Full Spectrum Warrior - PC

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Full Spectrum Warrior (PC)
Also for: PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Combat Game
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Pandemic Soft. Co.: Pandemic
Publishers: THQ (GB)
Released: 24 Sept 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
No Accessories: No Accessories


Somewhere between an RTS and your more regular tactical shooter is where you'd find this latest military combat game from THQ. Developed by Pandemic Studios for the US Army as a tool to reinforce Army doctrine and squad tactics amongst troops, Full Spectrum Warrior is essentially a light infantry training simulator. But for us gamers it's also one hell of an intense and realistic tactical combat game.

The game places you in command of two teams of four soldiers (Alpha and Bravo), each consisting of a Team Leader, Rifleman, Grenadier, and Automatic Rifleman. From here your commands dictate every movement of the two squads, from taking cover, through using suppressing fire, to eliminating the enemy. But, thanks to the strategical aspect of the game, you never actually get to pull the trigger (instead you give such an order), nor do you assume direct control of any member. As such, the game is all about tactical manoeuvres and finding the best and safest solution to the multitude of accurate combat scenarios presented throughout the various levels.

Unlike standard RTS games, however, there's a much greater emphasis on the action throughout Full Spectrum Warrior, thanks largely to a camera that sits at ground level within the squad, thus making you feel more part of the proceedings. Acting as the 'eye' of the team, you can use the camera to look around, check round corners and zoom in order to get a better view of distant objects. As a consequence, pulling the right trigger will give you an idea of the actual teams' view, with out of sight areas 'fogged out' so you are fully aware of your team's capabilities.

Following a rather hefty tutorial mode - kind of like a virtual boot camp - that can take almost an hour to get through, the main game delivers over 11 intense levels, set across a wide array of contemporary war scenarios. As well as this, the game also offers online support, giving you the opportunity to hook up to the Net and play through co-op with another player.

Full Spectrum Warrior is definitely one of the most accurate recreations of military combat to grace the gaming world. It's also quite difficult to pigeonhole with regard to genre - not quite an RTS, not quite a straight-up shooter, but something genuinely unique.