Freeride is an action-RPG that is also a personality test: Unleashed on a strange world filled with spirits, you’ll use physics-based telekinesis to help people, solve puzzles, or do whatever you want, with no judgment at all. Consequences, though, that’s a different matter.
The idea of Freeride is that it’s basically a Paragon/Renegade simulator that never stops. You can do whatever you like in the game, helping, hindering, or just hassling anyone and everyone you meet as you follow a branching narrative through a strange fantasy realm. Unlike most RPGs, there is no good or evil, but a tally is kept. Characters in the game will treat you differently depending on the “conscious and unconscious” choices you make, and some parts of the game will only be seen by players with certain personality types—or, at least, those who do certain actions within the game.
I’ve never had a lot of faith in interactive personality quizzes, because the complete lack of consequences takes the observer effect to the ultimate point: I would never sock a stranger in the chops just to see what happens in the real world, but in a videogame, well, I might, especially if I can reload and try a handshake with nobody any the wiser. Even so, I think Freeride looks clever. There looks to be a real variety of interactive options, from the mundane to the fantastical, and enough potential outcomes to make it worth horsing around with.
If you’d like to get a taste of what Freeride is all about right now, a playtest is currently underway on Steam: Just head over to the page and click the “request access” button, and you’ll be in straight away. The playtest build notes that it’s a “core mechanics test,” and that the story it features is not that of the main game. It’s very brief, focusing on the game’s physical interactivity rather than narrative, but there may be a surprise or two in there, too. And despite the brevity of the demo, it really sells me on the idea of the game as fun, silly, and smarter than it might appear at first glance.
Freeride doesn’t have a release date yet, but the demo says it will be out sometime this winter.
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