‘Freeman’ delivers on core gameplay but lacks promises

When it comes to helicopters and multiplayer co-op, KK Games has a short memory

‘Freeman: Guerilla Warfare’ officially has officially entered Steam.

Much like primordial ooze crawling out of puddles and turning into terrestrial life, “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” by KK game Studio has officially left its early access origins and has entered the Steam store. This comes after update V1.0. released last Friday.

Escaping Early Access is a feat that is rather rare these days because Early Access projects tend to completely stall out before they bear any fruit. This is a game I have been following for the past couple of years and it has been an experience to watch it progress to its current state.

The V1.0 update to push “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare,” out of early access is not the final one the game will endure, however. There are still plenty of things the current version still needs to have done to it and things which need to be added or returned (*coughs* vehicles).

First let’s look at the main features, which are in the current game.

Unique combat system

Blending real-time strategy with tactical first-person combat is the meat and potatoes of this game.

Fight with squads of soldiers you created and lead them to victory. Order them to advantageous positions around the map to destroy the enemy.

This requires carefully surveying the terrain and constantly moving your troops around while also moving around for a personal spot to shoot from.

Realistic simulated combat

One of the goals of the developers for “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” is realism. Not just in shooting mechanics or graphics, but also in how the artificial intelligence (A.I.) behaves.

The A.I. is capable of tactical maneuvering like a person. The A.I. will try to outflank, surround or even attempt fake retreats to draw the player in.

This intelligence emphasizes choosing the right positions on the map, creating a plan and coordinating to defeat the enemy.

Endless outcomes

The randomness of starting points on battlefields, the tactics used by the A.I. and varying objectives will result in battles different and with different levels of challenge. There is freedom in every choice and how to play the game is up to the player. Choose troops, equipment, squads and how to eventually rule Cherniv.

There is a lot to like when it comes to “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare,” but it is not without its share of problems. These don’t really stem from the game itself but the development team.

Not because they are awful people or penny pinchers, but because of features, promises and teases which have seemed to be forgotten, replaced or ignored.

Ground vehicles update

A while back there was an update that introduced armored vehicles and tanks to the game. This was extremely badass and added a new element to the game and something to fear, aside from infantry.

The problem with the vehicles update was that the enemy A.I. was capable of spamming a massive number of vehicles, where players could only field a couple due to financial reasons.

This created a problem where the vehicles were no longer interesting or special. To quote Syndrome from the first “Incredibles” movie,“If everyone’s super, no one will be.”

Instead of trying to fix the issues with this update such as pathfinding, glitching out bugs and the spamming of vehicles by the campaign A.I., KK Game Studio just took them out of the game.

This has made a lot of players upset. Especially since the developers have not made a single mention of them for future versions of the game. It could be KK Game Studio keeping them a secret, but they should address this sometime soon to keep potential and current players’ interests.

Teased helicopters

This is a small item, but helicopters were never released. Like the vehicle update, the developers gave something and then never added it to the game or mentioned it again.

Helicopters were teased in a short gif on one their news releases for the game. Like the vehicles, this would have added something completely new to the world, but nothing has mentioned or hinted towards helicopters since.

Full squads

In earlier versions of the game, it was extremely easy to buy a squad of soldiers. Before, they were already made into a squad and could then be customized and interchanged.

Now, soldiers must be individually plucked from barracks around the map then set into a squad. This makes building an army more tedious than it needs to be and slows down the pacing of the gameplay.

Multiplayer co-op

Another feature that was teased and never heard from again was online cooperative play.

I do not know how this would work in a game where stopping movement on the campaign map pauses everything, and tactical combat is an entirely different game.

Originally, the developers may have thought this was doable when they started work on “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare,” but they may have changed their minds. Regardless, some players expected this to be a feature, but it has never been talked about or mentioned by the developers since.

Where ‘Freeman: Guerilla Warfare’ stands

This game still has a lot of potential, but there are things that many players can agree on, which need to be added, removed or fixed. Many concerns players have with the game are minor and do not take away from the core gameplay experience.

Others, however, are things that were promised and not followed through on. KK Game Studio needs to listen more to community feedback and attempt to deliver what they promised in its earlier days.

All this being said, “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” is a fun and exciting action game that blends real-time strategy with first-person combat. This is a rare thing in the realm of gaming and should be celebrated.

Even with the lack of promised content, the core game is challenging and fun and allows for a lot of customization and player choice. 

Near the end of the most recent news release by the development team it states, “We are not going to stop, the completion of ‘FGW’ is just the begin of the next era.” I personally hope this is true and will continue to be excited to see where this game winds up.

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