Freekscape: Escape from Hell – The PS3 Attitude Review
We feel that demons get a lot of bad press sometimes, and if Freekscape: Escape from Hell’s protagonist – Freek – is anything to go by, it’s all unjustified as the little red dude has a heart of gold – or at the very least, stainless steel.
But does this side scrolling platformer make us want to get our Freek on? Sorry – someone had to say it.
The story is plain and simple – Although he is a demon, Freek doesn’t have the stomach for Hell. He longs to ascend into Heaven and chill out with all the good guys.
Rummaging about in one of his Overlord’s rooms he uncovers a trident that brings with it some nifty powers. Buoyed by his discovery, he sets off to escape Hell – which turns out to involve lots of running, jumping and trident stabbing!
The game doesn’t set the best first impression. The delay from ‘Press X to start’ to anything actually happening is so long that this reviewer thought the game had crashed. Get passed this though and things are fine.
Players start off on a world map akin to Super Mario 3. From here you can select which level you want to enter, as well as backtrack to previous levels.
Hop into a level and the first thing you will notice is the bold, bright graphics. Whilst they won’t astound you, they are perfectly serviceable and do their job well. We can’t help but wonder though if the game would have benefited from the use of cel-shaded graphics over polygons.
Despite being a 2D platform game, the characters and environments are rendered in 3D which allows the player to walk into and away from the screen. Creat Studios puts this to good use with some interesting level design – although sometimes the resulting shift in camera angle can be a bit sudden.
The games biggest hook is the ability to use enemies as tools. Spearing an enemy with the trident allows you to pick it up and use it to your advantage. An early example would be when you are faced with a stone wall blocking your path – spearing an angry warthog type creature allows you to use it as a battering ram to smash straight through the wall.
Be warned though – once you release the creature it is going to be pretty mad and it will come after you harder and faster than it would have pre trident stabbing!
We had fun with this game mechanic and the game wouldn’t have been half as much fun without it.
The actual platforming sections of the game are a bit hit and miss. Freek lacks weight when he’s jumping, which can make negotiating from platform to platform a bit of a chore. It’s not game breakingly bad by any means, but will lead to a fair few deaths along the way.
Dying however, is no big deal. There is no penalty for losing a life and you will simply respawn at the last checkpoint – of which there are many.
Longevity isn’t really an issue either. There are about 40 levels, and you can revisit any level you have completed to do a speed run through it, or pick up any collectables you have missed.
Overall Freekscape: Escape from Hell will neither amaze nor astound you, but it will entertain – and for £3.99 you can’t say fairer than that.