I was thinking “oh…… yet another FPS” when I received this game. Thought it could be another Battlefield or GR wannabe but wow, this game is fantastic!
Frontlines: Fuel of War is set in a dystopian 2024 in the midst of a global energy crisis. As supplies of oil and natural gas wane, diplomatic relationships between the East and West were strained, causing new alliances to be formed. The two major alliances in the Frontlines era are the Western Coalition, consisting of the United States and the European Union, and the Red Star Alliance (who launched a surprise attack on the Western Coalition), made up of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. As the last oil fields start to go dry, the countries move to secure what resources are left, leading to several small outbreaks that turn quickly into full scale war.
Source (Yes, I couldn’t have said it better)
It’s not another Battlefield game. It’s not another G.R.A.W.2 either. It’s not Crysis or Bioshock either. However, it IS another game involving Russians / China as bad guys. hrmm….
The game is always related to FRONTLINES, as per the title. In each mission you have a set of objectives. These objectives are handed to you a few times through out the game. Say you have 3 objectives at the start, upon completing these objectives the frontline will be pushed forward and a few new objectives are handed to you. 🙂 Simple, right? Just continue doing so until the mission ends.
What’s most interesting about FRONTLINES is the lack of health indicator. Yes! When I started to play this game, I was looking all over the screen for the health bar and nope, none of it. So ok, since I get thrown in the heat of combat right at the start *oops, spoiler* I just played along and noticed how my view fades as I receive hits and recovers after I go into hiding. 🙂 Once I settled the area, checked my manual……… ouuhhh then I realize there’s no health bar involved in this game. Cool! Just hide when you get hurt is all you have to do.
Do you die? Of course you do, you’re human! Once dead, all you have to do is re-deploy like in the Battlefield series. Of course you don’t deploy at captured points, the system just deploys you near your last area of combat.
Surely there’s something I didn’t like, right? Yes, I can’t lean around to have a peep at what’s ahead. THIS IS IMPORTANT! I’m in the middle of some warfare and I couldn’t lean out? Sheeesh. Well, that’s my only complaint when it comes to game play.
Anyway, what I enjoyed most about this game most is the non-stop action. It’s like once a new objective is handed to you, you can expect some action coming your way – unlike S.T.A.L.K.E.R which I could walk the distance, have a short combat and get bored silly travelling the distance.
Unlike G.R.A.W.2, you don’t die that easily as the game is more forgiving, due to the lack of realism. Haha, yeah, if you can recover your wounds just by hiding at a corner for 10 seconds, you’re pretty much a deity with self-healing abilities. Speaking of realism, your ammunition is easily reloaded by popping by crates that have the ammo symbol on it.
Do you get vehicles to drive or pilot? Yes, you do! If you’re comfortable with going around in vehicles as in the Battlefield series, this one is a piece of cake. What’s more interesting is you even get to pilot drone helicopters and drone buggies that you can detonate at any time, or even drones mounted with a machine gun. Guns are aplenty too – grenade launchers, machine guns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles and whatever else you can think of.
Do you get to control your teammates? No, you’re not the captain in the first place. There’s practically no communication from your part, neither your teammates. I’m just surprised that they actually followed me better much better than the grunts that I ORDERED to follow me in G.R.A.W.2 – it’s like they just know how to come to me, sure I may outrun them and head off some place first but eventually they’ll be around as long as it’s part of getting the objectives done.
Graphics and Sound
The game uses Unreal engine, unfortunately this engine does not scale with ATI Crossfire setup, so the 3870X2 on my rig doesn’t perform any much better than on ATI 3870 cards (which are like half the cost) or nVidia 9600GT cards (which is like less than half the cost). To make things worse, the game seems to have flickering shadow issues with ATI cards.
I thought I was the only one facing the flickering shadow issues. Updated my drivers, no help. Searched around the web, it seems that many are facing the same thing so disabling shadows was the only way to go. Other than that, everything else works great for the visuals.
I love the details, I love the color. Simple as that, Unreal engine has always been great in my opinion. 🙂 Even the first generation Unreal engine was awesome during its time.
As for the sound department, yeah the usual bullets whizzing by you, now of bullet impacts, rockets and bombs exploding. What made Frontlines BETTER than the rest when it comes to the audio department would be the soundtrack. I just love it, I don’t know whether you call them ROCK or POP or POP ROCK – regardless, the upbeat soundtrack does add to the adrenaline pumped, it made the action all more fun. Remember how the show 300 uses heavy rock kinda soundtrack during fight scenes? 🙂
In between the missions, you have cutscenes. They’re executed in some paint style artwork as seen in World In Conflict and also in 3D animation. I love it. Anyway, the story is being told through the eyes of a reporter.
Network / Online Gaming
Multi-player is just like the single-player games, just that instead of a bunch of AI – you’re having a bunch of I……… humans that is. One side would be the guys that have the objective, the other would be the ones to stop people from accomplishing the objectives.
Unlike the Battlefield series where you can capture any points that are under opponent control, in Frontlines you are only allowed to execute actions at the points along the frontlines. I wouldn’t CAPTURE POINTS, since it’s not exactly sitting there and waiting for the flags to change. Some objective areas require you to blow up installations, rather than just sitting there.
I didn’t face much lag, even with my lousy broadband connection.
I love this game. It’s really fun to play in single-player mode. The action-packed nature of this game makes you always look forward for getting to the next objective, the storyline adds to the value of the overall single-player mode. The multi-player mode would be the game’s primary strength and it’s something that could be really fun to play.
Can’t give a perfect score though. 🙂 You know why………
PC Specifications Used
The computer setup used for this review.
|Processor||Intel E2140 Overclocked @ 3.2ghz|
|Graphic Card||ASUS EAH3870X2 512MB|
|RAM||2x 1GB Kingston DDR2 667 @ DDR2 800|
|Monitor||20″ inch Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD|
|Operating System||Windows XP (SP2)|
|Driver Version||Catalyst 8.4|