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

We Recommend By ZergNet


  • Tomkins - June 24, 2010 3:29 p.m.

    I used to love that game.
  • InFeRnOg - June 24, 2010 3:31 p.m.

    You neglected the (superior) PC version. But yes, I've still got this game and it was very good. A sequel would definitely be welcome!
  • MailMan - June 24, 2010 3:32 p.m.

    playing this game on split-screen with a mate provided some of the best lazy gaming nights in ever had, the abiity to recreate your own AI army resulted in just too much hilarity
  • Elfangor01 - June 24, 2010 3:36 p.m.

    I just finished a few days ago and the score is incredible to say the least also first!
  • roosterdip - June 24, 2010 3:41 p.m.

    this is still one of my favorite games of all time. I spent the next five years praying for the next game that never came.
  • ColonelKc - June 24, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    God i loved that one level when u have to sneak on that island and snipe that general........awesome
  • ventanger - June 24, 2010 3:44 p.m.

    Just call it Red Dawn: The Official Game, make the hero a re-creation of Patrick Swayze and dedicate it in loving memory to the Swayze himself.
  • BleedingHatMcGillicutty - June 24, 2010 3:47 p.m.

    I still replay this game every now and then. It's one of my favorites of the last generation. I don't think it should take place outside of America, though. After all, it ended with Chris saying the Soviets would be back with a bigger challenge. I really want to see what that is.
  • BlackKraken - June 24, 2010 3:56 p.m.

    This was one of my favourite, if not THE favourite game on the xbox. Its such a shame I can't play it on the 360, especially since this article has reminded me that I want to play it NOW!
  • Benjamin333 - June 24, 2010 4:03 p.m.

    This was one of the first games I played with Ragdoll. Going from the canned animations of Timesplitters 2 to this was a revelation. It's true, Meiks, I have very fond, Okami-level memories for this game. But it hasn't aged well.
  • camcam3947 - June 24, 2010 4:13 p.m.

  • krabsich - June 24, 2010 4:13 p.m.

    @ColonelKc: that sniping mission was intense. the game had created a sense of hopelessness at that point where the mission felt more a desperate gamble to hurt the enemy before complete annihilation of the resistance. that has to be one of my all-time favorite levels. loved this game. where is this and hitman for the current gen? did anybody really feel the need for a sequel to kane & lynch?
  • Clovin64 - June 24, 2010 4:39 p.m.

    By far my faveourite squad based shooter. It was so easy to grasp and fun to play, you only had a couple of commands to issue to your squad, but it was all that you needed! The soundtrack was beautiful, the graphics were crisp, the controls were perfect and the multiplayer mode was oh-so fun. I must have completed this game 6-7 times. WHY THE HELL WAS THERE NO SEQUEL DAMMIT!
  • DustyRooster - June 24, 2010 4:52 p.m.

    The multi player in this game was also very fun. I used to have epic shoot outs with my roommate. I was always the Soviets. I wish that they had more than 4 levels. The heavy snow in a couple of those levels were mind blowing!
  • InFeRnOg - June 24, 2010 5:03 p.m.

    @krabsich: Isn't Hitman Blood Money considered current gen?
  • d0x - June 24, 2010 5:14 p.m.

    I still play Freedom Fighters from time to time on my 360. It really is an amazing game that too few people have heard of. I dont think it got the attention to deserved on launch. I really do hope that make another.
  • ColonelKc - June 24, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    @InFeRnOg What are you talking about?
  • Ridgley - June 24, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    I could not agree more. The story felt like it was really happening in a way not many games have before or since.
  • ThatsWhatSheSaid - June 24, 2010 5:37 p.m.

    is it even possible to play or buy now? i remember renting it wen it 1st came out, thought it was good, i was 14 then, so i think id appreciate it more now that im older and only so-so wiser
  • krabsich - June 24, 2010 5:39 p.m.

    i forgot blood money came out on 360 (i played it on ps2), but that was 2006. imagine what a hitman or freedom fighters would be like now that the developers have more experience with the current gen tech.

Showing 1-20 of 45 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000


Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.