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June 07, 2004

Full Spectrum Warrior: First Look

As combat sims go, I have to say that this is the most realistic I've played. I think it's going to have a serious hold on me for some time to come.

I've only gotten through the basic training of Full Spectrum Warrior, something that took me the better part of 2 hours, and I am very impressed. The first thing I notice about this is that it doesn't give you a whole lot of fancy weaponry. It gives you soldiers. What's so incredibly cool about FSW is that it's not cool.

I've played Ghost Recon, its follow up Island Thunder, Rainbow Six 3 but this one is by far the most realistic. Although Splinter Cell comes close, I'm more dependent on info over the squawk in this game than any other. Whereas in Metal Gear, it gets downright annoying talking to Otacon, I really look forward to hearing Charlie 32. Second only FoeHammer, Charlie 32 is the best voice to hear.

On the last part of the MOUT, I encounter the tank. Hey, I can call in support! Gnarly! So I light up the tank and the mortars start dropping and the whole damn place is shaking. I'm a whole block away and it's still scary. Brings it home.

Now that I've put in several hours in the actual game, I see exactly what the sniping at the game is all about. It's true that MOUT is so detailed and comprehensive that your team becomes practically invincible in the normal mode. I think I'm going to switch to tough mode before I complete the game. I expected to find a whole lot more civilians and snipers. I also expected that I would have to clear buildings, but that would have necessitated more of the Ghost Recon type maneuvers. Clearly the answer is to have swappable control modes - this is something nicely doable as Splinter Cell demonstrates in the Live vs Single modes.

All in all a very impressive game for it's great use of cover and street tactics. It's extraordinary in that it makes you care for wounded. The dialog is excellent, probably the best I've heard in any game. Enemy AI borders on the retarded - I kept wondering if there would be any rearguard action and I got in the habit of leaving by Bravo team to scope out the rear. But I never got outflanked, out manned or out maneuvered. I never had to use individual skills pointing a team in different directions for Fog of War stuff. (That was the scary part during MOUT, I felt for sure things would get very hairy).

This is a game that has excellent potential for a sequel. The ideas expressed in it are exceptional, and I hope they are copied in other combat sims.

Posted by mbowen at June 7, 2004 09:59 AM

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yes i rented this game and found it fun as well...alot of people dont like it because its not a "shooter" but more like a RTS game...all i know is that it was fun...

Posted by: Phillip Woods at June 8, 2004 10:09 AM