Despite not having a lot of time for my PS Vita when I do find time to play on it I’m lucky that there is always something completely different to get my teeth into. Freedom Wars is definitely one of those games worth buying it for. If you are a fan of the Monster Hunter Games then you’ll probably quite enjoy this game it’s full of brilliant loot and the customisation is the best I’ve seen on the Vita. But what’s the game all about?
Well Freedom Wars takes place far, far into the future in huge cities known as Panapticons, each one competing against each other for the precious resources available. If you are found to be one of those taking up too many resources you become known as Sinners and are given one million year sentences. There is some light at the end of the tunnel, if you help the greater good, working for the state, you can reduce your sentence. To do this you’ll perform good deeds for your Panapticon, in the early stages these missions will grant you entitlements such being able to talk to the opposite sex, or even lie down on your own bed, amazing right? After the initial cut scene you’ll be given the opportunity to create your character. You could literally spend hours perfecting your characters features, once you have completed that you’ll also be able to customise the AI that will guide you through all you need to know in the game.
You’ll spend a fair bit of time at your Panopticon preparing for your next mission, most of which will spent talking to the huge amount of NPC’s in the game. To be honest Freedom Wars doesn’t have the greatest storyline and I found myself trying to skip through as much of the conversation as quickly as possible, as the characters are all uninteresting. As time goes on you’ll tire of the amount of time you spend talking between missions. As there are no English voiceovers in the game you’ll have a lot of reading to do which isn’t great, especially on a smaller Vita screen. I found that when I was crafting weapons I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing, it wasn’t helped by the fact that the menu system was poor and the crafting process was poorly explained.
Once you do get to the mission’s things do improve. You’ll first select a gang of AI partners to join you on your next job, before being thrown head first into the action. There is a mixture of combat so depending on your preference you can either hack’n’slash your way through the game or used ranged weapons to see you through. Either way, your character can quickly swap between styles as the touch of a button. There are six categories of weapons; small swords, large swords, spears, personal firearms, multipurpose firearms, There are sniper rifles, submachine guns, shotguns as well as Gatling guns, laser guns, rocket launchers, flamethrowers and net guns. My favorite tool though has to be the Thorn.
To the untrained eye the Thorn is just a grappling hook, but to those in the know it’s so much more than that. The Thorn will help you not only navigate your way around the game but also assist you in defeating enemies, combined with weapons you’ll be able to dodge enemy attacks and zipline across the environment to gain a better position on your foes. There are three types of Thorn, binding, healing and shielding, depending on which one you choose to use will help decide how you will function within your team.
The enemies are interesting, but they only seem to be small or massive and, as you would expect, as the game goes on things become much more difficult. The humans you go up against tend to have pretty good numbers and less experienced players will find themselves quickly getting outnumbered, but they real challenge is when you take on the Abductors, giant mechanical beasts they require some great teamwork to kill while trying to save the humans they have captured. At times you may be faced with two or three Abductors to kill, it’ll take real effort and coordination to obliterate them all. I felt like I was enjoying the challenge but the controls were sometimes too fiddly for me. As you begin to take the abductors apart they will drop collectables for you to craft into new weapons and augmentations.
I spent at least 20 hours playing through this and really enjoyed it, it’s easily one of those games where you can spend many, many more hours playing through all the different sidequests and whittling down that million sentence. The story is pretty boring but I really enjoyed the gameplay despite the fiddly combat. If you are looking to fill the little Monster Hunter gap in your life this could be the game to do it.
MLG Rating: 6/10 Format: PlayStation Vita Release Date: 26/06/2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Freedom Wars by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 2 weeks on a PlayStation Vita. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.