At first glance, Freedom Wars' slower-paced co-op combat and behind-the-back camera make it look like just another multiplayer-focused Monster Hunter knockoff. But in both its mysterious sci-fi setting and its actual gameplay mechanics, Freedom Wars distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack in style. I got the chance to play SCE Japan Studio's latest hunting action game on PS Vita, and let me tell you: Thorn whips are the wave of the future.
What is a Thorn whip, you ask? It's the solution to my biggest pet peeve with Monster Hunter-like games: sluggish movement, and how agonizingly long it takes to get anywhere as a result. In Freedom Wars, the action takes place in the ruins of a futuristic metropolis (Earth in the year 102013, to be exact). Because all the environments take place amidst giant, crumbling skyscrapers, you can latch on to any surface using your Thorn, a whip of reddish energy that'll pull you to whatever you've hooked. Instead of trudging around and waiting for a stupid sprint meter, you can swing towards enemies or directly onto them like a costume-less, Japanese Spider-Man. And because of the far future setting, the gargantuan enemies look quite a bit cooler and more refreshing compared to the oversized dragons you've seen time and again in Monster Hunter.
The scenario is also the kind of intriguing premise that you'd expect from an underground manga. You've been sentenced to 1,000,000 years of imprisonment, and each mission takes a chunk off your time depending on how well you performed. This does wonders for contextualizing the action; instead of battling for hours in the hopes of scoring incrementally better gear, there's actually the light of freedom awaiting at the end of the tunnel.
Check out the following screenshots for additional info!