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Full Spectrum Warrior (PC) Reviewed!
Game Info
GENRE:
N/A
PUBLISHER:
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DEVELOPER:
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Screenshots
Gameplay: 10 / 10
Graphics: 8 / 10
Sound: 8 / 10
Replay: 6 / 10
Final Rating:



Introduction
Full Spectrum Warrior is a game that creates a whole new genre, a third person action, yet highly strategic, game with one catch, you donít shoot, and the game is all about war. But somehow, someway, Pandemic Studios creates a game that is a blast to play.

Letís get down to the very basics of this game. Full Spectrum Warrior is a Real Time Strategy game with a Military Theme. Thatís a mouthful, but face it, we had to make up a new genre for this game, because there is no other game on the planet like it. And now, because of its success in stores, Close Combat: First to Fight, an almost exact replica of the game based around Marines, is being developed by Destineer. So what is this new genre? What new games will we see? And how does Full Spectrum Warrior, the first game to test this new genre, perform?

Full Spectrum Warrior combines fast paced shooting with strategy and tactics.

Game play

The game takes place in a ficticious country ruled by a tyrant dictator. You are the commander of two squads, Alpha and Bravo, and in some missions, a Charlie squad comes under your command. The campaign is split up in several missions, and basically takes you through a city street and represents an entire day of fighting. Each mission is one city block, filled with alleys, cars, and of course, enemies. Moving from corner to corner, cover to cover, is the key. Putting your men out in the open can allow an enemy to kill them within seconds, resulting in game over.

You are completely immune while behind cover. Solid cover, such as walls and

Moving from Cover to Cover is Key

sandbags, could last you forever, cars last a while, but can be broken down, and couches and wooden crates will usually break apart in a couple of seconds. This puts a very large strategic twist on the game. Since you are immune behind cover, so are enemy soldiers, and this can result in hours of shooting at each other, only to miss. Though this may not be very realistic, it implies that just shooting isnít going to allow you to complete missions.

To get out of the standoffs, you can use a variety of weapons and tactics at your disposal. Frag and M203 grenades can either kill an enemy or destroy the enemy's cover, while smoke grenades limit their visibility and allow you to place your fire teams. Suppression fire keeps the enemy behind their cover, and allows you to safely move your fire team. However, the most useful method is flanking. Each fire team leader has a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite), and can bring up a map of the mission at any time. However, time is limited, and you have to ensure that your fire team leader has sufficient cover. Using the GPS, you can coordinate and position your fire teams so that one fire team is suppressing the enemy, while the other fire team uses alley ways to sneak up behind the enemy and have a clear shot. This and more you will learn in the gameís tutorial, MOUT Training.

MOUT (military operations on urban terrain) Training is the first stop the game takes you to. Here, a decorated soldier takes you through all of the possible scenarios you will experience during the game. Though very detailed and a great learning experience, it basically tells you everything, leaving nothing for you to be surprised by or have to think about on the fly.

Once you leave MOUT Training you are taken to a convoy moving across the city to a nearby airport. This is really a neat cut scene, because it takes you through each member of your fire teams and gives you a feeling that they are real people in a real country, fighting a real war. This is one of the most important parts of any squad-based shooter. You really get to know the soldiers under your command, and it makes you try harder because you really donít want them to die.

Which brings me to the next part of this game, no, you cannot die, or at least, I donít think you can. If a member of one of your fire teams is shot and hurt, to a point where he cannot walk, you must order one man of that fire team to carry the wounded soldier while the others cover him. With a wounded man, you must reach a casevac (casualty evacuation). Here, a medic patches up the soldier ďas good as new,Ē while your fire teams reload. Casevacs are placed on every map, usually two per map.



Graphics Like These are Top of the Line

Graphics

One word describes the visuals of this game, WOW! Not only does each member of your fire teams look incredibly real, but debris, cars, buildings, and enemy soldiers look real. Stay too long behind a car, and bullet holes will appear all over it, stay behind the corner of a wall, and the wall may chip away. Boxes and couches break apart into pieces, and represent an amazing physics engine. Trash and wanted posters fly along city streets, and really set the mood of the game. Full Spectrum Warrior may have the best graphics of any game on the market now.

Audio

The soldierís voices and vehicle and weapon sounds are amazing. And therefore, it should be a 10, right? Wrong. The audio in this game is limited to the city block you are on. Now, I know there is a war going on. So where are the other soldiers? I wanted more, I wanted to hear the choppers and bombers as they flew over the city, and maybe some gun fire from nearly skirmishes. I think the graphics really set the mood, but the audio doesnít. The only gun fire you will hear is your own, and that of enemy soldiers.

Replay Value

This game has no replay value, unless you want to try a new difficulty setting. Enemies will be in the same location every time you play, and the same stuff will happen. X-Box Live supports a co-op mode in which you control one fire team, and another player controls the other. This can mix things up a little, but wonít last long.

The campaign, also, isnít very long. With only a handful of missions, each bearing the same kind of scenario, the game gets ďold.Ē I recommend you rent it, beat it, and donít buy it.

Bonus Features

By using a code, you can access the original game that was designed as an army-training tool for soldiers overseas. To enter this mode, go to the code input screen and type ha2p1py9tur5tle. This unlocks the army version of the game, which includes more enemies, civilians, difficulty, and no HUD. This provides a slight replay value, but the game isnít polished and looks bad. It is more challenging though, and allows you to set such features as wind direction and speed.