Review by KFHEWUI
"Great concept just poor execution"
The tan army is on the move, and they have amassed a huge army along the border of the green nation. These groups of tan soldiers are ready to strike at the heart of the green nation, and this time around, the player gets to play as a nameless green soldier that must help aid in stopping the tan army from succeeding.
The story feels weak especially considering the title, and you would think that there would be a more complex reason behind the war. There was much more potential to the story, and it feels like the story was hastily thrown together in a few seconds and no further effort was put into it.
Graphic wise Army Men World War looks nice, and there is a nice variety of locales from the afternoon beach level or a stealth level in the middle of night. There are some city levels along with forest levels and mountainous areas with some snow. The graphics is definitely one of the stronger points of the game however there is some issues with seams in the textures, and it is very obvious in the river level early in the game. The animation is decent, and I like how pieces of plastic fly when the player and enemies are shot.
Army Men: World War is split into three campaigns: Pacific, Eastern, and Western Front, and the game will take players all over the world from landing on a beach, freeing an island nation, protect the blue forces, and marching through the heart of the tan city. The game is third person with the camera following close behind the player, and there are no camera controls however the camera does a decent job on its own. Only problem with it is when passing through cramped areas and the player will back up into the camera and block the view.
Levels came in a variety of forms with different objects from freeing prisoners from a tan prison, navigating a river full of mines, or helping blue forces by clearing anti-tank squads out of the way. Although they did add a nice variety of objectives, the level still boils down to kill all enemies while going to point B from point A yet at least the game tries to mix it up. To break up the monotony, there are a few vehicle sequences scattered about, but unlike previous Army Men titles, the driving sequences are on rail meaning the player only controls the weapons while the driving is performed by the game. These sequences range from fun to dull like the river sequence with the boat is not fun due to how hard it is to hit the mines plus the massive amount of texture seams however the protect the blue force capital level has a jeep sequence that is quite engrossing.
Combat can take some time to get used to in the game, and there is no cursor in the game instead the player has to aim in the vicinity of the enemy and fire. The game will take care of everything else. Players start off with a machine gun and bayonet, but players will also be able to obtain grenades, mortars, bazooka, flamethrower, and even get to man twin cal. machine guns. Sometimes the player will also be able to pick up med packs and carry them however there is one major issue which is that the player's items are lost once the level is beaten.
There is a lack of variety when it comes to enemies in the game, and all the enemies are tan and range from soldiers, tanks, boats, jeeps, helicopters, and planes. A few times I noticed that some of the enemies will glitch up and cannot be killed yet they cannot move or shoot.
Controls feel solid and are responsive and moving the plastic soldier is a breeze, but the rest of the controls do take some time to get used too however it is not that too difficult to grasp. There is a boot camp included, and it is worth playing through for players new to the series.
The levels for the most part are silent with ambience noise, and it helps create an atmosphere. There are a few tracks in the game that are mainly during cut scenes and at title screen that do not sound too bad. The sound effects are decent, but the footsteps sound off.
Each level ranges in different size from short to long yet most of them are straight forward however there is one problem with the longer levels which is the lack of checkpoints. Army Men games do not use check points at all, and that is okay for the shorter levels. Some of the longer levels can be quite infuriating due to no checkpoints even some of the short levels can be quite nerve racking, and Army Men World War is not that polish and can be quite cheap. In the breakout level, one enemy can shoot the player through buildings that leads to some cheap deaths. Ultimately that is the biggest flaw of the game is that it needed more polishing.
Multiplayer is included however it only consists of one mode which is capture the flag with two players and only four maps.
Army Men World War has some serious issues, and the biggest is how unpolished the game is. Enemies can be hard to spot due to blending into the backgrounds, frame rate can take a real hit in later levels, and the lighting can be a serious problem in some levels. Not only this but some of the longer levels can be frustrating due to poor level design and poorly placed healing items and weapons. One major problem with the game is the lack of a strafing, and this definitely would have helped alleviate some of the difficulty.
3DO tried to spice up the mixture by adding a variety of level types however ultimately the lack of polish hurts the game the most. Even in its current form, when I was annoyed by the terrible level design, I did have some fun with the game although these moments were overshadowed by the flaws of the game, but the final campaign starts off amazingly with a storm the beach level.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 09/07/07, Updated 10/02/12
Game Release: Army Men: World War (US, 02/29/00)
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