‘Murica. Land of the free, home of the brave, and originator of the one and only Freedom Finger. Developed by Wide Right Games, Freedom Finger is a side-scrolling shooter that is filled to the brim with uniqueness. At its core, you control the pilot of a weaponized aircraft, with the game automatically scrolling to the right. Your mission: save a group of American hostages that are located on the moon.
The art style is reminiscent of Beavis and Butt-Head, but in reality, it has its own style and intricacies. The over-the-top story takes more turns than someone lost without a map or GPS. And rather than just allow you to shoot from the eponymously named aircraft, grabbing, throwing, and punching are all additional options. Grabbing is the most interesting mechanic, because you are able to temporarily absorb enemies and use their abilities against the rest of the incoming horde.
Another major positive feature is the music. Each level has a designated song that synchronizes with the action on-screen. Featuring music from Aesop Rock, Red Fang, Power Trip, Com Truise, and several others, the soundtrack is excellent and plentiful. The voice acting is another positive audio aspect. Nolan North highlights the cast, voicing the no-nonsense, and ironically senseless, Major Cigar. Kind of a cross between Lincoln Osiris in Tropic Thunder and Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, North fully commits to the profane tirades and crassness that the character immediately becomes known for. Note: those who want to cut down on the adult nature of the game can enable censors.
On the flip side, there is too much story and dialogue in the campaign. Somewhere between 25 and 50 percent of it could have been cut out, and the story would still make sense. It also would have helped with pacing. The only other major damper on gameplay was the speed of the titular vessel that you control. Given the relatively small size of the aircraft, being able to zip more freely around the screen would have been nice.
In the end, Freedom Finger is a unique, and solid shoot ‘em up. Those looking for replayability can go down different branching paths in the campaign and aim for high scores in arcade mode. They can even play new missions included in the day one update. Add in the wonderful visuals and a splendid soundtrack, this is a no brainer for fans of the genre.
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