Liberator is an arcade game from 1982 which features the character Martin Champion. Champion appeared in the Atari Force comics, a limited series that was produced by DC Comics for Atari and distributed with some Atari 2600 games. There was also a full size Atari Force comic series.
The game is a classic shoot'em up. You have four ships which are placed at each corner. The ships cannot be controlled directly which means that missiles cannot be avoided. The only way to protect the ships is to shoot any flying objects that threaten the ships. A cursor can be moved around the screen to aim and fire. The more ships remain, the greater the firepower is. However, a single ship can be easier protected than four. At the end of each stage bonus points are given for every ship that survived.
There are two scenarios in the game. The first one shows a star flight where some flying saucers appear. This scenarios is not very hard because they do not shoot at you. Once you are out of hyperspace you will see a planet that has been occupied by the Malaglons. Missiles are launched from the planet and the flying saucers appear again. While most of the missile are pretty slow, others may be quite fast. A good advice is to destroy the bases as fast as possible. If you have four ships, you can cover the whole planet with shoots. Fortunately, it won't do any harm to the harmless areas of the planet.
The gameplay is quite similar to Missile Command. Of course the graphics are much better and introduce pseudo 3D graphics. The rotating planets look very good. The planets change their colour between the levels: the first one looks a bit like Earth while the second one is brownish. The other graphics are not very spectacular. The missiles fly more realistically than the ones in Missile Command.
There is no real sound or music except some "beeps". Maybe it was different on the real arcade machine.
In conclusion, I would say that
Liberator is a very nice shoot'em up. It is not very innovative and surely not as motivating as Star Wars but it is the type of game you play from time to time for five minutes. I hope that Infogrames decides to release another Atari collection with often neglected games such as Liberator.