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Full Spectrum Warrior


I was pretty pumped about this game before it came out; it had won an award at the previous year's Eł convention for Best War Simulation, and I hadn't played any strategy games in a while that had turned me on.  Enter "Full Spectrum Warrior", a game that was to redefine the interaction between the user and your onscreen team of comrades, as you are tasked with commanding two four-man units as they try to take down foreign militants in an Iraq-like simulation game.

The game delivers on its premise--it's a tactical war game where you are in charge of moving your two squads from waypoint to waypoint, completing objectives and shooting at bad guys wherever necessary.  If more than one of your eight men gets shot, the game automatically ends, so there is a learning curve that you are either going to love or going to chuck your controllers over a few times a session.  The tough thing for someone like me is that I like to be in charge of putting bullets into terrorists, so giving the "open fire" or "cover Alpha team" commands is not nearly as thrilling as it would be if the user was the one to be able to pull the trigger.  It ends up feeling more like a movie than I was wanting.

For some people, that will be just fine.  The graphics are spectacular; the controls--especially the techniques behind moving each fire team from one point of cover to another--is very cool.  The dialogue of the eight men in the game is just hilarious, and thanks to an M rating, amazingly profane.  I haven't heard the f-bomb dropped this many times maybe ever; this rivals "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" in terms of its harsh language.  The dialogue does help bring you closer to the action, and the level of immersion when guys are yelling as they are being fired upon is almost like being there (at least, that's what I would imagine, since I have never really been "there").

I never really got into "FSW", though...I never really found myself running home to play it more, so it went the way of the lost and has now found itself sold to another guy via eBay.  Hence, the rating.

Rating:  eBay


Feedback?  Comments?  Salma Hayek's digits?


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09