Conflict: Desert Storm
In Its PS2 and Xbox incarnations, Conflict: Desert Storm has been criticised by several console reviewers for being too much like a PC title - the mix of strategy and stealth not sitting too well with the action elements. Oddly, I'd criticise the PC version for being the exact opposite - too lightweight to really satisfy the kind of audience already accustomed to the likes of Operation Flashpoint, Rogue Spear and Hidden & Dangerous.
The concept is fine. Take control of a four-man squad of special-forces soldiers (either SAS or US Delta Force - visual and vocal differences only) as you prepare the sand in Iraq for CNN's full-scale assault of the early '90s. Mostly this involves blowing up SCUD missiles. A lot of SCUD missiles. Not exclusively, there are one or two missions in Kuwait City and enemy airbases for instance. But mostly it's SCUD hunting.
Hidden & Dangerous is the closest comparison here, as you control each of the four squad members personally, or by issuing simple move and fire orders. But it's that simple level of command that shows up the flaws in design. A lot of the mission briefings hammer home the importance of stealth as a route to success. Unfortunately there isn't a great enough level of control over your units to make that a viable option for too long. Inevitably every mission ends up as a prolonged running fire-fight.
Also ruining the atmosphere are the miracle health packs that bring everything down to an arcade level. One medicated plaster pretty much takes you from death's door to the living embodiment of Nietzschean ideals, and as they are in plentiful supply you're never too worried about getting to the end of a mission in one piece.
On the plus side, there's a superb experience system at work. With a successful mission behind you each of your soldiers is rewarded not just with medals and promotions, but with increases in their abilities which, for once, do seem to have a bearing on your actions throughout. Use the same man for all your C4 planting and , he'll gradually get quicker and quicker at the job. Use your sniper for every longdistance shot and slowly his aim will get steadier and his shots do more damage. It actually works and compliments those already decent levels of independent behaviour that your units display (although not the enemy who are mostly morons).
At the end of the day what you have is a fun, slightly engaging combat shooter that with a little more time and effort could possibly have been close to a classic. The best way to get the most out of it is not to expect much more than a console action romp with slight pretensions at being something grander.
Download Conflict: Desert Storm
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode