I thought I’d write a little about Freedom Wars on PS Vita today – as I’m not seeing a huge amount being spoken about this, and it’s one of the games I’m most looking forward to this year. Originally called ‘Panopticon’ – this name actually refers to the underground cities in which the inhabitants of this future-earth are forced to live in.
Overground it’s all gone a bit post-apocalyptic – apparently unable to support human life. What it can support is massive monsters called Abductors which roam the surface – and provide the enemies you’re support to hunt down.
So yeah, it’s another PS Vita game that’s jumping in to fill the void left by Monster Hunter. Peronally, I think Toukiden actually fills this gap quite nicely (I’ve a review of this coming soon incidentally) but I’m welcoming this one all the same – mainly because I’m more partial to a sci-fi aesthetic when it comes to my RPGs and action adventures. In the absence of a new Phantasy Star or a new Gods Eater then I’m rooting for this one.
So yeah, back to the story. Turns out the protagonist of this game (which will be you) has been sentenced to 1, 000, 000 years in prison at birth – which seems pretty harsh if you ask me. You see, in this future Earth the old adage ‘innocent until proven guilty’ no longer applies. In the year 102013 (yes, 100, 000 years in the future!) to help with the overpopulation of the underground cities, if you’re arrested you’re automatically guilty.
In order to bring your sentence down, the powers that be kick you out surface side – where you’re forced to battle massive monsters if you want so much as a sniff of parole. Hard times indeed, but you needn’t be too upset – because while you’re doomed to an eternity in prison – at least you’re allowed to exercise your right to rock an interesting fashion sense.
Lets get down to the important stuff. I’m a sucker for anything that lets me dress up my characters – whether it be Animal Crossing, Tenchu, Phantasy Star, whatever – as long as the game has a massive wardrobe of options to play around with then I’m sold. I may be a monster-killing criminal from the super-future, fighting terrifying girl-kidnapping giants for my freedom – but I think I have a right to look good while I’m doing it.
In terms of gameplay – two games spring immediately to mind, Gods Eater Burst and… er… Lost Planet, albeit tentatively. The former is no accident as many of the staff from Gods Eater developers Shift are actually participating in this project. The latter? We’ll, if you take a look at the gameplay footage at the end of this article, you’ll see that your character has a grapple-whip thing – called a ‘Thorn’ in-game.
This can be used to elevate you to higher ground, or speedily zip-line to any surface – or even to attach to the Abductors themselves so you can close in for some up-close slashy-slashy. One thing I do like the look of, is the ability for you and your team to attach multiple thorns to restrain the enemy. This looks like a particularly interesting mechanic for one part of the gameplay…
Some characters need to be saved from inside an Abductor. Once rescued you have to pick them up and make a speedy escape. At which point the abductor will chase after you. If you’re going to get her back to safety, your friends are going to have to do a pretty good job of slowing your pursuer down. I can see this part of a mission proving suitably panic inducing – and I like the thought of that! ; )
Interestingly, Shift designer Toshiyuki Yasui has stressed in previous interviews that he wants the game to be playable in small chunks or in longer multi-player sessions – though how that will be implemented I’m not sure.
The release date in Japan is down as being the 26th of June. Apparently, online multiplayer for 8 people will not be available from the word go. The game will release with 4 player Ad Hoc – with a later update for online coming later, as well as an update for a new mode called ‘Ideology War’. Not sure what this involves exactly, but I gunderstand Freedom Wars is supposed to implement some GPS mechanics where you battle for points depending on your real-life location…
Anyway, do take a look at the gameplay footage below for a better feel of what to expect come June.
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