If you haven't heard of Freedom Wars before today, it's rather understandable, given that the game has only been formally announced for Japan with a vague launch window of "2014". However, there are some reasons as to why you should know of Freedom Wars, and the sooner that's done, the better. Firstly, it's a Vita game, which is obviously the reason -I'm- excited about it and bringing it up as a topic for discussion. Secondly, it's a very nice-looking Vita game, which is probably where you start to care a little. You're probably thinking, however, "Well, It's announced only in Japan and it's a Vita game, so I guess it's not coming out over here", to which I say you didn't let me finish. The third thing about Freedom Wars is that it's being developed by Sony Japan Studio, which means it's first-party through and through. Which means it has a very, very high chance of being localized. As in, it has almost no chance of not coming out over here. Interested yet? Thought so. (The only correct answer was yes.)
Freedom Wars was originally teased as "Panopticon" thanks to the large structures of the same name that allow humans to exist in a desolate world. The inhabitants of them, at least some of them, are branded 'Criminals' from birth and given a million-year sentence that they're expected to work towards shaving off so that they can have..you know, life as a free person. I'm not quite sure how it actually works yet, but it's an interesting concept and is exactly what the game revolves around. Your 'work' is going up against rather large monsters for different purposes, and that's what the game is set around. Of course, I'm not sure -why- beyond, shut up it's a video game, but I'm sure an in-universe explanation will come up at some point. Like....you know, when the game is released and explains it. Or something along those lines. That's not really important, nor is it the point, though.
In what I'm attributing as a nod to Phantasy Star Online because it fills me with glee, you'll be getting a mechanical assistant, but thankfully it's a little bit more useful than a floating robot that hangs around your shoulder and/or back. You robot companion, an android rather, is called an "Accessory" (for some reason) and is with your character not only to provide support in these missions that you have to do, but also to monitor you and ensure you don't do anything that would -add- hours to your sentence, rather than subtract them. From what I can tell in the trailer, they're essentially the same as your Criminal, but likely they don't have the same sentence, nor do they have aspirations of being free I assume. They're androids, after all, but perhaps that is a striving goal, I don't know. It's certainly not the most original approach, but it's used because it has the potential to be interesting.
Siliconera recently explained "Volunteer" missions which certainly sound pretty neat, though I hope they're only a single of many types of missions you'll be able to undertake in the game proper. Volunteer missions are essentially divided into three sections: Sortie, Engagement and Recapture. More appropriately, it's a Seek-and-Rescue deal, where you look for captured citizens and bring them back to the transport zone while dodging and/or temporarily disabling Abductors. The post mentions that Abductors regenerate themselves, so it would seem that you cannot actually 'destroy' them, or at least not in Volunteer missions which is...odd, to say the least. I'd assume you -can- destroy them at some point, which I hope is involved in another type of mission, as stated, but this sort of mission is different from what you might expect given the way Freedom Wars looks, and it's refreshing enough at least. Besides, Seek-And-Rescue seems like an odd fit for this game if that's all it is, thus I'm believing that it's not quite.
Something that definitely stands out with Freedom Wars is the "Thorn Whip" that Criminals and their Accessories have access to. They appear as a sort of black and red energy thing that wraps around the character's left arm and work like a grappling hook from Just Cause 2 or, more appropriately, Lost Planet. It's something that allows you to not only climb up buildings for recon purposes, but it allows you to attach and pull yourself to the Abductors to break off parts of them while you're engaged in combat with them. Which is something else that leads me to believe that there are other mission types, specifically along the lines of a traditional "there is a giant thing, murder the shit out of it" mission structure that you expect from a hunting game. Or...well, most games, these days. Not that that's bad, and indeed with Freedom Wars merging this Thorn Whip and neat looking guns and melee weapons, the battle system seems like it'll be something rather neat to witness and experience. Certainly has caught my attention.
The game is still a ways off, of course, in that it won't be out in Japan until next year, and likely not the first part of it, but it's still a game and it still looks rather enjoyable. For those that continue to say that Sony's Vita support is lacking (despite the wonderful work at bringing indies to the device) this isn't the ultimate comeback, but it's part of it assuredly. When you begin to consider that there are more than likely sequels to Gravity Rush and Uncharted: Golden Abyss in the works, not to mention a God of War iteration of some fashion at the least, the picture becomes that much better. And really, that's just some of the things that we know about. There are assuredly other things in the works (Soul Sacrifice 2, please, not like I have to really -ask- for that) so this just comes across as an affirmation of that. Remember that the deluge of Nintendo first-party support for the 3DS didn't start until this year, really, and also make a note that not a whole lot of it has been new, where the Vita has seen at least three other brand-new retail IPs born on the device in first and second-party hands. So take heed and take heart, because the Vita's nowhere near as bad-off as the internet likes to say it is.
basically this game looks awesome and other games on the Vita look awesome because the Vita has awesome games