Review by magical cow

"Not perfect, but ridiculously close"

Well, I do have a great story to tell about this game. At first, I hated it. I was too used to Halo, and I just couldn't get used to having two teams of guys that could easily be killed. I considered it a waste of a Christmas present. Well, a few months later, my friend FORCED me to play it on Gamecube. Controls were of course hard for me to get used to as it was on another system. But no doubt, I loved it. And from then on, it's been one of my favorite games.

So before you play it for two seconds and call it crap, just try and get into it. All that being said, lets move on to the normal standards.

Story- 9/10: Normally I don't start with the story, but this time I HAVE to. Taken straight from the intro movie before you even hit the start button (with a few boring sentences deleted :-P):

It's year 2008, and the world is on the brink of war. Radical ultra-nationalists have seized power in Moscow. Their goal- the re-establishment of the old Soviet Union. One by one the nearby independent nations slipped back under Soviet control. The world holds it breath... and waits.

In my mind, that is an amazing story. It progresses throughout the campaign mode of the game, but there aren't exactly many plot twists. A few things might make you go 0_0, but that's just about it. Still, it's good overall.

Gameplay- 9/10: The basis of a game. Everything else can be crap if its fun to play. Not only is nothing else crap, but the gameplay is ALSO fun. It's an FPS, but also a tactical FPS. You are going to wind up with guys that specialize in certain military areas. Some may be great at sniping, and others at demolitions.

The campaign mode has decent length, and you can do some unlockables just in campaign. The areas are realistic, and at night you would be using night vision if it pleases you. You can use squatting down as you walk or even crawling to avoid detection, and believe it or not, it DOES matter. You can hide behind objects if it pleases you.

There is also LIVE support. I can't really rate that as I don't have LIVE, but just in case you cared. In addition, there is also the basic multiplayer mode so you can play at parties with your friends.

As for what to do in multiplayer, you can do 2 player co-op, or you can face each other in basic vs. missions, along with a few other modes.

For singleplayer (in case your friends aren't into video games), you can do firefight missions where you take on computer players, and need to kill them all to win. There is also a recon mode, where you are just getting form point A to point B on a map by whatever means necessary. You also have defend, where you need to basically defend your area from enemies, and a quick mission mode to relive some campaign missions.

The only problem with gameplay is something mentioned in one other review. It sometimes feels weird. I can't explain it, but either way, crawling while passing a bridge to avoid bullets overhead more than makes up for it. ;)

Graphics- 10/10: Pretty good. Some characters walk around with camouflage, and in the woods they are REALLY hard to see. The environmental graphics are pretty realistic. Sometimes a few objects will seem a bit chunky. For instance the side of a hill might look more like the side of a pyramid. No matter, it still gets a 10. It's just THAT good .

Sound- 11/10: I've never broken the rules and made an improper fraction when scoring something. But the sound is AMAZING. You will like it on its own, but if you try it in surround, and you will be bewildered beyond your mind. The music is just outstanding, especially the main theme you can hear in the intro. Silenced shots are silenced (I've seen games where the AI was just scripted to not react to them, but they were still loud as hell), and the game goes as far as to distort some sounds after a big explosion. Some excellent stuff here.

Replayability- 8/10: Not bad. There are a total of 50 tasks you can do to unlock things. Some are actually incredibly challenging, but all are open ended. On one task I had to get from point A to point B while maintaining certain accuracy. Well, I found a way to sneak AROUND a level with about 50 guys in it, although I had the option to take them on if I wanted. One other time I did just that.

My point is that you can keep playing through those tasks to see which methods work best for it. Multiplayer is also fairly fun.

The replaying however is not something you'd cut school to be playing. Nothing 00ber amazing aside from unlocking a few cool characters and weapons. But it IS there.

- Tactical FPS for a change
- Fun
- Good graphics
- Good sound
- Has compatibility for multi

- Sometimes feels a bit weird
- Is occasionally frustrating

Rent or Buy: I'd go for buy. Quite a good game. If you aren't sure about the whole tactical FPS thing, then rent it first. Otherwise, it's just another game to add the collection.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/14/03

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