just turn out worse next time. I really have no plan here.
I don't even know where the target is, all my guide arrows have deserted me! I'm just wandering around aimlessly.
This is about limit of my view distance by the way, and I don't seem to have a map. Without those arrows I'm finding it easy to get lost.
The other hero turns out to be pretty useless in a fight and gets knocked out as I run away.
My scheme actually works for once. With all the enemies lured away I'm able to meet up with my new ally safely and together we hunt down the Soviet agent.
Onto the next level.
I can't even move them around in an automatic formation to give them a bit of spacing, they just run up in a group and when I give them a command, they'll run up to get in range by themselves. And they don't care who gets in the way.
WAY TOO MUCH FRUSTRATION LATER.
But I don't get to, because my new friend drags me off saying that "we must depart". Shouldn't we at least call the police? I mean it's obvious the guy's just going to break out and get ice powers, my ally basically even hints at himself before we leave, so lets just sort it out now!
Nope, our two heroes run away having achieved basically nothing except turn a villain into a super villain.
Anyway, we're here now to save the day, except we're actually just hitting each other with our powers still. Good work mind-wiping your super strong team-mate Mentor, now you're going to have to hit the enemies all by yourself with your painfully slow attack.
I haven't even thrown the damn thing yet, I'm just picking it up. You useless pathetic excuse for a super-hero.
At least it wasn't my fault this time.
Of course it helps that he's got fire powers, and they're all ice villains. His attacks are super effective!
Oh, plus I have Mentor to run around and draw fire. Yes that's right evil henchmen, aim for the pink target on his forehead!
I checked the reviews, and apparently the game was showered with praise and critical acclaim, so it's possible that maybe it's my own damn fault that I'm finding it impossible to enjoy. Perhaps it gets way better when you get more characters and skills, or maybe I just plain suck at the game.
I can't recommend it, and I can't say the reviewers are wrong either...
I think I'll just uninstall it and play something else.