Joint Task Force Download
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Iraq, Afghanistan, The Balkans, Somalia - the locations visited in Joint Task Force read like a top ten listing of where not to go on holiday. But while you wouldn't want to arrive at any of them with your suntan lotion and a towel slung over your arm, these recent theatres of conflict provide the perfect backdrop for the game.
Each area is host to a number of missions, and although the obligatory 'bomb the crap out of the enemy' objective is never too far away, the other tasks are widely varied, from accompanying civilian folk to safety to hunting down warlords. As you complete each selected mission, the map expands, offering up yet more challenges. The levels themselves are expansive and beautifully outfitted, with the environments ranging from busy shipyards to the mean, dusty streets of Mogadishu.
Unfortunately, all of this is rather hampered by the restricted view area, which is limited to a few meagre degrees of tilt and comes combined with a painfully slow scrolling speed. The game is undeniably beautiful, though, with glorious hi-res units, vehicles and buildings exploding in brilliant fashion and new forces arriving via transport helicopter and rappelling down.
JTF dispenses with the base-building and resource-collecting RTS norms, instead putting a heavy emphasis on combat with its customisable troops, but it never quite feels as natural or intuitive as Company Of Heroes. The fighting is reasonably fast-paced, but with the odd path-finding issue and some units insisting on doing their own thing, the sense of never quite being in full control is always present.
The title's unique twist is its use of the media. When a news crew is in the area, performing media-friendly activities boosts your spending money, while standing idly by as civilians are massacred reduces it which gives a real moral incentive to the game. However, the feature is underused, and thus much of JTF is pretty standard RTS fare that occasionally teeters on the brink of dullness. With the superior Company Of Heroes looming over the proceedings, JTF's lovely graphics, underused media twist and modern settings mask a solid but perhaps rather uninspired take on the genre.