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Conflict: Desert Storm Review

Brian_Gee By:
GENRE Action 
PUBLISHER Gotham Games 
DEVELOPER SCi Entertainment 
T Contains Blood, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Horton Hears A Hussein.

At ease, soldier. What I'm about to tell you is top secret, for your ears only. Trouble is brewing on the Playstation 2 and high command has decided that it is time for action. You will be given control of a small squad and sent to the front lines to harass enemy forces. Your job won't be as smooth as the one commencing in the Xbox region, though.

This mission, codenamed Conflict: Desert Storm, is a team-based action shooter from Gotham Games that is based on the events of the Gulf War. You'll be rescuing fellow soldiers and hostages as well as performing covert strike missions that will cripple the enemy's forces in the region. And of course, if you seen Saddam, let him have it. Any questions? Good, let's get started.

Before your training begins, you'll choose which outfit you want to coordinate with. The British SAS and American Delta Force are on hand, but there really isn't much difference outside of the initial skill set your men are given and the "type of English" you want them to speak.

If you require basic training before heading out, report to Boot Camp for an in-depth look at how to maneuver in the field. Unlike most of the other wars you've fought in, it's initially quite difficult figuring out how to command your squad. This training session will help familiarize you with your command interface and increase your chances of survival. You'll also learn how to effectively fire several weapons and drive some of the game's vehicles. After completing this course, command will be a piece of cake.

When you are ready to deploy, make sure to check your gear. Standard issue medkits and hand grenades will be given to you and your men, but the rest of the gear will be a bit more specialized. As a rifleman, your primary weapon will be an M4A1 rifle. There's also an M203 grenade launcher tacked on, but for some reason it's malfunctioning and cannot be fired.

The environments that you'll be traveling through are broken into three molds - desert, city and military base. There's really not much to look at, probably because of the economic turmoil in the area. Just keep your head down and don't worry about the jagged edges on the buildings. Scouts report that they're too dull to cut you.

Your first few missions will involve rescuing or rendezvousing with the other three members of your squad. First there's the sniper, outfitted with rifles like the H&K PSG-1 or the M82a1. There's also a heavy weapons specialist. He'll carry an M60 and handle other big booms like the LAW or grenade launcher. And no team is complete without a demolitions expert. He'll deal with the C4 and double as the team's medic.

I know this is your first command, but have no worries. Your squad is highly specialized and will follow your every word. You can even take direct control of any of them at any time with a simple press of the D-pad. This will allow you to set up an airtight defensive perimeter or put men is specific covering positions. Controlling three team members at once was never so easy.

Still, you'll have to forgive their occasionally jerky movements and strafing problems. After taking major damage, the men will simply lie still and await help. More often than not, you'll be able to get someone over. Just beware of any ambushes or heavy armor that could wipe out the entire squad.

Another problem that you'll need to be aware of is the near inability to access your other gear in the heat of battle. Remember - you and your men are carrying a lot of field supplies and finding exactly what you need takes a little bit of time. Just yesterday, Bravo squad was cut down while facing a large group of hostiles. From radio transmissions, it sounds as though they were trying to heal each other in the middle of an intense firefight. Don't let this happen to you.

Intel has also discovered an interesting bit of information about the enemy. It seems that the Iraqis have been pumping their soldiers with an experimental super-serum. This drug, which our scientists have been calling "W.T.F.", has given the enemy increased sight and hearing, making them incredibly hard to sneak up on, even at long distances. The element of surprise is a luxury that you will not have on this mission.

The good news is that W.T.F. has hindered the decision-making process, causing the enemy to lose their common sense. Sometimes, they'll just rush your position even though they have the tactical advantage and plenty of cover. Other times, they'll just stand idly by as you blast their comrades. Make use of this knowledge, Commander; your men are counting on you.

I hear that you may have some old war buddies who might want to join your outfit. If this is the case, high command has authorized you to swap him in, split-screen style. The missions will still be the same, so keep that in mind.

Conflict: Desert Storm is a dangerous mission, but I'm sure you'll be able to handle it. This version isn't quite as intriguing as the conflict on the Xbox thanks to the shoddier look and only two-player multiplayer. That's all for now. Dismissed.

C Revolution report card
  • Easy team commands
  • Play as any member of the team
  • Wacky AI
  • Tough inventory control
  • Sluggish movement
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