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Freedom Wars: 8-player dystopian monster-bashing detailed

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The day of the Xbox One's worldwide debut may not have been the best time for Sony Computer Entertainment to fully spill the beans on their new multiplayer PS Vita action game. But Famitsu obliged in this week's issue nonetheless, devoting a full 12 pages to coverage of SCE Japan/Asia's Freedom Wars, a title Sony teased last week with a neat online trailer.

Freedom Wars is set in a dystopian near-future where mankind lives in walled-off city-states called Panopticon. In this world, most people have million-year "sentences" placed upon them from birth as a government-mandated method of population control; to reduce this sentence, they must serve "penance" by engaging in battle and retrieving helpless citizens from huge, hideous monsters known as Abductors.

The preview showed off a hero character and his sidekick, a government-issue android called an Accessory that's meant to watch over him and help him out in battle. Your hero can be male or female, and Accessories can be customized even more fully, right down to costumes and voice sets - a bit like the Pawns in Dragon's Dogma.

The battles, judging by the Famitsu screenshots, don't stray far from the Monster Hunter formula taken up by so many PSP and Vita titles. Up to eight players can fight in co-op at once, and unlike MH, the focus here isn't necessarily on killing monsters, but saving the civilians they've captured without getting yourself caught in the process. There's also some augmented-reality stuff going on here, with players across the (real) world fighting for their local Panopticon and securing resources and so on with battle victories, but Sony isn't going into detail on that aspect yet.

Freedom Wars has a tentative 2014 release in Japan.