In 2003, between assassination plots, Hitman developer IO Interactive released Freedom Fighters, a squad-based shooter set in an alternate reality where the Soviet Union ended World War 2 by nuking Berlin and then proceeded to turn the world red. Though it was as well-received as Hitman, it never spawned a series and so far hasn’t received a digital re-release. That might be changing.
The rating is just for PC, and it’s not clear if this is just a straightforward digital re-release, an HD update or something else. It’s definitely not a remake or a sequel, as it includes the description of the original 2003 game.
In our magazine review, we gave it 79 and said it was fun but not especially deep, and while most reviews were very positive, IO Interactive never returned to the series. A sequel was on the cards at one point, but the studio instead followed it up with Kane & Lynch.
Freedom Fighters was originally published by Electronic Arts, but IO Interactive held onto the rights even after the studio was acquired by Eidos Interactive, which was in turn acquired by Square Enix. In 2017, IO Interactive became independent and took Freedom Fighters with it. After 17 years, though, I didn’t expect to see it again.
IO Interactive is working on Hitman 3 at the moment, but last year it also opened up a second studio that it said would help it “expand our muscles for creating brand-new and exciting endeavours, new universes, new franchises,” so Agent 47’s murderous adventures aren’t its only focus. Freedom Fighters isn’t a new franchise, but after such a long time, there’s certainly a lot of new things IO Interactive could do with it.
While the rating is for the original game, it could also be IO Interactive testing the waters for a remake or a sequel. It wouldn’t be the first time a digital re-release heralded something a bit meatier.