Playing Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare right now and it is quite interesting for an EA game.
Basically an elaborate clone of Mount and Blade with guns set in the modern era during the breakdown of a fictional Slavic culture.
You can still recruit immortal companions and various troop type each of which are individually equip-able (a big difference from M&B) and then choose your own path (sorta) in a sandbox world.
Equipping your own squads of mini-skirt and skull tshirt clad female peasant snipers is a reward all it’s own, even if it is tactically sub-optimal attire.
In reality the options for what to do are pretty limited at this stage in development, there are quests you can do for towns and cities which garner XP and Zolties (money), or you can be a roaming trader on the map, or go hunting bandits, or take over a city and found your own nation etc… but the economy is very primitive, a city will ALWAYS have a static increased demand for a certain type of good which never changes and they will buy as much of it as you can bring without the demand ever wavering.
The quests are often either ridiculously easy fetch quests (bring me 3 things this city literally has in the store) or weirdly specific and short term quests you have little or no chance of completing (train 6 types of this specific Elite troop type up 6 or 8 levels in 3 days etc).
It is vastly easier to exploit the fact that there will be highly underpowered mobs all over which your nascent army can pick off essentially at will, which will yield hugely greater loot rewards than completing a 5 quests or completing massive trade circuit.
Once you have done that for a bit you will rapidly discover that looking for mobs toting prisoners is even more stupid;y lucrative and almost exclusively hut those. It isn’t uncommon for 15 random prisoners to yield well over 100k Zolties. This becomes your main source of income while you buy/equip an Army to take over your first city where you will discover that…
The Combat AI for defense of camps/cities/etc is utterly brain dead. This makes taking cities laughably easy even at a 2 or 3-1 numerical disadvantage. This a huge departure from the M&B parent formula where taking a castle was often crazy difficult due to the bottleneck of getting up on the walls.
In Freeman, the AI will basically huddle around a spawn point while you the PC goes a bit forward of your own lines with a scope rifle, machine gun, or assault rifle and hammers them. As soon as they shoot back your own troops in LOS will engage and rip them to shreds.
There is no real cover system, though it seems like they will have one at some point, but right now enemies mostly just go prone when you shoot at them.
Once you take the city over there are a surprising amount of buildings etc to customize your towns, produce your own gear, new troops type and the like. This is really a massive improvement on the M&B city management model. As yet, the “villages” surrounding the town aren’t governable and do not really “belong” to the cities near them. There are also not ways to change or tweak your own “civilization” type or governance models so far.
The non-defense combat AI is somewhat better and those combats are quite fun if a bit repetitive after 30+ hours or so.
There are a fair few non-supported mods already on the street and official modding support is expected as the next update.
Really enjoyed my time so far with the game and am looking forward to playing more as new updates add features and refine the existing systems.
If anyone does/has done a challenge game using just pistols I would be very interested in their experience.