Freedom Finger doesn’t give a flying fuck, and that’s why I think I’m going to like it.
Set to launch later this year on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac, it’s a side-scrolling shooter with a ship that’s basically a hand extending a middle finger. I think that says enough about the game’s tone.
The humour that runs between missions throughout Freedom Finger is of the ludicrous and offensive variety. Playing as rookie space pilot Gamma Ray, you follow the instructions of your commanding officer and the situation goes from bad to worse as a result. The commander is a bit unhinged, you see, and also just a tad xenophobic, which means that the words “negotiation” and “diplomacy” don’t register when dealing with Chinese terrorists or Russian…. well, just Russians.
It’s a satirical affair, with a big dumb American in a position of power making the most stupid of decisions, and it’s beautifully brought to life via a fantastic script and the excellent vocal talents of the likes of Nolan North and Sam Riegel. Basically, if you love shows such as South Park, you’ll be guffawing at the screen.
But what really impresses is how the humour is carried over into Freedom Finger‘s gameplay. In addition to the fact you’re flying an extended middle finger, which is bound to make you chuckle every once in a while, there are other little touches here and there that are sure to raise a smile. Your ship can turn into a fist to punch enemies, for one, though it’s your ability to grab enemies that leads to the most surprise.
Small enemies can be grabbed easily, and once they’re in your grasp you can often make use of their unique attacks. It’s essentially the game’s way of letting you upgrade your firepower. Then, once you’ve exploited an enemy enough, you can throw them across the screen to hopefully take another enemy out. Some bigger enemies, however, may put up a fight. There are robots equipped with cannons, for example, and grabbing those will see your flying hand wrestle for control. That’s humorous in itself, but grab both of a robot’s canons and it will weep. Poor robot.
The entire game is brought to life thanks to fantastic hand-drawn artwork – it’s like playing a high-quality cartoon – and a rocking soundtrack which includes tracks by Red Fang, Drab Majesty and Com Truise really gears you up for shooting bad buys. Loud, crude, and full of action, Freedom Finger will definitely appeal to those who like to get a bit wild.
The preview build I’ve been privy to allowed me to play through the first three stages of the game, which I gleefully ate up. In fact, I was highly disappointed when it ended. Access to a late-game mission is also provided, and I can confirm that while the first few didn’t give me much trouble, it does indeed get insanely hard. What’s great to see is that Freedom Finger won’t give you the finger if you can’t meet its challenge, though. There’s a wealth of difficulty settings to ensure that everyone can enjoy the game from beginning to end, all 36 stages of it.
Developed by Wide Right Interactive, one part of which is Emmy nominated director and producer Jim Dirschberger, the co-creator of Nickelodeon’s Sanjay & Craig, Freedom Finger is the type of game I wish there were more of. It’s genuinely funny, which is a rarity in the world of video games, and it’s also accessible, brash, and just enormously enjoyable to play. It marries gorgeous art with a soundtrack that makes you want to tap your foot and nod your head. I honestly can’t wait to play more of it. If you like rock music and having a good laugh, I strongly suggest you keep Freedom Finger on your radar.