Flames of Freedom is the 1991 sequel to Midwinter – a sprawling, open-ended action/strategy game created by Maelstrom Games.
Like its predecessor, Flames of Freedom is a mixture of 2D graphical menus and icons, and 3D, window-on-the-landscape, first-person action. The aim of the game (again like the first Midwinter) is to travel around a set of islands, recruiting agents to fight for you, and assasinating enemies. Being a multi-skilled agent you can drive, fly and take control of a large variety of vehicles and must use these to avoid being killed or captured by the opposing forces.
The first Midwinter had a small number of vehicles to use, Flames of Freedom has many more. There are ground vehicles (tanks, jeeps, buses, trains and more), flight vehicles (helicopter, biplane, jet packs!), amphibious vehicles (flying boat, hovercraft, crawler, and flying sub!), and underwater vehicles (including a cool mini sub and a thing called a crawler that can move on land and underwater). In fact, Flames of Freedom may have been the first game to give you the freedom to explore land, sea and air – as well as undersea. The range of vehicles is really quite impressive.
Getting into Flames of Freedom requires some patience though. Not only do you have to set up a campaign save disk before playing properly (you can go on training missions without), but when you do begin a game proper you’ve got to plan and focus to get anywhere. Flames of Freedom will appeal to those who like a strategic challenge though. It is an intricate, clever and high quality game and is rightly regarded as a classic.