Review by Sneaky Assassin
"It wasn't what I feared"
“Why, you may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together - what do you get? The sum of their fears” Winston Churchill
Tom Clancy’s The Sum of All Fears is a squad based anti terrorists FPS, set in urban environments with a few patches of grass in between buildings but mostly takes place inside, this is a game has that edge of realism, you can only take a few hits before dying (one in the head) so overall realism is high.
The story follows the film somewhat, terrorism has taken over the world and it is your job to stop it, well most of it anyway. You start off as FBI in an assault team and are part of a specialist task force given the job of tracking down some of the terrorist leaders that have cause havoc in America. You start off the story in America then you are moved around the globe tracking down the leaders and their weapons by our old CIA friend Jack Ryan.
The graphics are good, nicely modeled interiors with some good lighting effects but some of the interiors are very dark. Character models are good lots of detail on them, some of the effects are nice, explosions have a good look to them. Outside of the buildings it is decently modeled with all of what you would expect (not that you see much due to most operations taking place at night) Night vision effect is great not to bright so it hurts, as some are! Just the right amount of brightness to see what you need and not strain.
The music has a good feel to it, is a just the right volume to hear people moving in next room. As with all Clancy game it is a moving score that changes as your situation changes slow quite music for creeping about and faster music for the more dangerous times.
Sound and Voice acting (9/10)
The sounds in this game are realistic sounds the gunfire and explosions sound good, your footsteps are nicely done and sound good you really notice the difference between moving on floorboards to concrete and carpet. All voices are in the language of the country you are in at the time which all adds to the realism of the game. Your team talk to you when needed, if enemy is nearby and others, but always short commands, which helps to add to the realism.
You start as a team of 3 agents, you can switch between them at will, you are given a choice of kits 15 in total the more you progress the better they get but you cannot mix and match any of them, you are given a complete briefing on what needs to be done. Also you can get some background information on the situation and enemies you are going up against especially the enemies as you can look at them and rotate if you want, a bit useless but a nice touch all the same.
The game runs smoothly as you play going through the 11 missions you have been given, the only problem I have had with this game is the short missions, some are very easy to complete even on hard, but apart from that it is good. You have the choice of having back-up squads to help you when you take a large area or buildings, you cannot control them but they do help in some cases just for the firepower aspect of it (but sometimes get in the way). Weapons are all quite effective but a bit short on choice (but I suppose me just being fussy, as in real life these would probably be the only choices for them) nice touch with the shotguns as you can blast down doors with the which is a good for quick room entry, also being able to shoot through doors is also helpful.
AI of your squad and back-up squads is good they do find cover or duck if being shot at. Enemy AI is a bit suspect sometimes the will just stand there as rifle fodder but other times it is great they will run, hide, duck and I even had some that outflanked me and came round the back of me in a different door which took me by surprise as I wasn’t watching the map. The in game map is good enough detail to use but not too much so you can tell where everybody is.
The training level is nearly Identical to Ghost recon so if you have played that then you know what to do. If you haven’t then it is all explained through someone talking to you and by on screen text.
There are lots of things to keep you occupied they is a stats screen where you can see all of the unlocked features. Once you have completed the game you can select a quick mission where you can play through the levels again as missions or a firefight or as an option called lonewolf which is just you no team and you have to get to the extraction zone.
The Sum of All Fears is a good game, nice gameplay set out well, if not a little short. My recommendation is if you like this sort of game buy it, if you do not want to buy it, rent it you can do the missions in a weekend, but you have to spend sometime doing all the extras.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/09/03, Updated 01/09/03
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