Freedom Planet, one of my favorite games of recent years, is coming soon to the PlayStation 4!
For the unaware, Freedom Planet is a speed and combat focused platformer that harkens back to the heyday of Sega. The game has often been labeled as a lost Sega Saturn game, a comparison that rings fairly true in my opinion. Freedom Planet was developed by GalaxyTrail, a small independent developer that was founded specifically for the game’s development.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Freedom Planet initially began life as a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game being developed by Stephen DiDuro. While the final product is a game that is still heavily inspired by the blue blur, it had incorporated so many unique mechanics and gameplay elements that GalaxyTrail decided to cut all ties to the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and sell Freedom Planet as an original game.
Sonic the Hedgehog’s 2d roots shine brightly in Freedom Planet’s speed centric gameplay. The game’s three playable characters, Sash Lilac, Carol Tea and Milla, all carry the Sonicseries’ trademark speed and agility. Freedom Planet doesn’t implement pinball physics as routinely as the classic Sonic games, but there are still plenty of slopes, hills and shuttle loops for the girls to rocket off of.
Freedom Planet’s roster of playable characters all follow the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 design philosophy. This means that every character plays fundamentally the same, but each of them has their own unique abilities. Lilac can whip enemies with her hair and perform the Dragon Boost (think the Spin Dash or the Boost from Modern Sonic games), Carol can scale walls and whip out her motorcycle, and Milla has a flutter jump and the ability to form green energy shields.
High Speed Platforming Action
Stages in Freedom Planet are big and expansive, not unlike the ones found in Sonic CD(though I think Freedom Planet’s level design is way better than that game’s). The game manages to have levels that feel huge, but never lose their focus. There are tons of alternate paths to explore, which frequently lead to health pickups, shield power-ups, invincibility, etc.
Freedom Planet differentiates itself from Sonic in its focus on combat. While each of the girls is capable of tearing through stages at breakneck speeds, they are also equally capable of dishing out tons of damage while doing so. In fact, some of their unique abilities can be used for speed and combat. For example, Lilac has a downward kick that not only does decent damage, but is a really useful means of picking up momentum during speedruns.
One of the best parts of the game are the boss encounters. Bosses in Freedom Planet are extremely challenging, but never feel cheap or unfair. Players are rewarded for being able to identify boss patterns, and having the skill and reaction time to exploit them (in case it wasn’t obvious, I’m a huge sucker for this kind of game design).
Freedom Planet 2
While Freedom Planet is already available on PC and the Nintendo Wii U, it coming to the PlayStation 4 is still a huge deal, as this is a game that deserves to be on as many platforms as possible. And with a promising looking sequel on the horizon, this is the perfect opportunity to pick up the first game.
Freedom Planet is a great game for not only people who grew up with Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog, but for fans of platformers and high speed action games as well. I will definitely be buying the game again, and I look forward to experiencing the game on my PlayStation 4 (hopefully with trophies!)