Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tehc & U: Frontlines: Fuel Of War


Original:

Its 2024, the world governments have screwed up. The research and utilisation of alternative energy sources was a lie fed to the people as the big industries consumed and sold oil at huge profit levels. Laughed at the average Joe, assuring him that they are working on the solution about the energy crisis. They assured him that there is enough oil for another 50 years while they work on more energy efficient alternative. While he waited, they bleed him dry with insane prices just to pump a gallon of gas in his tank.

Now, what has happened? There is almost no gas for the cars, electricity is no longer a luxury but a rare necessity. Food, that easily came wrapped and packaged with colourful brand names out of the factories are now running out. Water dribbles from the tap.

And they wonder why the world has gone to hell in a hand basket?

Frontlines: Fuel Of War is basically Unreal Tournament 2004 on a grander scale with a political statement. You start off as a grant in the Western Coalition assigned to the Stray Dogs squad where you battle the Red Star Alliance (Chinese and Russians) for the last few oil wells in the world.

The campaign is basically very simple. You can pick any number of weapons, drive any vacant vehicle you see, complete any objection using whatever route and tactic you wish. You teammates will support you to the best of their AI. They will not take objectives for you though.

Which sums up what the campaign is all really about: training. Yes, training. It is one massive training mission to teach you all the weapons' uses (including drones), how look at the map and device alternative routes to the objectives and finally, shows you that if you want to win go take the control point not wait for others to do it.

In multiplayer mode, you do not get all the weapons in the game, instead the weapon choices are broken up into classes so that they serve a particular role in the overall tactics of your teamplay. In addition to those class you have abilities to choose from too that are called roles that further lets you be more productive on the field instead of hiding in a corner with a sniper rifle.

Vehicles in multiplayer are plentiful. If you want choppers there are tons of choppers available to you if you have captured that control point that produces them. You don't have to wait for a chopper to spawn after some n00b runs and hops into one and flies it into a wall because he thinks that chopper is reserved for him. Same goes with tanks and other vehicles. Multiplayer combat in Frontlines is like watching a fairly large combat movement of a platoon supported by several tanks, choppers and jets.

Then we got the graphics and sound both which are excellent too since they use the Unreal 3 engine to its fullest. You got destructible and repairable objects, 3D environmental and positioning sound, lighting, shadowing, fog, glare, you name they got it.

And if that is not enough the story, cut scenes and voice acting is good to exciting. If you needed to compare it a movie genre, it would be close to a well produced war drama documentary.

Overall, the game is excellent, single player although simple in terms of mission goals is fun as you are allowed total freedom on how you want to go about completing each objective. Multiplayer is fun because controlling certain control points gives you access to certain vehicles and the quantities of which are ample. The only problem I had with the game is that there are no servers with a ping of 200 or below which made my experience for multiplayer a be tainted as I was left with the role of anti-vehicle since I couldn't hit small targets like the other players at long range.

Title: Frontlines: Fuel Of War
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Kaos Studios
Availability: New Era Interactive Software Sdn Bhd
Suite 27-02B, 27th Floor Menara Keck Seng
203 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: (603) 2143 1332 Fax: (603) 2143 1330
Email: junking.my@neweraint.com
Website: http://www.neweraonline.com
RM159.90

Package: 1 Manual, 2 Game DVD.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Intel Pentium 2.8HT or AMD Athlon 2800+
768MB Windows XP / 1GB RAM for Windows Vista
nVidia 6800GT (SM3) or ATI X800XT (SM2) w/ latest applicable video drivers
15GB HDD Space
Broadband connection w/ min. upload 768K (for hosting games, not playing)
AC ’97 or equivalent DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
DVD-ROM
Windows XP (32/64) or Windows Vista (32/64)
The latest version of DirectX 9.0
NET Framework 2.0


Our Verdict: 4 1/2
Documentation: 4
Graphics: 5
Sound: 5
Replay Value: 4
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