Publisher: Sony

Developer: Japan Studio, Shift, and Dimps

Platforms: PS Vita

Released: October 29th, 2014


Freedom Wars is exactly what the PS Vita needed. Lately, Sony's handheld hasn't exactly set the world on fire when it comes to exclusive titles so it's nice to see a game that realizes the Vita's potential.  Freedom Wars is a very solid action game with a Japanese theme, and plenty of content.

Freedom Wars' world is a bleak one where humans are constantly at war with one another to ensure survival. In the story, the world has passed go and gone straight to hell with humanity being split into fanctions called “Panopticons:" groups that fight amongst each other for resources. Problem is, the Earth’s resources are almost completely used up and there's no way to support anymore people. Any new child born in this state is considered a sinner and sentenced to 1 million years imprisonment from the jump. While this may sound like a dire state it can be worked off by performing missions for your local city state and this is where the fun starts. At the beginning of the game, you find yourself saddled with a 1  million year jail term that was handed down for being injured in combat. The only way to retain your freedom is by  performing tasks and donating supplies to the state in order to work off your sentence. This gives the term "football numbers" a whole new meaning. The action generally centers around lumbering machines called Abductors which exist soley for the sake of capturing high-level human resources.

You'll spend the majority of your time in the game working for the selected Panopticon, of which there are 50, spread all around the world. These missions will include different objectives, ranging anywhere from rescuing citizens, to gathering resources and destroying those giant Abductors. Gameplay-wise Freedom Wars is a mix of a high stakes action game littered with some RPG elements. Most of the character progression is acquired by stacking loot, and advancement is based on the ability to acquire more materials, with the payout being more powerful equipment. Freedom Wars features a combat system that while  unrelenting, offers precise control. The game makes good use  of the second analogue stick and there are plenty of alternative control schemes. There are several classes  of weapons available that offer a melee attack or a ranged one to take out enemies in groups. You can choose to be the more nimble swordsman or go with the heavily armed long-distance fighter with rocket launchers and sniper rifles. One thing to note: All the audio in Freedom Wars is in Japanese with English subtitles, so if reading captions isn't your thing, you might find that to be a minor annoyance.

The XXL Endgame

If you've been hankering for a solid title for your PS Vita, Freedom Wars for the most part fills the void. It can get repetitive at times due to the little variety in terms of settings, mission types, and enemies but these flaws aren't enough to keep this year's biggest Vita title behind bars. —written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)

XXL Rating: L (Good)

Freedom Wars was reviewed on a retail copy provide by Sony