Freedom Fighters is a game of tactical combat, or what some like to refer as a thinking shooter. Unlike most shooter games, which send a player through an essentially linear course, killing everything in sight, or others that require the player to find special keys or cards to get through a locked door, Freedom Fighters lets the player concentrate on tactics as well as strategy. For nearly every mission, there is more than one way of completing the objectives.
The player can give orders to recruited team members with a simple button press. Commanding team members is very important; it allows the player to create diversions, set ambushes, and even maneuver the team to catch the enemy in a crossfire. Furthermore, the structure of the missions, with the division of missions into subzones, allows players to choose the order in which they complete the objectives.
The premise of Freedom Fighters is an alternate history where the Soviet Union developed the atomic bomb first and won World War II. With a weaker America, the Soviets expanded into Western Europe and then the Western Hemisphere. Their next step is the United States, and they are beginning with an invasion of New York City. As Chris Stone, a plumber caught up in the attack, the player must help build up a resistance organization and drive the Soviets from the city. To accomplish this, the player must use guerilla warfare tactics and hit the antagonists where they least expect it.