No Sophomore Slump for FFV3R!

Ok, I do realize it is more than a bit self-aggrandizing to put that on a company's own Web site but I can't help it. I am very psyched that Freedom Force came out to such nice reviews. So far the critics completely get the story, the aesthetic, the way we did the voices, the whole magilla.

I get very nervous before a game comes out so the past few days have been a huge relief for me personally and probably for Ken too since me being tense about a game release doesn't exactly help him. So now we just hold our collective breath and hope that all the Irrational fans love the game.

Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered the game. It was a huge help to Irrational (both psychologically and for store sell-ins) to boost those numbers early on. You guys doing that helps ensure that Irrational will continue to make the slightly off-beat games that we really want to work on and that hopefully you will really want to play! Remember, you can still order the game on the Irrational Site and get the bonus disk with 3 exclusive characters and a whole handful of concept art and wallpapers!

Check out yesterday's press release --- the Freedom Force Vs. The 3rd Reich Beta mod tools are now available on www.FreedomFans.com! We're can't wait to see what the FF community's got cooking!

And now here's my Freedom Force Week One Review Roundup:

ActionTrip gave the game a 92% and an Editor's Choice. I tried to find the name of the author to thank him for the following quotes but I couldn't seem to locate it:

"Add the fact that the game has all the addictiveness and offers just as much fun as its predecessor and it has a rather lengthy and challenging main campaign and the prettier visuals and enhanced 3D features feel like icing on the proverbial cake.

I am sure that this game isn't perfect, only I cannot think of any possible flaws that could significantly mar my overall impression."

Go and buy the damn game, you'll thank me later. If you don't like it, you're an ass. In other words, kind reader, "Thwack!"

Russ Clow at Club Skill has claimed the identity of "Review Man" for Freedom Force Vs. The 3rd Reich and I personally like this Review Man., I like him very much:

"You will absolutely adore Freedom Force Vs the Third Reich"

"This game is quite simply fantastic."

Over at GameSpot, Greg Kasavin has both a written and a video review of the game and gives it a "Great" rating:

"The incredible thing about Freedom Force is that this cast of characters is so good that it in some ways rivals the classics to which the game pays homage."

UnderGroundOnline has an overview of the heroes and villains of Freedom Force and Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich and a review coming soon. I'll keep you posted.

There's a Q&A with Ken on BioWare's site which talks about the game and Irrational's new partnership with the company.

In other news, it's completely dead in the office. Half the company is at GDC this week showing off SWAT 4 and the other half are too busy to do anything but work. I was in the office today and since there was no one to talk to I found myself reading a booklet called "Combat Knife Throwing". I love what we have lying around the office! So since everyone's away there's not a whole lot to report but I did dig up the following SWAT 4 tidbits:

Irrational programmer Jon Abercrombie talks with GameSpot about the AI in SWAT 4 in this video interview. The page also links to video previews and a ton of gameplay footage. Also on GameSpot, Jason Ocampo previews the game.

There's also a Q&A with Irrational designer Bill Gardner on Cathode Tan where he talks about what to expect for SWAT 4.

--- Meredith Levine