Review: ‘Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare’

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We open at a hospital. Two games are seen rushing inside. Both are screaming that the baby is coming. Doctors and nurses rush around, scrambling to find a spare delivery room so the baby can be born safely. Father “Mount and Blade” and mother “Arma” have conceived a child. They get a room, and after many months of labor, Dr. KK Game Studio reveals the child to the couple and asks them what the name on the birth certificate will be. Mr. “Mount and Blade” and Mrs. “Arma” look at each other with joyful smiles and say in unison, “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare.”

The game, developed and produced by KK Game Studio, was released Feb. 1.

I was one of the first people to buy and download the game from the Steam Store Early Access page. I know this because I was literally on my computer with the game in my cart counting down until it was out.

If you do not know, the “Mount and Blade” series is known for its massive sandbox map and epic medieval battles and brawls. “Arma” is all about small squad tactics and teamwork. The combination of these two games has produced an intense and fun piece of media.

The main goal, as of right now, in “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” is to capture and hold 12 towns scattered around the game map. You do this by gathering up an army of rebellious militia and volunteers who have had it with the government’s lack of control in their country. You must lead your army against terrorist organizations, bandits and other rebelling factions whose goals compete with your own.

Grabbing up an extra squad of troops is a relatively easy and painless process. You walk into one of the scattered towns and go to the recruit menu and pick a squad. If you have the cash, you can pick whomever you want. It is more economical to grab the basic armed volunteers, but you could always splurge on a machine gun squad if you feel you want that extra bang not necessarily for your buck. You cannot hire anyone unless you have money, however, and there are a couple ways you can fund your military ventures.

The first and only way you will be able to get money at the start of the game is by attacking groups of looters and marauding bandits. You start out the game with a single squad of armed volunteers who will be very useful in attaining loot and more cash. Be careful that you don’t get your squad killed or you will be all alone and outnumbered much of the time. At one point when I was playing, I had to sell all my food and grenades to buy a squad. I was dirt broke, but I plowed onward, and now I have a completely badass mercenary sniper squad that has so far been worth every cent.

The two types of battles that I am aware of (I’m not sure there are any more possible) are pitched battles and sieges.

Pitched battles are your basic army versus army scenarios where better tactics and troops/troop numbers prevail.

Sieges happen when you attack a town. Attacking a town pits your troops against the security forces stationed there. These are a little more interesting than pitched battles because in a pitched you can see where your troops are because of the mostly flat maps. Fighting in a town is more intense because you cannot see your troops unless you are on the tactical map.

The tactical map is a very nice tool and is how you control your separate squads of soldiers. By going to the map, you can make your troops move slowly and cautiously or fire at will, as well as a bunch of other commands.

A couple days after the game released, an update came out that made it so you could get your troops to follow you wherever.

I like that in this game of gun-toting militias and terrorists the combat is realistic. After being shot at, your troops will immediately try to find cover and return fire. Another thing that makes “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” stand out is that the spaces are so wide open that firefights end up with you aiming at flashes of enemy gunfire. These are both real things that happen in modern warfare.

This game is nothing too exciting in the realm of graphics, but it does all right. The trees and rocks look real enough, and when a soldier is shot, a fine red mist spurts out which looks cool.

The sound design is not too special either, especially the music for the sandbox map. The sounds do still add to the atmosphere during a battle. Like the sounds of gunfire around you or as you run like a little coward while bullets ping off the boulder or tree you’re hiding behind.

So far there have been a couple updates that have come out since the release of the game, and I hope for more. “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” is an infantry only game and it does that well. If I could choose one thing to add to the game besides bug patches, it would be a greater variety of units. I also think it would be so cool be able to have vehicles. Nothing as big as a tank or artillery, but a variety of civilian vehicles with different heavy weapons mounted on their roofs.

Overall, “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” is a fun game and I have enjoyed most of what it has to offer. For the first time in a while of me buying early access games, I have not had a single crash. Good on you, KK Game Studio.

If you are interested in buying “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” you can find it on the Steam Store for a discount. The problem with this discount is it ends at noon today, Feb. 8. Hurry up and buy a copy now if you want to save a few bucks.

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