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Full Spectrum Warrior Mini Review

Full Spectrum Warrior Box Art
Developers:Pandemic Studios
Genre:First person shooter/strategy
ESRB Rating:Mature
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When I first heard about FSW I was intrigued from the start, it go's back to E3 2003 the first time it was unveiled and I like many were fascinated at a game that was originally a US Army training tool.

Full Spectrum Warrior Anyway this past weekend I was able to sit down for 3 nights and put FSW through its paces, and what did I think? Well read on.

Loading up FSW I decided to jump to extra content and watch the demo's before I actually got stuck into the game, indeed when you watch the demo you could be forgiven for thinking that you are actually watching the news.

Watching 2 team's scurrying down some Arabic small town street its a scene straight from the smash hit film Black Hawk Down. One thing that can be a let down with games that has so many control option's is you usually get a manual the size of a bible to let you revise all the controls.

Not so with FSW, the manual is hardly needed at all, before you are allowed any action you go through an intense training program which took me the best part of 90 mins.

I must give FSW its due here as the training is effective and keeps you gripped while no sign of boredom set in which can be the case on some game's.

On to the actual game itself.

Full Spectrum Warrior sees you controlling two teams (codenamed "Alpha" and "Bravo") of four soldiers. Each team contains a rifleman, a grenadier, an automatic rifleman and of course, a team leader. Your job is simply to complete the missions laid out in front of you by using a mixture of direct and indirect commands. Direct commands are mostly limited to aiming grenades and long-range weaponry, whilst the indirect commands are what make up the beef of the game. To manoeuvre to a position, you control a cleverly designed cursor - that shows the resulting formation of your troops - to the target area, and press the A button. The soldiers will then make their way to that location, only stopping if you abort the command or they come under fire. And this is where the first level of tension creeps in.

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Having completed the five training missions, one expects to be gradually eased into the lethal turmoil of a combat zone with all of its grey areas and unseen dangers. After a few missions you begin to realise why this game was never created with the gaming public in mind.


Full Spectrum Warrior Although tough at times, is rather simplistic in nature. You must order your squads to move from entry points on the map to your target location using all the available terrain as cover. As your squads move from location to location they will change formations to insure the cover available is used to their advantage.

Unfortunately here lies your first issue with the game, as the system was designed to teach soldiers how to effectively use terrain and work as a squad, the game considers any target behind cover as completely hidden from fire. By having such a huge classification of hidden or non targetable opponents the game can be tedious as you must find or wait for a target to leave their cover before you are able to neutralise them, I mean 2 squads of 8 men laying down gunfire on a vehicle and not to mention 2 rocket launchers the enemy just ran off (reg!).

Of course cover is not something designed, squads who fire on targets behind cover can actually deteriorate the cover. Crates will splinter, walls will become riddled with bullet holes and vehicles can lose parts as it is shot.

Another feature I think that has been overlooked is the option to flush out buildings that has enemy's hidden in them, If a sniper is firing from a window or roof top the game does not allow you to enter that building to remove the threat, instead you must shot the target from outside the building using cover as you move or avoid to be 100% secure.

Single player game play would probably at most keep you occupied for about 6 hours, I found I got bored after about the 6th level as it was a case of been there and already done that.

Multiplayer gameplay is not up to much either, you can invite a "LIVE" buddy to play the game CO-OP with you but other than that there is not really that much to say about the game.

Final thought, Although going through the training missions I had high hopes for this game but after 2-3 level's I began to realise the game was very samey.

Graphically for the XBOX the game was top notch as was game play and how easy to use the features were, although I feel I was cheated out of a game that could of been a classic but sadly wasn't.

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