STAFF REVIEW of Conflict: Desert Storm (Xbox)


Monday, December 9, 2002.
by Reclaimer

Conflict: Desert Storm Box art In Gotham Game's Conflict Desert Storm, you take comand of either an Amercian or British Special Forces Team through various missions that where based on actual events during the Gulf War. Before each mission you recieve a briefing and you are given a set of orders to carry out. These missions range from located and escorting dignataries or scientists, destroying scud missle launchers, to clearing anti aircraft batteries for an impending air raid. You are the team leader of a 4 man squad. Your squad composes of a rifleman, a machine gunner, a sniper and a demolitions expert who also doubles as your medic. Each soldier has a certain specialty and you will need all of them to be successful. During the game, you can switch freely among the soldiers and control them, or you can give orders and have them carried out. The orders you give are limited to basically movement and positioning, but this is important if when you want to set up for certain task. The computer controls the other soldiers with accurancy and when it is left to the computer to engage the enemy, they are confident in a firefight and for the most part they make good decisions for themselves. The game also has a multiplayer mode where 3 of your friends can play along and set out on the various missions of the game. The multiplayer mode alone can keep you and your buddies occupied for some time.

If the thought of comanding a squad seems a little strange at first, fear not because the game has a training mode tin the style of a bootcamp. During bootcamp the game instructs you how to peform perform the tasks that are expected in the game. Training includes, movement, markmanship, driving, and commanding squad movements. It's more than enough to make you familiar with the game.


Gameplay can be intense. When you become engaged in firefight, you have to consider what you are doing and what your team is doing. You have to keep up with their health and ammo status. If you lose a team mate, you have 2 minutes to get him a first aid kit and heal his wounds. If the time expires before you get to him, he dies and you lose him. You have to carry out the mission without him and afterwards a replacement will be provided. But the replacement soldier is nowhere near as good as the guy you just lost. There are experience levels in the game and awards given for performance. The more xp points you get, the higher your skill levels get.
This game is authentic to the actual war. The hardware and the few vehicles you drive are true to life. This game combines elements of strategy to a shooting action game. You have to learn how to work as a team, or you will get killed quickly. Basically it boils down to laying cover fire for you men and chosing the right man to do the right thing, and I can't stress enough to utilize your sniper as much as possible. Not only is the sniper valuable to taking care of distant threats, but he can be used to identify targets at great distances, further helping you make choices about how to perform a certain portion of the mission.


For the most part, the graphics are good. They are not the best, but they are good. Everything looks as if it should. For the purpose of a rating scale, I would say that the graphics where overall middle of the road. But you can feel like you're really in there at some points. I have to say though, the night vision perspective is accurate and true to real life.


The overall sounds in this game are really good. From the squeaking metal on metal of a tank rolling down a street, to the sound of your rifle. It is accurate. The game throws realism in with voices and other ambiant sounds. A good thing about this game is the soundtrack support mode. It wa especially inspiring to use my own music to motivate me through the missions.


Suggestions:
I only have a few things to suggest. Mainly to tighten up the graphics. Second I would suggest making more missions. On the highest difficulty the game takes a long time, but I wanted more in the long run. And third, tightenn up your team's AI. It's really good, but I hated how your team had a tendency to huddle up behind you while you where moving, making you prone to explosives wiping out your entire team all at once.


Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10

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