Conflict: Desert Storm Review

Developer: Pivotal Games Publisher: Gotham Games
Release Date: April 22, 2003 Also On: GCN, PS2, and Xbox

Pivotal Games, along with the help of publisher Gotham Games brings to the Nintendo Gamecube an “it is pretty good, but it could have been a whole lot better� first person shooter. Compared to the PS2 port (which I only played slightly), the GCN version has smarter enemies, smoother animation, and a steady frame rate. Unfortunately, that is the mainly only good thing about the game.

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You can describe the graphics pretty simply by saying that if they were from last-generation’s consoles, the graphics would be damn good. Well guess what? This isn’t a PS One or Nintendo 64 game (though it looks like it). The game has slight detail such as vegetation, furniture in buildings, and that kind of stuff. Unfortunately when you explode a building or other type of structure, there is nothing more than a ball of dust that you can see actually comes from the explosion. Once the dust sets, you can see rubble where the former structure was. As for gun fire, bullets look like mere straight bold lines. The sun affects are done well, but the camera angles are a struggle many times and you will die because of it. I must say the feature of the whole game that intrigued me the most was looking at the edge of the world (or at least that’s what it looked like).

Never before have I seen so many Iraqi soldiers attempt mass suicide at once. What I mean by this is, the A.I. in this game are so incredibly dumb, they run at you whether you have a pistol or a rocket launcher equipped. Do they care if they get blown to smithereens? Of course not, they are wannabe suicide bombers (j/k). Well, your task force isn’t much better either. I think that they can all qualify as being mentally retarded.

You play as a four-man U.S. Delta Force or SAS (UK). Choose from easy, medium, or hard, depending on your skill level. Not sure how skilled you are? Find out in a training camp. If you want, you can even have other friends join in and not have to worry about the mental patients (your fellow A.I.). As captain you can shout orders, treat the wounded, exchange weapons, and execute attacks.

Well done, you have passed boot camp. Now it is time to talk about the game itself. What does it consist of? Well the main objectives are simple in the whole game. Destroy something, rescue someone, and leave from the extraction point is an accurate wrap up of nearly every level. Incredibly, even though you basically do the same thing over again (even though you blow something different up or rescue someone else) it still keeps you entertained and doesn’t get repetitive thanks to a huge variety of weapons to choose from, different ways to complete missions (whether covertly or not), and a large presence of bad guys that oh boy, you get to kill! The best part is (well at least in Dubya’s book) they are Iraqi soldiers. That reminds me, I think Gotham Games should loan Dubya a copy of this title to keep him happy until he invades some other country.

One major problem that I had with this game was the controls. Sure, this is the best set-up for a first/third-person type shooter game (other than Metroid Prime) that I have seen on GCN yet, but it is still faulty. While in your main view (3rd person) you can see your whole squad and use the analog stick to move your character. The c-stick is used to turn him and to aim with your weapon. Press down on the L button to zoom in and go into 1st person perspective. By tapping L again (not all the way down) you can zoom in farther, depending on your weapon. Using the Z button you can call out orders ranging from ordering them to follow, stay, or go to a certain destination using a target and to ordering them to cease or open fire.

There is no doubt, Conflict: Desert Storm has some faults, but it also takes an enormous amount of strategy. For example, you may want to use a rocket launcher on a tank, but that would give away your squad’s position and waste ammo. Instead, you may choose to have your sniper get in position to take out troops, send in the man carrying C4, place the C4 on the tank, blow the tank to shreds and snipe the remaining soldiers with your sniper. Overall, Conflict: Desert Storm didn’t impress me with visuals or A.I. capability, but did impress me with the deep level of strategy and team work needed to accomplish your mission.

Graphics: 4
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.5
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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