Have you ever played a one off game that was so good that you wanted more? I’m sure you have, but you probably didn’t get that follow-up you so desperately wanted. And that is where I’m at with Freedom Wars, an action-RPG released on the PlayStation Vita in 2014. It sold really well in Japan, especially for a Vita game and it reviewed well in all markets. Two years later however, and the only word we have on a potential sequel is from March 2015 where the producer stated that a sequel would depend on fan demand and Sony’s willingness to move ahead with the project.
For those that don’t know anything about Freedom Wars let me give you some knowledge. It takes place in the year 102014, and clearly we screwed up at some point because everything is in ruins. Humans live in places called Panopticons, which are kind of like city-states. They’re also police states. Everyone does their part to support the state while under very heavy and very strict laws. So strict in fact that the loss of ones memory can result in a 1,000,000 year prison sentence. Did you just run without proper clearance? That’s another 500 years pal. Some of these sentences are hilariously stupid, but that is what makes this game great. You can spend a massive amount of time doing missions to get your sentence decreased considerably, but the fact is that if you step out of line and do something you don’t have permission to do, you’ll find yourself in the hole again, and it literally can be something as simple as running more than 10 seconds straight.
So, what can you do to decrease your sentence? Why, you become a part of the states military of course, everyone does! Yay for patriotism. In this world, citizens are valuable resources. So valuable in fact, that Panopticons steal citizens from one another using robots known as Abductors. they come in all different shapes and sizes and, quite frankly, they’re annoying to fight when there are more than one of them. I can’t hack their limbs off that fast. And of course, one of the most common missions you’ll be sent on is to rescue abducted citizens. Fun times.
But of course, you don’t participate in these missions alone. You can bring fellow inmates on missions with you, and each inmate(yourself included) has an android companion known as an Accessory, the appearance of which can be customized to almost the same extent as your own character. I think it goes without saying that in a game like this where you face many enemies at any given time, you’re going to want that Accessory watching your back.
The game is fun, like I can’t stress that enough. Like, at first I thought it was kind of repetitive what with their being only a couple different battlefields, but the battles themselves kept me going until I hit one that was just impossible. And the strange part is that getting time added onto my sentence was also part of the fun. The whole goal of the game, aside from the main story, is to reduce your sentence to 0 from 1,000,000. Needless to say that I have not accomplished that feat yet. Last I checked I was sitting pretty around 100,000 years. Every time I had a set back, I would laugh and cry tears of joy(read: soul-crushing sorrow). It’s a challenge to get your sentence all the way down and I loved it.
Of course, there is one last point which I feel is worth mentioning. This game does have online multiplayer, both cooperative and competitive. The competitive multiplayer goes up to 8 players, 4 on each team. When you first start the game, it’ll ask you to choose a Panopticon. This Panopticon becomes your “home” and thus your battles go towards a leaderboard. Basically put, you, the player, are a representative of your Panopticon and you better do your job so your Panopticon can reach the top spot on the boards. That is, unless you want your sentenced increased by 100,000 years! Get on it maggot!
And that is why I would really like to get a proper sequel to this game, preferably for PS4. The developers deserve a bigger budget for a follow-up and really bring this world to life. Sadly, I doubt I’ll ever get to see that game because Sony likely won’t greenlight it at this point if they haven’t already.