Review by Ramza FFT

Reviewed: 10/10/05

The ambiance and sound will draw you in and not let go until the war is over. Oh and the shooting is fun.

World War 2 concluded around 60 years ago, but it still continues to capture the imagination of many. The way people and countries banded together against a common enemy are now but a dream. Oh, where was I…EA takes me back (again) to World War II, and I survive to right a review.

Story - As Lt. Mike Powell you will return to various real world locals in Europe, such as Bittany, Omaha Beach, Trondheim, Arzew, and Normandy. Powell participates in historic but slightly tweaked battles, close to what happened in real life; for example storming Omaha Beach. Understandably, as Powell travels from place to place the storyline feels a bit unconnected as the missions have their own stand alone storylines. But it would be near impossible to seamlessly blend the storyline into one without changing the historic events to fit into a chronological timeline. As it stands, the storyline is about WWII, you can’t go wrong with that.

Gameplay - AA does not attempt to stray away from its predecessor’s formula or even most first person shooters in general. Basically you receive objectives, kill enemies who get in your way and complete the objectives, AA just does it WWII style. You also have your standard fare of WWII weapons at your disposal, such as the Thompson and the Colt 45, along with the ability to call in air strikes in certain missions. While the running in gunning is definitely fun there are some issues that hinder you on your way to completing objectives. One such issue would be the AI. I’m not sure how Germany could lose a war where the soldiers don’t miss a single shot. If an enemy fires at you, and they will, the chance of being hit is like 95%, with any weapon. This is a particular problem in the sniper missions. It is incredibly hard to find enemies, yet if you stick your toe out they will see you and shoot you. A slight issue occurs with hit locations and damage registration but that is minuscule. Once it comes down to it though, there is no denying that this game is just fun to play, issues aside.

Graphics - The graphics are somewhat of a mixed bag. Weapons, character models, buildings, and enclosed areas or close quarter outdoor areas are well textured and detailed. Large outdoor areas suffer a different fate. The textures are bland and blotchy. Is it just me or are those “branches” that cover the paths as poorly rendered as they were on the PSX? Grenade explosions are also weak. Oh and the draw distance is a bit too close. But, I’m able to look past these technical issues since the game runs so smoothly; rarely a hiccup. And last but not least there are some great cut-scenes that showcase actually footage filmed during the war.

Sound - To me this is easily the best part of this game. I know I’ve never said, up until now, that sound makes or breaks a game, but for AA it makes it. The ambiance makes you feel like your entrenched within a raging battle fighting for your life. Bullets whizzing by your face, teammates agonizing in pain, German’s yelling to alert your presence, you name it AA’s got it. Not to be outdone by the ambiance is the orchestrated music. It truly captures that patriotic theme as well as the vibe from the era. The soundtrack from this game is honestly grand, and would be worth a purchase to listen to outside of AA.

Replayability - After the single player campaign is finished, which takes (very) roughly from 6-8 hours, its time to take your game online and become dominated like a noob. The multiplayer features locations from the single player and many new maps. Needless to say, it is a blast to play online and quite addicting indeed.

Overall - This is a solid game. There are a few graphical and AI issues but they don’t stop the fun to be had. Plus, the pleasure to the ears makes up for some eye sores. Overall, I give it an 8/10.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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