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.
RPS Feature Superheroic
RPS Feature Biff! Pow!
Superheroes are, my dear mole cave people recently thawed following a decades-long slumber, very much in vogue right now. Films about whiny teenagers with the least interesting powers of an arachnid are ten a penny, but video games of this kind have been oddly lacking. The superhero games we do have – for example, the Arkham series – are mainly about specific superheroes, not about the idea or the spirit of their original format, the comic book.
I have a strange bias here, as I’m one of the fifty people on earth who loves games but never cared about comics or superheroes. So I say this without exaggerating or clutching at straws: Freedom Force Vs The Third Reich [Wikipedia page], a real-time, squad-based tactical beat ‘em up from 2005, is the only game that truly shows why people love comics.
RPS Feature Marvel-less
First published as part of our Supporter Program, this feature explores the possibilities of a Marvel Gaming Universe. There is no mention of a Telltale episodic adventure.
If you were to draw a Venn Diagram showing the overlap between superhero comic book fans and people who like to play computer games, it would look a lot like Pacman with his jaws wired shut. That makes the lack of a Marvel Gaming Universe to sit alongside the cinematic vision somewhat odd. There have been occasional action games directly based on the
plots setpieces from specific films and a host of tablet and cleverphone efforts, but there’s no single game that stands out as an expression of the shared setting of the films, comics and television series.
How might such a thing work?
[Considering Mr Levine’s turned up in the rumour mill today, I thought turning an eye back at one of Irrational’s other games would be a worthy endeavour. This interview with Ken was done in the run up to the second Freedom Force game.]
“We had a lot of internal arguments at the time. Some people wanted it more dark and gritty, and others preferred it in a lighter style,” recalls Irrational head-honcho Ken Levine, “I remember waking up in the middle of the night, before we shipped and going “What did I do? Why did I go and make it so it was retro? What was I thinking?””. Read the rest of this entry »