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Freedom Squadron is Go!

I know, I know… it has been a while, but I have a good one for you all! You’ve probably seen it while scrolling by as one of those irritating mobile ads that come between your friend’s selfies and funny links from George Takei. I happened upon HAWK: FREEDOM SQUADRON completely by accident and am completely not upset about it. While most of these ad games are nothing more than moronically simple idle point-and-click programs that excels in micro-transactions for bits of resources. HAWK: FREEDOM SQUADRON is a breath of fresh air.

Rooted heavily in the nostalgia of rail shooters, HAWK brings you back to the 2D cockpit that sucked away so many quarters in the arcades of our youth. While, a bit more advanced than the WWII shooter 1942 for the NES and the RAIDEN series on the PS1, it still gives you that classic era feel. Set in the steam punk world of Valeria the evil Autocrat is attacking; you and a small band of misfit pilots set out to repel the forces of evil. With 20 different unique planes to choose from and 24 different “brobots” to help you; this game gives you multiple incentives to keep playing.

Yes; it does have some of the standard mobile game cliché’s such as: multiple types of resources (fuel, gold, and gems), limited play time (you can only run missions so long as you have the fuel), and one or two micro-transactions (if you’re feeling squirrelly). However, what the game does right greatly overshadows its shortcomings. From a light story arch that is delightfully engaging to being able to play multiplayer with players from around the world.

The control scheme is also extremely simple to operate. Put your finger on the plane and drag it around the screen to pilot it. No need to jab senselessly against the glass to fire, your plane automatically fires for you. Need to activate a special? Just tap one of the buttons with your thumb and send your enemies hurtling to the ground. It is just that simple. I prefer this to the other games with awkwardly gawky controls that try (and fail) to mimic an actual controller. If I want an emulator, I’ll go and download one of the Sega-spawns that’ve been uploaded.

For all the good the game has to offer there is the large elephant in the room; Internet Connectivity. Apparently, HAWK, must be connected to the internet at all times! It is imperative. As though, if you’re not the resistance to the Autocrat’s winged army will flounder and die. I understand that one of the reasons for this is the Arcade mode which compares your final score to that of everybody else playing, as well as, being able to request help on missions. Being able to play with others is pretty awesome, however, being unable to play without internet connection… not awesome. Especially when you’re so close to being the final boss only to have your connectivity poop itself causing a large “Reconnect?” screen pop-up right in the middle of whatever you’re doing. I can’t tell you how many times this screen of doom has caused my death.

All in all, internet connectivity aside, this is a really good game. I have found myself pretty addicted to it lately (possibly one of the reasons I’ve neglected updating for a while). So I give this one a hearty four thumbs up! If you see me [DocShippy] online feel free to say hi.

Images: IGN and Hawk Freedom Squadron

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