zeus_gb's Frontlines: Fuel of War (PC) review

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It's no COD4 or BF2 but it's not bad for a first time developer

The premise of the game is in the future oil starts to run out and conflicts start to control what little oil is left. The Russian and Chinese have formed an alliance (Red Star Alliance) and the US/Europe are the Western Coalition. What started with a small incursion by the Red Star Alliance will end up a war.

Good points:

Decent enough graphics.
Interesting premise.
Half decent single player with some replay value.
Drones that are really fun to use.
Some intense firefights.
A pistol that's actually good.
Vehicles are quite good.
Not too linear.

Bad points:

Some awful voice acting.
AI can get very stupid at times.
Exploration is limited.
Vehicles can get stuck on the stupidest things.
Only one multi player type.

The graphics in the game aren't the most cutting edge you'll see but they're by no means bad. The NPCs in the game move quite realistically but the rag doll physics can sometimes be a little over the top.

Frontlines premise is interesting and something that hasn't been done recently. It provokes you into thinking about our reliance on oil and what might possibly happen if it ever started to really run very low. What lengths would a government really go to to secure more oil?

The mission objectives are kinda repetitive, secure this part of the map, hold this part of the map, destroy these tanks. The only difference is of course how you go about doing it. Do you rush, flank or use drones to clear up. There are even airstrikes and gunship strikes to use. These things add a little bit of strategy to the game but were not talking really deep. The single player for this game isn't half bad, the different paths to objectives with the use of drones add some replay value to the game and make the game feel less linear than most FPS games.

When I first heard about the drones I thought wow cool. The drones are a great addition to the game and really fun to use. There's nothing like using an assault drone (small robot drone equipped with a mini gun) to soften the enemy up then running in to finish them off.

Some of the firefights in the game can get really intense. You can find yourself being shot by a helicopter, while shooting a tank that's shooting at you all the while being shot at by enemy soldiers.

I love using pistols in games so i'm always happy when a pistol is actually good to use. I love the pistol in Frontlines in some respects it's better than the assault rifle.

The vehicles in Frontlines are quite good, but there's nothing revolutionary about them. A tank, Humvee, Comanche Helicopter etc etc

Here we go again with the bad voice acting. The reporter is the only person that sounds good. The others are mediocre to awful. I would also like to point out this English people speak anything like the voice actors in this game. *Note to developer is you really want to have English sounding people in games please use English people*.

AI or rather artificially not very intelligent. The AI can be really stupid at times running at you, standing still while shooting you, not shooting at the enemy when one of them is standing right next to them etc etc.

The game limits the exploration of the map by telling you to get back to the operations area (AO) and if you don't you take damage until you either get back to were you're apparently supposed to be or you die. I think this is a bad idea but I suppose it was probably done to keep people on target or because of some level limitation.

When i'm in a vehicle I expect to be able to go down a few steps not get stuck on nothing. There are quite a few occasions where i've gotten stuck on what appears to be nothing. There are also times where metal boxes don't move, vehicles such as the tank crash into them and stop dead. If it was a tank it would plow straight through them not just stop.

When I booted up multi player I noticed that there was only one mode and that was frontlines mode. Basically it's Team Domination mode from UT, an objective based multi player where you try to keep hold of points while pushing the enemy back so that you can capture their points.

Overall some of the things in Frontlines are very much like the Battlefield series but it's not the rip off some people are calling it.
There's also talk about massive problems with bugs and stability problems. I encountered one bug and that stopped me from letting go of a stationary gun. As for stability problems i've had no crashes at all, i've had no lag/freezes. My FPS has been a solid 60 all the time except for a few times when there were lots of explosions on screen and even then it was still over 30 FPS.

This is a good game with a good single player and some great ideas (drones) in it but the AI and vehicles need sorting out as well as more multi player modes being added.

Review version: 1.01 with hotfix installed.

Review system: QX6850 Extreme, 4GB RAM, 768MB Geforce 8800GTX, SB Audigy 2 ZS, XP SP2.

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