America's 10 Most Wanted
|a game by||Black Ops Entertainment|
|Platforms:||PC, Playstation 2|
|User Rating:||9.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||First Person Shooter|
As Well As becoming one of the most bloody and controversial Western policies of recent years, George Bush's war on terror has also given videogames plenty of juicy matenal to draw upon for subject matter.
Which brings us to America's 10 Most Wanted, a new, unashamedly jingoistic shooter that puts you in the combat fatigues of Jake Seaver, a single-minded agent of the Criminal Interdiction & Fugitive Recovery organisation (CIFR). Jake has to track down and capture some of the world's most notorious terrorists and criminal masterminds such as violent US bank robber Casey Webber and exIraqi dictator Saddam Hussein (er, didn't we already drag him out of a hole in the ground last Christmas? - Ed).
I Want My CNN
After you've viewed the disconcerting video images of terronst acts, flag-strewn memorials and Al-Qaeda promos officially licensed from CNN, you're thrown into the game, which begins with a frantic training mission on the mountainous Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Seaver has crash-landed in enemy territory and to survive must waste dozens of Osama Bin Laden's hired goons with progressively more violent weaponry.
Although each of your weapons only has one fire mode, all have a decent kick, with the double-barrelled shotgun and a particularly brutal flame-thrower proving the most useful when you're surrounded by unfriendly types armed with rocket-powered grenade launchers. Players are awarded money for each kill, with extra rewards for head-shots, destroying ammo dumps and other hidden bonuses, all to the soundtrack of popular urban beat combo So Solid Crew.
The action in America's 10 Most Wanted mainly consists of straightforward run-and-gun blasting - don't expect sophisticated Al, state-of-the-art ragdoll physics, vehicles and huge open environments. If Far Cry is a university professor of Advanced Quantum String Theory, the Al in ATMW would struggle to pass its GCSEs.
But that's not to say the game isn't worthy of attention - it's actually quite chucklesome, with various OTT motion-captured death animations, tongue-in-cheek voice-overs (Seaver's occasional Jesus!' outburst is very special) and furious firefights.
However, what makes ATMW unique as a first-person shooter is the beat 'em up minigames that occur when you encounter each of the 11 (yep, 11 - Bin Laden is a bonus) end-of-level bosses. When you press the action button near a Most Wanted character, you then move from mouse/keyboard control to the number pad. where you can tap the keys to execute different punches, kicks and combos to hopefully bring down your foe and eventually 'cuff them and hand them over to the US authorities. Poor fellas...
Multiplayer mode consists only of deathmatches, but at least it gives you the opportunity to play everyone's favourite baddies, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. We played very early code, so are hoping the game's PS2-looking graphics will be improved to the point where we can at least raise the resolution from 640x480. America's 10 Most Wanted could well turn out to be an exploitative, ultra-dumb console game, but the Free World will probably love it.