Full Spectrum Warrior
Given the current political climate it should come as no surprise that the military was out in force at E3 2003. Truth be told, it became quite tiring; I'm all for realism, but do we really need soldiers showing off the tools of their trade at a games show? But I may have to eat my words dressed with Marmite, as one of the most promising titles of the expo was originally developed as a training tool for the US Army. Developed by Battlezone II veterans Pandemic Studios, Full Spectrum Warrior melds urban combat and battlefield tactics into a real-time squad-based 3D combat simulator.
At first glance, FSW appears to be a shooter. But don't be deceived - it's not. You play a virtual commander in control of two small squads of troops. Your role is simply to give them orders which they will carry out intelligently. You can look through the eyes of any of your troops and check their line of sight, but you can never directly control them as in Rainbow Six or its army of clones. It's a relatively untried t way to present a game, and could be loosely descnbed as Laser Squad meets Ghost Recon. The emphasis on accuracy in the military equipment and tactics is complemented by a high standard of realism in the graphics. While FSW isn't Half-Life 2, the textures and models do a fine job. We witnessed a battle in the maze-like streets of a middle-eastern city infested with guerrilla fighters. Cars, doorways and every other landscape feature offer a tactical choice to the commander. Fail to make the correct one and it's Black Hawk Down all over again.
The biggest potential for failure in this setup lies with the Al code. But a few minutes toying with the game revealed cracking brainpower under the helmets of friend and foe alike. Not only are orders heeded, they remain in force. Tell a rifleman to focus suppressing fire on a single window and he'll do so until told otherwise. But he'll be vulnerable from other angles, so you'd best assign someone to cover him. Soldiers will pursue enemies if given leeway to do so, or will hold positions and cover each other where necessary. Despite the lack of first-person action, it's incredibly immersive.
Most startling is that you are left with a feeling of real loss whenever a squadmate goes down. This is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of FSW - it manages to discard the detachment that plagues so many wargames. Accordingly, the game was the dark horse of E3 2003, scooping major honours in the official Best Of E3 awards. Our only slight concern is that the existence of multiple console versions might water things down a tad, but on present form FSW is looking mighty fine indeed.
Processor: PC compatible,
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode