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Freedom Force
is the first game that recreates the experience of controlling a team of superheroes with all their own strengths, weaknesses and personalities. It combines a fully 3D real-time tactical combat engine with deep RPG character development and a rich storyline. Players must use the varied abilities of their characters to defeat an array of super-villains in a dynamic interactive environment - everything is destructible!
Freedom Force is a real-time 3D strategy game that lets the player assume the roles of an evolving team of superheroes as they do battle against evil. The game features both an intense 3D tactical battle engine and a rich RPG system.
What Irrational is striving to re-create here is the classic feel of super-hero comics from the 60s. This era is commonly referred to as "the Silver Age" of comics. It was when teams of super-heroes such as the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the original X-Men appeared. During this era many of the classic comic book themes were explored. Comics hadn't yet descended into 90s style cynicism but the artists and writers had moved on from their simple beginnings to tackle more interesting stories and themes than they did in the earlier "Golden Age". At this stage, the heroes are still real heroes and the villains are still clearly villains. The themes are big and the plots are daring. Heroes and villains always discuss their intentions during combat sequences, villains are generally motivated by some bizarre twisted obsession, and so on. Much of the classic comic book art style was developed during this time. The developers are striving to re-create this period both artistically and thematically. But, like the X-Men movie, they'll be using the latest technology to present it.
The game takes place in the early 60s. It's largely based in and around New York City though the action will move around both in space and time as the game progresses…
The game is fully 3D with arbitrary camera movement. However, the majority of the game will be played from a pulled back top-down camera. Much more like Myth than Tomb Raider.
Irrational Games will be providing a powerful RPG system which will allow you to create your own characters and powers. You can define the characters stats, powers and attributes or even create new powers from scratch. Missions are largely combat oriented. Some examples of mission types are: hostage rescue scenarios, foiling bank robberies, straight-out slug-fests with super-villains, saving civilians from harm and so on.
The player will have access to around 14 heroes who can be recruited onto his team. Not all of them will be seen on any given play-through of the game and the player is given choices about which he wishes to recruit each time he or she plays the game. You can easily create more heroes through the RPG system.
The player is rewarded with both prestige points and character points. Prestige points are a measure of overall player success and are essentially used to help recruit new heroes onto the team. They are not necessary to winning the game. Character points are the backbone of the RPG system and are awarded to individual characters that go on missions. They are used to improve character skills.
Attributes are more or less permanent features of the heroes and villains. They can be simple things like claws or wings or more complex like a rubber body, which allows you to bounce around if you fall off a building. There are also disadvantageous attributes, like a tendency to go berserk and lose control in combat. Powers are things that can be developed during the game. There's an incredible variety of these including straightforward combat powers like energy projection and more wacky special powers like the ability to tunnel through the ground or stop time. Each of the pre-built characters that appears in the single-player game can be developed and refined by the player over the course of the game. There are constraints on this development to keep them "in character" - the game won't let you turn El Diablo into an aquatic character, for example. As characters go on missions they accumulate character points that can then be expended to buy into new powers, increase stats or buy off weaknesses. With your own characters, or in the multiplayer game there's even more freedom - players can build characters up from scratch using whatever attributes or powers they like. These characters can then be used to form a team with a particular point value that can then be set up against a team with a similar point cost; lesser or greater point values can be used for handicapping. Characters will have some independent behavior. For example, a hot-headed hero may start going off on his own and be uncontrollable for a short time until he calms down.
The game environments are extremely interactive and malleable. The player can pick up a tree and chuck it, buildings can be toppled, cars can be carried to the tops of buildings and hurled at the bad guys! The most unique feature you will see is that the game is designed to allow anything to be destroyed -- and I mean anything. The city itself will feel alive around the player.  We are striving to make a world that feels as though things occur without necessarily directly involving the players characters. There will be roughly 25 missions in the game, with most of them taking place in and around New York City. So, you'll definitely be fighting on the Empire State Building, in the subways, and in Central Park. There are also more exotic environments that open up as the plot progresses…
The game is
real-time with a pause component. In the game you're controlling a small group of units (four heroes) on a mission and you have very tight control over them. Each character has a deep set of options and powers that they can use so the game provides a command system that allows you to express much more complicated commands than you would normally be able to in a real-time game.
Freedom Force uses the NetImmerse engine from NDL
. NetImmerse provides a level of detail system that allows the creators to build very high poly characters. The characters will range from one to two thousand polys each.
Irrational will strongly support the mod community with this title. In a similar manner to the Sims, they'll be providing tools for people to import their own creations into the game. That way people can have their favorite characters from their own comics or RPGs, historical figures, whatever they want! I wanna make Spiderman.
Core team members include project manager and lead designer Jonathan Chey (project manager from System Shock 2, programmer on Thief and others), executive producer Ken Levine (designer on Thief, lead designer of System Shock 2 and project lead on The Lost), conceptual artist Robb Waters (artist on the original System Shock, Thief, and others), lead programmer Matt Cairns and senior programmer Carl Sandland (Enemy Infestation), lead artist Jay Kyburz and animator Ben Hutchins (Warlords 3 & Warlords Battlecry) and Eric Brosius
is doing the sound and music (sound and music from Thief, System Shock 2 and many others!).

Preview by Shaan
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Game Info

Developer: Irrational Games

Publisher: Crave/ EA games

Release Date: Q1 2002


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