Conflict: Global Storm
Wait A Minute, Global Storm? What happened to Global Terror'? Here's what probably happened: after some high-profile incidences of global terror, the publisher shat its pants and opted for a more wishy-washy name. In the current climate, it was probably a wise move, as with everything from GTA to The Sims being blamed for the downfall of civilisation, it was a headline that Eidos could do without.
Fear not, the game remains the same, with the Gulf War veterans reunited as a weapon in the war on, er, global terror. Retrained as a rapid response counterterrorist unit, if there's a problem, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Red Team, otherwise known as Bradley, Jones, Connors and Foley. Conveniently enough, there is a big problem brewing in the jungles of South America, where a bunch of second- and third-generation Nazis have formed a terrorist cell by the name of March 33, in honour of the date that Hitler declared the Third Reich. Intent on destabilising world governments, it's a story that could have come straight out of 24, and to be honest, we only know the basics because we've read it. Does anyone ever follow the plot in games like this? When it comes down to it, it's really just a lot of people shouting "Tango down! During the course of this review we must have killed about 1,800 people without ever really knowing who they were, or what they were trying to achieve. As a rule of thumb, if they have a moustache or a foreign accent, they would appear to be fair game.
Somewhere in the midst of the carnage, we do remember storming a Colombian cocaine factory, killing all of its employees and then setting about destroying their equipment, thus insuring that the streets of London would be short of sniff for at least a week. There was also a bit where we had to go to Seoul to protect a senator, something that involved killing in the region of 100 Koreans, while he kept his head down and made a dash for the chopper.
For all its pretensions towards being a tactical shooter in the mould of Rainbow Six et al, Global Storm is a far more hectic affair. Often degenerating into a glorified shooting gallery, the twisted limbs of the recently dead provide a macabre backdrop to the frantic action, and you can find yourself tripping over bodies before they magically fadeaway.
For sure, you can order your team-mates about give individual instructions and even delayed commands. But when you've a got a legion of infidels raining hot lead down on you, you're not really going to be bothered about sending Foley up a tree to snipe, and employing a three-way pincer movement to neutralise the enemy advance. In reality, you're going to run like a mad thing, dive for cover and shoot anything that moves.
There are always casualties in war, and indeed in global storms, whatever they are. It's done a bit differently here, though. Say, for instance, you're shot in the face by a tank from about three feet You don't die instantly, but are afforded a few minutes' grace to writhe around in your own blood and vomit screaming in agony as your life ebbs away. During this window, one of your team-matescan crawl towards you, dodge the flack and administer magical medication which restores you to full health.
However, in doing so he's likely to get shot himself, at which point you'll have to heal him, or, if you are him, shout for help. In the midst of a ferocious firefight all four soldiers can be involved, and it turns into a farcical daisy-chain of healing, crying and occasionally dying. Encapsulating the futility of war in one tragic vignette, it's a scene worthy of Joseph Heller's seminal Catch 22. Alternatively, it's just really stupid.
In less philosophical matters, the game's interface has been streamlined, giving you quicker access to weapons and so on, and making it less a case of inventory management than before. And in what is being hailed as a feat of if mathematics and programming, grenades can now be instantly thrown exactly where you aim them, rather than leaving you to judge the flight path which somewhat takes the skill, and indeed, fun out of it. And while we're told that "the Al of the enemy has been significantly improved, we'd have to ask just how thick they were before, as this lot seem happy to run blindly towards the business end of a shotgun.
Your own boys aren't too bright either, and will quite happily go walkabout if you leave them unattended. And in one curious moment, a soldier froze on the spot, a thousand-yard-stare etched on his war-ravaged face. The only way he could be freed mini-game, although we've been assured this will be fixed before final release.
With its console roots showing clearer than a bad peroxide rinse, it all looks a bit 2001, and other minor glitches include guns inadvertently disappearing into walls - quite an impressive trick if they'd meant it On paper, it might not sound too great, but luckily games aren't played on paper. While it has its flaws, it also has a certain charm. A quick dabble can somehow turn into an arse-numbing four-hour session, if only to see where you're going next. A bit like Judith Chalmers with guns, although we re not sure she ever visited a Ukrainian chemical plant or the Kashmir mountains. And in a twist that we're just about to ruin, one of the regular characters goes missing in action and is k replaced by a sassy broad A called Carrie Sherman. Sherman of course being rhyming slang for 'wank'.
Download Conflict: Global Storm
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Nazis, Eh? If they're not providing inspiration for our monarchy's fancy dress costumes, they're busy being the most vicious and notorious bad guys in history. The latest PC game to get the evil jackbooted psychopaths into its sights is Conflict: Global Terror, the fourth title in the hugely successful consolecentric franchise. Set in the near future. Global Terror avoids using easy targets such as Islamic militants as its inspiration, and instead plumps for an almost James Bond-style plot. After being in hiding for many years, Nazis have re-emerged in South America and have begun funding terrorism around the world to destabilise western democracies in the hope of establishing a New Order. It's up to you and your squad of four counter-terrorist soldiers to quell the growing violence in six different locations including Kashmir, Columbia and Siberia.
Developer Pivotal has reintroduced the four Delta Force characters from Conflict: Desert Storm and Conflict: Desert Storm 2, but after Foley goes MIA in the game, he's replaced with a brand new female character - a sniper called Carrie Sherman. She, along with Bradley (team leader), Jones (all-rounder) and Connors (heavy weapons), takes part in 15 missions that include infiltrating various buildings such as nuclear power stations and sarin gas plants, rescuing hostages and destroying terrorist cells.
War On Terror
The first big improvement from previous games is the graphics engine, which was looking rather tired in Conflict: Vietnam and has been almost rewritten from scratch. Characters' faces and clothing have much more detail, a new animation system has smoother movement and there's full ragdoll physics. Your squad members can now climb ladders and jump over objects (pretty essential in the world of anti-terrorism I imagine) and have the ability to hack into computer systems to retrieve information. From a tactical point of view, you can now delay orders to your soldiers for better co-ordinated attacks. In Global Terror, when you want to perform a room breach, you can send your sniper to watch the windows, make your other squad members guard another door and when the last order has been made, the team will all react at the same time to storm the enemy position. On-screen indicators have been added to point out useful items you can interact with, and there'll also be a stats screen after missions have been completed with information such as number of headshots and civilians killed.
Another criticism of Conflict: Vietnam was that levels were very linear, with the level design forcing you to go through a very narrow corridor in the jungle environments. Global Terror promises multiple paths through missions, larger open spaces and a more realistic use of height for setting up snipers' nests or surveillance posts. Finally, the new Conflict will for the first time include online multiplayer modes, although what form these will take has yet to be revealed. All in all, while Conflict: Global Terror may not have the draw of a SWAT 4 or Star Wars: Republic Commando, this squad-based tactical shooter certainly has ambitions to be a PC big-hitter. And with Nazis in it, even Prince Harry might approve.