Written by Christian White, XNVR
FREEMAN GUERRILLA WARFARE – NEW UPDATE
Marching proudly back into the theatre of Guerrilla Warfare, confident in the knowledge that I know the game and how to expertly move my troops across the battlefield with the utmost impact - yeah, my memories of skills in this game were seriously wrong. Just like when I first started - running from tree to tree in a blaze of smoke and bullets, frequently stopping to check my tactical map and troop positions, before ignoring the map and tactical positions and just shielding my troops from enemy fire using nothing but my face.
So, this is my second return to Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare to check out the games progress and how the developers are choosing to proceed. I must say I’m not disappointed. It's so rare to get an early access title where you can genuinely see the progress and hard work that's going in to improvements. Instantly upon opening the game I'm greeted by a really smart looking main menu screen with amazing atmospheric music that really sets the mood.
Last time I reviewed Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare, I was mainly impressed by the first-person experience with regards to how great it looked and the feeling of fear that one encounters when fighting an enemy, you can barely see and has marksmanship skills that are every bit as good as yours (or in my case, better). This time around, however, I was completely blown away by the whole experience. The improvements made to the world map are truly impressive, especially considering it has only been 6 months since the pre-release alpha, I reviewed in the last FGW article.
The world itself only seems to have received a few tweaks but the features and landscape have been really filled out. The placement of the towns, villages and farms were placed in a way that made sense in relation to the bodies of water, hills and forests. This may not sound like a big deal, but what this does is make the world feel much more realistic and really lived in; and when partnered with a very nicely designed day/night cycle just being out in the map no longer feels like a laborious lull between fights.
Interacting with the various settlements I felt that there was much more to do than simply buy and sell from one vendor or hire people. The features that are in place were mostly there before but some didn't work brilliantly and you didn't really take much notice of what was there, due to the fact that the interaction menu was only a small pop up window that didn't give any feeling of really interacting. However, in the latest version you are taken into a separate and in-depth menu covering the whole screen and giving a nice close up view of the town, which really makes you feel as though you've entered the settlement and have business to attend to.
The action in the game is much the same as in the previous versions. When you encounter an enemy and are taken to the tactical map, you can distribute your troops in the same way as before with the same options for how you would like them to advance (slowly and carefully or charge in guns blazing.) This is not a bad thing as I do believe they got it right from the get go. More features and options are always welcome but there is nothing really missing from this section of the game mechanics. Delving into the FPS portion of the game I find that the controls are every bit as responsive and accurate as ever, except that now the scenery is even more detailed and boasting much more variety with regards to landscape and the distribution of certain features such as rocks and foliage.
I ended up having a lot more fun with the game this time around, partly because I was going in with a better knowledge of the way the game works but mainly because of the amount of improvements to the games looks, menu functionality and overall polish that the game had been previously lacking. Should the developers keep this up, then within the next year they could potentially have a game that rivals the biggest indie titles out there. This is a game that proves the beauty of simplicity while also delivering spectacular visuals, hardcore FPS action and a way to lose many hours to the trials of a guerrilla warfare general. Keep it up KK Game Studio, I'll be watching.