Freedom Wars Co-op Demo – PAX Prime 2014
I got my hands on Freedom Wars at PAX Prime, and I’m quite impressed with how it looks. Freedom Wars is developed by SCE Japan Studio who is also joined by co-developer companies Shift and Dimps who have worked on games like God Eater and Sonic Lost World. Straight away, I can see the close resemblance to God Eater and other third-person action games like Monster Hunter. In the case of the playable mission that I joined, it looks to be set in a futuristic world where huge militarized robots or mechanical aliens exist.
When I joined the session, I jumped into a four player local co-op instance with the other players next to me. The gameplay was quite simple to understand. You have your light attack for speed, heavy attack for damage, dodge button, and an awesome grapple that can be used for multiple uses like grappling forward to get nice dash. The objective for the local instance was to rescue three civilians. My character had a giant sword, but there were other load-outs to choose from as well at the demo. Unfortunately each of the four playable Vitas had a different load-out, so I just stuck with the giant sword character on the Vita I was using. As I progressed through what I thought was a small area for a four player instance, I ran into normal enemies like small mobile turrets and gunmen. Aside from those particular enemies, there were three big mechanical robots or aliens on the field. Those huge enemies had civilians trapped inside their chests so our goal was to take them down and free them.
These encounters are where the grapples come in handy the most. When you launch your grapple onto an enemy, you have a few choices to choose from. One is a grapple move where you pull yourself into the enemy gaining enough speed to give a big slice of whatever weapon your character is using . It looks super cool, and it did a good amount of damage. Another option is to pull in and just hang on for dear life. When you’re hitching on to your enemy, especially a big one, you can just give them a good beating until you get shaken off. Lastly you can grapple an enemy and hold it down to the ground, incapacitating them. It’s quite useful for our objective, since the imprisoned citizens were within these big robots. You just need to bring them down, then grapple onto the chest to pry them free.
There was a point where we killed one of those robots without freeing the civilian, but there was no penalty. Maybe it was just another big enemy, or they spawned another one to give us another chance. We did find a civilian on the ledge of building, which we just grappled to to pick him or her up. As soon as you free them, you still have to carry each civilian back to a drop off point which can be a little annoying having to go back and forth. Especially since there are enemies who spawn in between you and the drop off point. After we rescued the civilians, mission complete screen popped up and showed our stats. This mission was quite easy meaning it was probably one of the more general missions that Freedom Wars may have.
From what I have played so far, it will be interesting to see what the major boss battles will be like. Freedom Wars comes out October 28 for Vita owners only.