Freedom Force vs. CSI

Freedom Force vs. The 3rd ReichFreedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich (PC)

After dinner and an episode of CSI ((I have a love/hate relationship with CSI. On one hand, criminal forensics is fascinating. On the other hand, the show takes ridiculous license with what can and cannot be accomplished with some evidence, particularly photographs. For instance, gleaning the color of a person’s eyes by interpolating the colors from a single frame of black and white security camera video. Huh? Or maybe enhancing a blurry photograph to determine not only who the subject of the photo is, but also that there is a porthole behind the photographer. That’s right, a blurry 3/4 body shot is sharpened to such a degree that the forensic detective is able to zoom in on the subject’s eye and pick out the detail of a porthole in the reflection!

And then there’s the silly stuff like last night’s crossover with the crew from CSI: Miami. During a scene in which a diver is going in to find a submerged car, David Caruso is standing by with a rifle to fend off alligators. Jump ahead 10 minutes and the same diver is now going after a gun. No David Caruso. No rifle. Apparently no fear of alligators.

Watching CSI makes me feel like I’m turning into my dad. Why? Because there’s apparently a limit to how far my disbelief can be suspended. Several years ago, watching Speed with my dad, I rolled my eyes after he said, “There’s no way that bus is still going fifty miles per hour after hitting those barrels!”

Dad, I know how you felt.)) last night, I installed Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich. The installation went smoothly, so I launched the game… and two hours disappeared. This is exactly what would happen when I played the original Freedom Force. After taking a brief break, I returned to the game again and another 45 minutes slipped away and it appeared that I was well on my way to losing another two hours.

And then the game crashed.

Well, it more than crashed. The video changed from a group of stalwart superheroes battling belligerent bad guys to a blank blue screen. The audio stuttered on the last two seconds of music and dialog. No amount of Alt-Tabbing or Control-Alt-Deleting made any difference whatsoever. My computer was completely locked up.

So I reset my computer and tried again. Same mission, identical crash. There may be a pattern here, I thought. The keen observational powers of my well-honed analytical mind are not to be underestimated.

So I did the unthinkable: I read the ReadMe file for the game. In the section labeled “Known Issues” I learned that there are some problems with ATI video cards running outdated drivers. As it so happens, I recently installed a new ATI video card in my computer and neglected to update the driver afterward. That’s right, I’m using the driver that came on the installation CD! My computer geek license ought to be revoked.

Before going to bed, I started downloading the latest driver from ATI’s website. When I got up this morning, I verified that the download completed successfully (as far as Firefox can tell, anyway). Tonight at some point, I’ll install the driver and try the mission again.

It is imperative that Minute Man, The Green Genie, Bullet and El Diablo locate Nuclear Winter’s new partner, the witch called Red Oktober. We must learn more about their fiendish plot! The fate of the world may hang in the balance!