Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Freedom Force is the best superhero game ever made.
Sure, some might prefer the swinging Spiderman or the smashy-smashy of Hulk, or even the Lego games and their whimsical take on all things Marvel and DC. And there are the Arkham games as well, of course, which might be about a man in a bat-suit rather than an actual superhero, but I’d say they still count.
None of them capture what I love about comics in the way that Freedom Force does though, with its bright colours, villainous villains and heroic heroes. There’s very little inner-conflict, just righteous justice in the defense of Patriot City.
That’s not to say the setting and the characters are the main selling point though; it’s the way that the game puts the focus on teamwork that really sells me on the theme. It’s a tactical game and while I’d have preferred turn-based combat to the real-time system that the game uses, it allows for careful use of powers and encourages you to use your heroes as a squad, each covering the others’ weaknesses and playing off their strengths.
I’d love to see another sequel (there was a sequel, Freedom Force vs The Third Reich, and it’s good) or remake that brings in the Geoscape of XCOM and allows for strategic team management, recruiting and the squashing of escalating threats all across the world.