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Game to Play: Full Spectrum Warrior

Published June 19, 2004 in GAME REVIEW

I have just began to play the X-Box game titled Full Spectrum Warrior which involves controlling two squads as you attempt to complete no-fatality, urban warfare. First off, this game is probably one of the best and most realistic third-person war games ever created. The graphics are astounding and the sounds, including great dialogue, are very realistic and complete. A must own for any X-Box owner.

The Game
The U.S. Army is the most powerful ground force in the entire world. The backbone of a ground invasion is the U.S. Army Infantry, and in the midst of combat, their skills, courage, and teamwork are put to the test.

Full Spectrum Warrior is based on a game commissioned by the U.S. Army to train light Infantry troops in urban combat situations. Soldiers are placed in a tense, hostile, and claustrophobic environment where they must complete a variety of military objectives.

Players act as the Squad Leader, providing direction to Alpha and Bravo fire teams. The successful Squad Leader effectively uses cover in the environment and moves his fire teams in a coordinated fashion so they can protect themselves from possible attacks that could come from any direction. Full Spectrum Warrior puts you in the dirt with your men, where danger lurks around every corner.

Your Strategy
As stated, you will be in control of two squads called alpha and bravo; some missions will also offer you a third squad as well. The key to the game, and your victory, is urban tactical movement/warfare that puts none of your men in harms way. If you are to lose two men [either from one squad or one man from each squad] the game ends and you must start over. Hence, the idea of no-fatality warfare implemented by the US Army.

In order to accomplish this you will need to take advantage of various types of 'cover' including dumpsters, walls, corners, and vehicles. You will also need to become comfortable with suppression fire, smoke grenades, and alternate routes. At times you will encounter completely covered heavy gunners that require you to find a way to out-flank or move in close enough for a lobbed grenade. Do not forget to use your GPS as the decision is yours and so are the consequences.

The game is very realistic, meaning that if you were to get hit at close range just once, one of your squad will most likely be taken out of combat. Taken out of combat means you will not be able to use that person until you find a first aid outpost. What this means is that two of your combatants will actually be taken out of combat. The one that gets hit and the other that has to carry the body. During this period you may find yourself out-gunned [which can always be answered with better tactics] and searching alternate routes to get to a medivac.

The Realism
This game is as realistic as it comes. Your soldiers will miss their shots, cars will degrade under constant barrages of fire, to be out in the open is instant death, and your men always seem to have something to say. Here are a few aspects that add to the realism behind Full Spectrum Warrior.

A Face Behind the Soldier
The game starts off by introducing you to everyone in both squads, alpha and bravo. The introductions are amusing and do an astounding job about putting a face and personality behind each character. Also, these characters love to curse in the opening, film clips, and during game play. You will constantly hear words such as 'shit' and 'fuck.' An example of this is when running across an open alley; one of your men may say 'It is a good things these fucks can't shoot.'

There is also some pretty funny dialogue scenes between the soldiers. One incidence occurs when a black soldier tells a white soldier that he is not black after he spouts 'for shizzy my nizzy.' The Leutenant comes in and says the only color in the army is green. Soon after he gets a response from one of your squad saying the army is more of a 'shit brown' in resemblence to their camos they are wearing. Good stuff and another nice dimension for any third-person war game.

Report In
Through out each mission you will have to report in either to save your game or to get mission updates. These updates are setup realtime in order to make the battle you face change right in the middle of a misison. During a mission you may be halted and sent to do something else or go help retreating/attacking Army Rangers. This telecom is also a very nice addition. If you are ever to forget your orders you can call back in, ask for a repeat, and your commander will resend them.

The character animations are top notch. Your soldiers always run in unison with one covering the other. They will also go prone if under fire. The number one tactic is to take advantage of corners on each map. As you approach a corner your team leader will peak around it to make sure everything is clear ahead.

When one of your troops gets hit you must pick him up and take him back to a medivac. In order to do this one of your men must be covered as he takes the time to lean over and gently throw your squad-mates body over his shoulders. On arrival to medivac one of your squad will open up the back of a humvee in order to retrieve supplies for the fallen comrade.

My Friends Name is Cover
Finding cover is the number one asset in this game. If you are not into this style of play [as in more into a crazy first-person shooter] than this game may not be for you. However, for those of you who want to be challenged on a tactical and strategic level, this game will fulfill all your needs.

What to Think
This game is truely awesome and very fun to play. It is also another X-Box game that is Live compatible meaning you can play any of the missions coop whenever you feel. This means each person takes control of one squad and must figure out how to work together to succeed. A feat that is much harder without communication between the two squads. Coop can also be played on the console itself as well. The game also offers content download but there is currently nothing new up yet. The only thing that might bring you down about this game is the lack of slaughterhouse style killing and the repetitive run for cover tactics and moves.

If you have ever wanted to get a real taste of current urban warfare, this is the game to play.

Our Score:

The game is out now

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