Why Freedom Fighters needs a sequel

IO Interactive’s epic squad-based shooter is one of the most criminally overlooked games of the last generation. Really, you should be feeling Okami levels of shame if you didn’t buy it. Nearly everyone who plays it remembers the game fondly, yet there’s rarely been talk of a sequel.

During a recent Kane and Lynch 2 event, Mads Prahm, one of the lead designers on Freedom Fighters, hinted to our very own Dave Houghton that he considered the title to be a current franchise. So with that tiny spark of hope that there could yet be a sequel to the charming 2003 shooter, we tell you, and hopefully anyone reading at EA (it published the first game), why the world needs a sequel.

Few games since have matched its scale

Freedom Fighters opens on an absolute dozy of a setpiece. As Chris Stone and his brother merrily drive around Manhattan in their van, the Big Apple is suddenly invaded by Russian forces. Cue a ten minute desperate chase to get to cover, as Chris darts through crowds of terrified New Yorkers. Buildings collapse, smoke clogs the streets, people are captured in apartment blocks and imprisoned. Considering this was all running on PS2, we can only imagine how incredible a scene of equivalent scale running on PS3 or 360 would be.

No squad shooter has matched its personality

While lead character Chris isn’t exactly the most personable star, the game itself is brimming with character. Every battle for a new block carries real weight when you realise you’re fighting heavily armed and well-trained Russian forces with a bunch of office workers and plumbers. The whole alternate timeline of a Soviet-controlled America also gives the game an imposing, thought-provoking narrative weight that few games ever aspire to.

It’s got one of the best designed and moodiest environments ever

Freedom Fighters’ take on a war-ravaged New York is nothing short of stunning. Buildings riddled with propaganda, most of the city buried under mountains of snow and streets filled with impromptu camps; it all gives a real sense of playing in a war zone. Seeing the Empire State Building in a raging storm with Soviet posters adorning every other structure in sight remains one of the most iconic images we’ve seen in a shooter.

Now imagine IO taking this skill for crafty moody environments and transplanting it to an equally iconic city with current gen tech. A sequel set in London or Tokyo could be incredible. And the developer has enough experience of creating memorable landmark strewn levels thanks to its work on the globetrotting Hitman series.

It remains one of the most cinematic titles ever

When we say cinematic, we don’t mean rambling twenty minute cutscenes or lengthy monologues. No, we mean when you frame the camera in just the right way, while your hoist a flag in a raging snowstorm to a bit of rousing Jesper Kyd. And talking of which…

Above: Cinematic, non? Admittedly we might have 'shopped in a different background with a hastily pasted in Tokyo Tower to spice it up

Jesper Kyd’s scoring in FF is incredible

I’ve written about it precisely 14, 093 times and linked to the piece below 14, 097 times, but Jesper Kyd’s soundtrack is a thing of eardrum-weeping beauty. A new setting would surely inspire the composer to record another sweeping score that would be remembered for years.

And because we’ve got 19 Dynasty Warriors games and only one shitting Freedom Fighters

Frankly, that shit won't stand.

June 24, 2010


  • jonathan-d-gregory - July 11, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    I've been yearning for freedom fighters sequel for ages maybe one will emerge on PS4. I've played on and completed well over a 100 computer games on the mega drive, n64, amiga, PC, ps1-3, xbox 360, online. Yet few of those titles are as compelling or as fun as this game, it was like an interactive red dawn i got to be a wolverine anytime but in new york. It had plot twists, good story, great simple team control. I also would love to see a new Tenchu I enjoyed tenchu Z on 360 team hand signals in multiplayer and character customisation, if they could restore the story or fun of wrath of heaven, better stealth capabilities like splinter cell, imrpoved graphics and maybe better interactive fighting like assasins creed including real examples of taijutsu/ninjitsu and jiu jitsu kendo and various other samurai/ninja martial arts.
  • fattoler - June 25, 2010 4:13 p.m.

    YES! YES! YES! This needs to be done!
  • ryno - June 25, 2010 2:56 p.m.

    now i want to buy this game
  • Lurkero - June 25, 2010 2 p.m.

    I have been desiring a new Freedom Fighters for a number of years now. Freedom Fighters would have been the perfect franchise for IO to take advantage of online co-op play, but instead they decided to go with Kane and Lynch...twice. I am so disappointed in the direction they chose to go. Not only that, but Freedom Fighters was a shooter with a relatively decent plot. It wasn't spectacular, but it was better than many shooters we get today.(Modern Warfare 2)
  • philipshaw - June 25, 2010 11:11 a.m.

    Great article and I love the end to the article,so true
  • avantguardian - June 25, 2010 4:20 a.m.

    yes-yes-yes-yes...make this happen!
  • subzero8012001 - June 25, 2010 2:40 a.m.

    Yeah I agree with you, this game is one of my favorites, and it had really cool features. I would really like to see a sequel come out with the abilities of today’s consoles. I’ve been waiting for them to bring a Freedom Fighters sequel out ever since I bet the first game. I really hope they do end up bring out a sequel to the game.
  • superrey19 - June 25, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    I played this game not realizing how great it would turn out to be. Boy was I surprised.
  • FlyinHawaiian13 - June 25, 2010 1:24 a.m.

    THANK YOU I have posted about this game like 100 times. This was my favorite game for my PS2 i'm glad someone else wants to see a sequel
  • Vitoruss1 - June 25, 2010 1:17 a.m.

    Oh yeah, I remember playing a demo for this game on the original Xbox and I loved it. Still though, I have an image of it burnt into my mind and I do NOT remember it looking nearly that dated... wow...
  • Sebastian16 - June 25, 2010 12:29 a.m.

    This is the best article ever written.
  • Kameltoemunch - June 24, 2010 9:36 p.m.

    The PC version was superior graphically and control wise. However the lack of multiplayer was a killer, and I played many hours of split-screen at my buddies house, who happened to own the xbox version. Freedom Fighters is by far one of my favorite games of all time. The simple but effective squad control mechanic was genius. I hoped and prayed and wished that they would release FF2, or at least modding tools for the original. Nothing would make me happier than a next gen Freedom Fighters title.
  • TheWebSwinger - June 24, 2010 9:15 p.m.

    Meh. I remember renting this back in the day, and thinking it was "Okay, nothing special." Dunno, mayhaps I was just too young to appreciate its glory.
  • RebornKusabi - June 24, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    I only played through this game once but I do recall having a Hell of a time with it because of how fun and well put together it was. I would honestly love a sequel too.
  • Rhymenocerous - June 24, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    Ah, Freedom Fighters, where is your sequal?! Wow, this is bringing back memories of the game; the desperate rebellion feel, the awesome safehouses, that epic cut-scene where the russians start melting the ice to try and sink the american ships. GREAT GAME!
  • Revolt189 - June 24, 2010 8:57 p.m.

    I concur with everything in this article.
  • quicksilver_502 - June 24, 2010 8:47 p.m.

    the problem is that at the moment the russians are invading america every other day. loads of games are doing it or getting even more unrealistic and using north korea. (looking at you, Homefront)it might not be the best time for a sequel considering the saturation.
  • c03n3nj0 - June 24, 2010 8:25 p.m.

    I remember loving this game! I need to get it and replay it someday.
  • Darkwun - June 24, 2010 8:12 p.m.

    ive been saying this for years! glad im not alone!
  • Mortified_Cow - June 24, 2010 7:11 p.m.

    I love this game and seriously hope there is a sequel for it. There are so many stories they could tell.

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