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April 1, 2005
Full Spectrum Warrior - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
15/4/2005THQPandemic/Mass Media1$79.95

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The team are meeting up.
When Full Spectrum Warrior was announced by THQ for XBox in May 2003 it was a game that instantly gained a following. This wasn't your standard First Person Shooter but rather more of a tactical strategy title. News that the game would not be available for Playstation 2 was a bitter blow, and indeed just over a year later when the game was released in June 2004 there was not a PS2 version in sight. In fact, it wasn't until October 2004 that THQ confirmed that a Playstation 2 version was in the works. Work on Full Spectrum Warrior at Mass Media is nearing completion and it must be said that the PS2 version looks pretty close to the Pandemic Studios' original XBox game.

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Alpha team takes cover.
We've already mentioned that Full Spectrum Warrior is a tactical strategy styled game and I can already hear you asking what's it all about? Well in the game you are the squadron leader and your task is to move Alpha and Bravo fire teams (two squads of four soldiers in each) around the battlefield issuing orders about where to move, where to find cover, who to attack and so on. During the game, and unlike almost every other action title, the game doesn't allow you to fire the weapons, that happens automatically, although you can issue commands to attack designated targets and you do have use of the frag and smoke grenades. With two squads to command it's critical that you use them to support and cover each other during the battles. The game takes place from a third person perspective to give you a clear view of the battlefield.

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Taking cover by the wall.
Full Spectrum Warrior includes 14 missions in total which includes the two bonus levels which XBox owners had to download as well as one new and exclusive level for Playstation 2. This will certainly add a bit more longevity to the title although each of the missions generally runs for between 30 and 90 minutes. The weapons are all based on real weapons used by the U.S. military while the game follows real world combat rules and situations. Both friend and foe use realistic AI to preserve their lives while making the game much more realistic as a result.

While still in its development phase the developers have apparently indicated that the game will include the online co-op mode in the PS2 game. Time will tell if the feature makes it into the final game, but here's hoping.

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The game looks good moving.
Graphically this game seems to be shaping up quite nicely. Sure the game isn't quite as detailed as the XBox version, but everything looks realistic enough. Animations for squad members have been modeled after a combat veteran who is an active-duty Sergeant in the U.S. Army Rangers. Visual effects such as explosions and gunfire look superb making this a visually impressive title. Hopefully the developers will be able to maintain a solid frame rate throughout the game.

Perhaps the biggest incentive to look at this title is the fact the game is based on a game commissioned by the U.S. Army to train their soldiers in urban combat. This is realistic, gritty and impressive. Full Spectrum Warrior will be hitting the PS2 in late March at $AU79.95.