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October 18, 2005
Conflict Global Storm - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
4/10/2005AtariPivotal Games1-2, 4 MA15+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
383KBDolby PLIIYesYesNoneYes

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Don't stay exposed too long!
Look, it's another squad based tactical action title. The big difference here is that this is actually Pivotal Games fourth title in the Conflict series to hit Playstation 2 and while previous games were good, they never reached their full potential. Unfortunately this game, despite adding several new features, can be placed in the same category. Good, but not great. Read on for the details...

Conflict Global Storm sees you tasked with locating and ultimately defeating a new force in global terrorism. You control a rapid response counter-terrorist unit made up of four Gulf War veterans; Bradley, Jones, Connors and Foley. The original heroes of Conflict: Desert Storm are back, this time having undergone intense training in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency techniques, all added to their wealth of extensive battlefield and special-ops experience.

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Is that a Dell laptop?
In ensuring the safety of the team Foley goes MIA and the team must enlist the help of sniper Carrie Sherman. As the missions become more deadly and the team start to uncover more of March 33’s plans, its clear they face the greatest challenge of their careers to date.

Essentially Conflict Global Storm is a tactical squad based shooter which takes place across 14 (quite large) missions set around the globe from South America to Asia. During the missions you control one of four team members with the ability to switch between them by pressing up or down on the D-Pad. Each team member has a backpack full of weapons, grenades, explosives, medikits and items which are accessible via the triangle button. Firing is handled with the R1 button, L1 allows you to issue commands to other team members and so on. There's plenty here to learn and it will take a couple of missions to get used to the controls. The characters can now jump over objects and walls or climb through windows by pressing the X button when close to such locations.

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Taking it to the streets.
Despite the fact that each character is supposedly a "specialist" in one area or another, each is more then capable in a firefight. The sniper, Carrie, is just as good with normal weapons as other characters in the game. Conflict Global Storms enemies are also a little on the offensive side. They have no hassles with charging into a room or area which you are covering one or two at a time rather then regrouping and forming some sort of plan. This unfortunately reduces the strategy in the game - there's little need to place your team around the map to cover an area.

The developer has also included support for 2-players via a split screen as well as 4-players through Gamespy's online services. We only managed to play for a short time online given the lack of players at this early stage since the title's release but the lag issues seemed minimal and the game played very well with 4-players. Naturally this will partially be due to your internet connection.

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Using night vision goggles.
The biggest problem with this game is the AI of both the enemies, and your own team. Being the fourth game in the series you would have expected the developers to fix issues such as team members becoming "stuck" behind others until they move, or facing a wall rather then the doorway where enemies are about to rush through and so on. It doesn't totally kill the experience but it's a bit annoying at times. Another issue I have is the save options. Rather then an auto save the game gives you a couple of saves per level. In theory it sounds like a good idea, but when you can't tell how far into the levels you are it's hard to judge when to save. Too early and you won't have a save near the end of the level, too late and you'll likely die before you save resulting in the need to start the level from scratch.

While there's certainly a lot better games in terms of graphics on the PS2 Conflict Global Storm doesn't leave a sour taste in your mouth either. In fact this is one area where the developers seem to have improved the series the most with some lovely cut scenes, impressive muzzle flashes and tracer fire and plenty of other visual effects such as fire, smoke and blurred vision when too close to explosions to keep you entertained. The levels are well designed with quite a bit of variety within each area although the texturing still isn't quite up to today’s standards.

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Animation is fairly solid.
Audio is one area which Pivotal should spend a bit more time for the Conflict series in future. When the characters talk, even when standing right next to each other, always seem to sound like they're talking through their headsets rather then directly face to face. Either that, or the sound recording is so hissy it's a disgrace. The effects and explosions don't have the impact one would expect even through a great sound setup like my own while the machine guns often lack impact. Fortunately the music in the menus is up-tempo enough while the Dolby Pro Logic II is generally put to good use.

Conflict Global Storm really is a case of another very solid title, but one which, like previous games in the series, still leaves room for improvement. Having said that if you want a squad based action title this is still well worth considering.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSNot the best on Playstation 2 but functional enough for this game.
SOUNDProbably the one area that needs more beefing up in future games.
GAMEPLAYQuite fun, but dodgy AI almost kills it. Controls need improving too.
VALUE14 lengthy single player missions, and then multi-player as well.
OVERALLConflict Global Storm is a very respectible action title on Playstation 2 with all the right ingredients in place. Unfortunately it just lacks that little extra quality and polish to make it a winner. Still, it you like action games then this will keep you playing for quite some time and is certainly worth a look.

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