Hold your fire soldier!
Right from the get-go this game is packed full of intense combat action. You get thrown in the shoes of Bradley, Connors, Jones and Foley; Red Team. These guys are veterans when it comes to counter-terrorism, and are the same team you control in the previous Conflict games. With these four men you must carry out the orders from your general, which usually include ‘secure the base’ or ‘capture so-and-so’.
For newcomers to the series, you can do basic and advanced training to learn the controls. Once you start the story missions, you find yourself separated from your team, and have to go locate them and get them back into their usual soldier form. Even in these beginning moments of the game, the action won’t let up, with guards to gun down and tanks to destroy. From here the action only gets more intense as you battle through mission after mission and put your skills to the test.
Gamers who have yet to play Conflict games may find the ordeal of controlling four men at once a bit overwhelming, but that’s where half the enjoyment of the game comes from. You are able to complete sections of missions a dozen ways with all the different commands which you are able to give the soldiers, which provides a huge amount of replay value to the game. You can also issue orders to all four members to fire at will, hold fire, hit the ground and - one of the new additions in this instalment - delayed order. The ability to manipulate these four men to sneak attack the enemy or gain good vantage points is a feature that adds to the unique gameplay.
You’ll quickly realise when playing the game that there is a large range of weapons available, from assault rifles to silenced pistols and anti-tank rockets. Each member of your team has a different emphasis. Jones is the explosives expert, Connors is heavy weapons, Foley is the sniper, and Bradley is the team’s main rifleman. Without giving too much away, later in the game newcomer Corrie Sherman will be added to your team. With a simple tap of the down or up buttons on the d-pad you are able to swap between the soldier you are controlling.
The game boasts 14 missions, each varying in length, but most providing a good deal of primary and secondary objectives to complete. One interesting thing to note is the way that saving has been dealt with for this game - you are only able to save a set number of times per mission. It’s not a big deal for the large majority of the missions, but I did find myself asking why they decided to limit it. The conclusion that I came to was that it helped create a tense atmosphere; however, it may limit people from simply picking up and playing the game for a few minutes at a time.
The character stats which the game keeps are a real winner. At the end of every mission each character will have their rank raised based on how well you played with them. During the missions you are also able to go to the statistics page via the pause menu. From here you are able to view stats for both your team and individual soldiers. These include infantry killed, vehicles destroyed, accuracy, mission time and a whole slew of other information.
The graphics are fairly clean and crisp, and while not as graphically intensive as other games available on the PlayStation 2, Conflict: Global Storm holds its own. Each mission will open with a new cut scene, which look especially impressive. Lip syncing for the voiceovers during these scenes have also been improved over past iterations. Environments are well-portrayed, and the little touches of detail in buildings such as light switches and such on walls add a great deal of realism.
The sound department is one of the great things about this game. From issuing orders to your team-mates, to hearing a tank come barrelling towards you, the sound will immerse you in the game. One of the greatest things to hear in the game is when you’re attempting to take on the enemy soldiers in a gun fight and you hear the hostile fire come whizzing past you and hit the wall you were perched against.
If you’re a fan of the Conflict series, and you want more of the same gameplay, definitely check this one out - you won’t be disappointed. Newcomers to the series may take a few missions before they get into the swing of things, but once you’ve got the hang of the controls and four-man system, you’ll be gunning down those enemies and taking out tanks left and right.