Cons: The game is a little too easy, controls hard to learn.
The Bottom Line: Overall, the game can be a lot of fun, once you have mastered the controls, regardless of the difficulty.
I normally don't play too many games, especially on the computer, unless they are simulation or strategy. I have found that anything that can't be easily controlled with a mouse is more work than it is really worth. However, with that in mind, I saw that Full Spectrum Warrior, Ten Hammers, was on clearance for just $7. I thought about it, and figured, it couldn't be all that difficult to control with a mouse, because you just point and click to tell your units where to go. It's not like you actually have to move them around constantly. So, I figured it wouldn't be that big of a leap from my standard game playing.
The storyline The game is essentially based in the Middle East, however there are so many fictitious names, that you can't really be all that sure exactly where it is. However, the same concepts are the same as the current war in Iraq. You are fighting against a bunch of terrorists. However, there really isn't that great of a storyline to tie it altogether. It's sort of like they just said, "War in Iraq... wow, lets use it." and they pretty much just threw something together really quick using what is current. I guess they figured that they could sell more copies if people could have a sense that they are actually part of something that is real.
The Game In the game you are basically in charge of a unit of 4 specialized troops. There's the leader, a rifleman, a grenadier, and an automatic rifleman. There is also another unit that is involved in the game at the same time as you. You are either covering them or they are covering for you. In the beginning, you are doing more cover for them than they are doing for you, but it really helps to give the feel for the game, before you really get into it.
You are placed in an urban environment, where you have to run around houses, go through buildings, take posts in windows, duck behind vehicles, walls, etc. It's essentially the same concept that we have been used to in virtually every other game in this genre.
In the game, you basically are telling each person what to do in order to accomplish the mission. Whether this be for them to break up into separate two man teams, or stay together. You can have someone give cover fire, while another group runs off to a better location. You can have someone snipe out the enemies, or you can have the grenadier tossing frags. Regardless of what needs to be done, you are in charge of how it happens. The main thing is surveying the situation, and trying to figure out a personalized approach to each area that your unit is in.
In the game, there is actually quite a bit of strategy involved in each individual area that you are in. Essentially if you make the wrong move and send your troops to duck behind a planter, without cover, then you could sacrifice your men. You have to also consider where it is safe enough to have a guy stand up and take aim, depending on how many terrorists are firing at you. Overall, there's quite a bit of planning throughout the game to get you to the end.
Level of Difficulty The game really isn't that difficult, however, you will find that in some areas you will find that you have to be absolutely perfect in your moves, so it could take you several attempts before you actually beat that area and kill the enemies in that location. There are a few different levels of difficulty if you need it easier or substantially harder, but even on the hardest setting, it is still beatable with a little bit of practice. In fact, I would say that you could probably beat the game with a few hours worth of practice. It just doesn't get that hard.
The Controls Probably the most frustrating part about the game would have to be the controls. I was using a mouse and a keyboard and trying to remember all of the commands in the game took forever. With a control it's pretty easy and straight to the point, but with two different devices, I found that I was constantly hitting the wrong keys or doing the wrong mouse strokes in order to accomplish my objectives. I think the hardest part about the entire game was attempting to learn the controls that I needed to accomplish the missions. However, once I figured those out, the game actually went by relatively fast and became substantially easier. This of course is true with all games, but definitely so with this one. The learning curve is definitely against you while playing FSW:2 on the computer.
Graphics The graphics in the game are great. The animations are flawless and I found the soldiers to be quite realistic. The kills aren't that exciting and have no blood, so it makes for a somewhat fake game, but overall it's a great graphic showing that really helps to legitimize the game somewhat.
My System I am running the game on Windows Vista, Home Premium, with an ATI All-In-Wonder graphics card. I have about 4 GB RAM, with a 3.2 GHZ P4 processor. With this setup, the game ran extremely smooth, I didn't have any errors, and I didn't have any issues with lag.
When I was running the game with the same setup, with Windows XP, I would have issues every once in a while with the game shutting off. There would be no warning and it would just go blank. Unfortunately this meant that I would lose my games, but it did not happen all that often, so it was somewhat bearable because of it. I would recommend saving at regular intervals if you are using XP. It is just too volatile of an operating system to chance it.
Other Features The game also features online play if you want to play with others. I never personally used online play, because there is nothing that I hate more than getting shown up by a 10 year old, so I generally avoid online gaming. However, from what my friends tell me, it's a lot of fun with this particular game. I'm not sure about the details of it, that would be something you would have to experience for yourself. I would imagine it is much like any other game.
System Requirements - Windows 2000/XP (will work with Vista) - AMD Athlon XP or Pentium III 1.5 GHZ - RAM: 256 MB - Directx 9 compatible graphics card. - Sound card - Directx compatible. - CD-ROM/DVD-ROM: 24X - 2.56 GB free hard drive space - MS compatible mouse - keyboard - broadband internet connection required for internet play.
Final Thoughts I think this is a great game if it were to be played on any other system except for the PC. I have found that the controllers are extremely difficult to learn, and makes the game almost not worth playing at all. I remember almost wanting to give up on multiple occasions, because I was so annoyed with the control setup. However, once you overcome that, the game can be quite amusing, regardless of how easy it is to play.
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Clacky McSnackins (alaskacobalt)
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Sequel to the award winning squad-based/real-time tactical combat game, Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers improves on the ground-breaking and authentic military gaming experience with a number of innovative features threaded throughout every aspect of the game.