Battle Cry of Freedom

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Battle Cry of Freedom review
Howie Howard


What's so civil about war anyway

North v South

Battle Cry Of Freedom is the new American Civil War multiplayer game from developers Flying Squirrel Entertainment. The game depicts a brutal war that took place from April 1861 to May of 1865. Many spectacular and bloody battles took place between the United States Union Army and their brothers to the south, the Confederates. The main reason why the war was fought was because of the enslavement of African peoples that were brought to the country as slave laborers against their will. The north under President Abraham Lincoln wanted to have the abolition of slavery throughout the entire country. As soon as Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued southern states left the union and the war began.

It's All About History

The above is a bit of basic history about a horrible event that took place some 160 years ago. History of the American Civil War should be noted because history is often forgotten these days. Although the game has an historical feel, Flying Squirrel haven't based the game on historic events. That's fine, as computer games are not always intended to be a lesson in history, but are supposed to be fun for gamers. Flying Squirrel has accomplished their task and with flying colours in this offering. However, if you wan to re-enact some Civil War battles, note that there is no single player campaign against an AI opponent. There is an AI that is present in Commander mode whereby you can lead a squad of soldiers around instead of just being a lone soldier trying to avoid being killed by the enemy.

Soldier uniforms, weapons and the equipment available in the game is very detailed and are in great abundance. Players can chose to be in the Union Army or on the Confederate side before picking the mode where you play as a single soldier among up to 500 other soldiers on a nondescript field of battle. As mentioned, the other mode of play is as commander of a squad of soldiers that follow your commands. After you do that, then you pick a game server and wait for a battle to start. During my first attempt at picking a server, I found myself as the only soldier on the field, apparently waiting for others to join the battle. After waiting several minutes I gave up and tried several other times to get in to an actual battle, all to no avail. The servers were either full or empty and basically all I could do was to run or walk around. Once you get in to a battle, then you need to wait for a round to end before you spawn. Admittedly, this was prior to release, and at a time when there were limited players.

Waiting Can Often Times Pay Off

Once the game was officially released, getting on a server again provided me with better luck. I would like to add that having the option to play against an AI opponent during my wait time, even if it was just a simple tutorial would have been helpful in order to learn how to be a soldier in the game. Being thrown in to the heat of battle while knowing absolutely nothing about how to play was disappointing. Plus, this could have the undesirable effect of discouraging new players from trying the online genre thus causing them to quit. Since game play in Battle Cry Of Freedom consists of and relies totally on human players being able to perform in the game; at first not being able to even shoot and reload a gun wasn't helpful for good team cohesion or even for just being able to stay alive.

While in the game there is some nice period music. If you're not into that, you can change or turn it off. The in-game scenery looks good, but there were some notable glitches. On my first battle I spawned in a bush and couldn't get out. Luckily another player noticed and literally pushed me to freedom. The range of soldier type is very impressive, and players can perform different jobs such as medic, engineer, sniper and even musicians with drums, fiddles, fifes or trumpets that are able to play historically accurate tunes. As such, your avatar has specialized abilities - the medic can administer first aid to wounded comrades, the engineer has the ability to build defences such as barriers and trenches, whilst being a sniper comes with a specialized rifle and other equipment intended for the specialty.

Is History Really All That Worthwhile?

You bet it is. There's a lot involved in making Battle Cry of Freedom a worthy and fun multiplayer experience. The game reminded me of Civil War reenactors dressed up in period garb lined up to reenact historic battles. I have always been a Civil War buff and the period costumes look accurate and participants can be lined up in typical line formations while firing at the enemy. However, being that this is an online multiplayer affair only, it falls to the human players to make battles be what they are. Some of the players prefer to play the hero role while running off trying to win battles single-handedly and probably running up their kill tally. Seeing a lone unit commander that has had his entire squad killed off running around trying to survive serves to throw realism out the window. A single player campaign would have been nice, even if it was a small tutorial-like campaign that walks players through the basics before they head out against other players online.

Battle Cry Of Freedom looks great, it has a great soundtrack, and it plays just fine. As a big history buff with the old west and the Civil War being favourites, I was excited for this game. But since I'm also not real big into multiplayer games maybe I sound a little put off. But the game does give players a historical experience and does so very well. Flying Squirrel have satisfied all of their goals and they have come up with a solid game that will be enjoyed by many.

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fun score


Soldier uniforms and equipment look fantastic! All the weapons in the game look and perform realistically. Love the weapon reloading sequences.


Online PvP AI