Freedom Planet 2 Review – The Fast And The Furriest

Freedom Planet 2 PS5 Review

Sonic fans are generally split into two camps. The 3D fans are forever looking for the next Sonic Adventure game. Meanwhile, the 2D fans are just building new games in realms that Sega has long abandoned. Freedom Planet 2 is one such title. Like the previous entry, this is a loving homage to the Genesis/Master System/Sega CD era. If you loved the first game but found yourself wanting even more, then you’re in luck!

The plot picks up a few years after the events of the first game. A brand new villain is wreaking havoc, and it’s up to our heroes to stop them. To be honest, I wasn’t quite plugged into the plot. I’m really only here for the actual gameplay, which is still mostly excellent. The major narrative beats feel like justifications for the beautiful environments and the excellent characters. Which is perfectly fine. Freedom Planet 2 looks and sounds amazing. Although I’m still not in love with the voice work.

Sped Past The Story

Don’t get me wrong, the voice actors are doing great work. The lines are expressive and vibrant. It’s just that half the protagonists have these squeaky, high-pitched voices that hurt me physically. It’s bad enough that I’ve skipped a few cutscenes, which is never a good sign. Some of the writing is also a bit on the cringey side, but this feels appropriate. Like the Sega games being honored, Freedom Planet 2 isn’t afraid to get a little ridiculous with its dialogue.

Freedom Planet 2 Review

I can’t overstate how much Freedom Planet 2 nails that Sega Genesis aesthetic. This game looks and sounds incredible. The pixel art is colorful, crisp, and extremely detailed. Every level features these lush, breathtaking environments that capture your attention. Enemies and allies both come alive with fluid animation and gorgeous designs. Items and skills also look terrific. Even the towns and hubs are bursting with details. You can tell that the team poured their whole being into every inch of this game.

Incredible 32-bit Aesthetic

The sound and music are also pretty exceptional. Every track has this powerful, ethereal vibe that soaks into your brain through your ears. This is pure 32-bit nostalgia, laser-targeted and razor-sharp. As much as I loved the soundtrack to the first game, this is a massive improvement. My only complaint is that neither soundtrack is on Spotify. You’ll have to go to Bandcamp or YouTube for these songs. Even beyond the songs, the sound effects are fantastic. Little things like gem collection and level objects all sound perfectly 32-bit. Though the voice work rubbed me raw, I couldn’t turn this game down.

Freedom Planet 2 Review

Excellent aesthetic aside, those Sonic comparisons have to come from somewhere. It turns out this game can move crazy fast. Ramps, loop-de-loops, and boosters are scattered throughout almost every stage. That Sonic DNA is strongest in the level design, at least when it comes to movement. Combat is a different animal altogether. Instead of simple jumps or homing dashes, you’re given actual combat skills. Things like shields, ranged strikes, and dash attacks. Of course, this also means that battles are a lot harder.

I love the speedy traversal in this game. Getting around is an absolute joy, one that lets you really take in the incredible graphics. On the other hand, combat slams the brakes in more ways than one. Your hair-trigger speed does you no favors in battle, and your attacks are all a little on the floaty side. This is mostly fine, until you get to a boss battle. I found boss fights in Freedom Planet 2 pretty exhausting affairs for the most part. They look amazing, and they’re quite frustrating. Not impossibly so, but bad enough that I was regularly tweaking the difficulty settings.

Nostalgia is a tricky business. Pixel art and chiptunes are all fine and good, but you need more than that to capture an era. You’ve gotta drill down, deep into the bedrock of bygone eras. Freedom Planet 2 is a perfect time capsule of Sega’s glory days, for better or for worse. The graphics are amazing and the soundtrack is incredible. But the dialogue is corny and the combat feels out of place. Maybe this is for the best. Perhaps you can’t properly emulate a lost era of gaming without preserving the flaws as well. Either way, this game feels like time travel. If you’re hungry for a high-speed platformer crammed with Sonic and Sega vibes, you can’t pass up Freedom Planet 2.

***A PS5 key was provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Incredible graphics
  • Excellent soundtrack
  • Traversal is always fun

The Bad

  • Some cringey dialogue
  • Boss fights are a pain
  • Combat feels a bit floaty