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April 10, 2005
Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
19/9/2003THQKuju1, 8 MA15+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
86KBDolby PLIIYesNoNoneYes

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Battle in the streets.
Warhammer 40,000 has been around for well over twenty years. From its early days as a table top RPG to PC strategy series this game has obtained a massive devoted fan base. Now for the very first time the series is entering the first person shooter genre. With such a rich and detailed history expectations are high for a quality game, will it keep its fans happy or not? Letís find out.

I must state right now that I donít know a great deal about the story lines behind Warhammer, so this is my first experience. The story to this game sees you taking on the role of a warrior named Kais who is battling against the Imperium. From what my research has told me this is one of the only games in the series history that you are not fighting for the Imperiam. There are a few cut scenes to help explain what is going on, but if youíre like me you will probably not understand most of it. Ah well it is a first person shooter, so the story really is shoot at everything that shoots at you first.

Click To Enlarge Image
Battle in the streets.
It doesnít take long to realize what sort of game you are in for in Fire Warrior. From level one onward this game is all about set pieces and wave after wave of enemies. The influences on this game are obvious straight away, you can only carry two weapons, you have a shield that recharges with time and every now and then you will pass through a check point, yep it seems that Kuju have played a lot of Halo. You have to be careful everywhere you go in this game as there are enemies lurking behind every corner. You will also fight alongside some team mates at various stages to help ease the burden on you. If you have ever played a first person shooter before you know what to expect with this game.

Warhammer 40,000 Fire Warrior is one of the few games to take advantage of Sonyís network adaptor. Up to Eight players can battle it out in some solid first person shooting action. While it is good to see a game use the PS2í online capabilities, they are not pushed too heavily here. There are only the basic capture the flag, king of the hill and deathmatch modes and to make matters worse there are only eight maps to play on. So the option for online play is there just donít expect to be playing for too long before boredom sets in.

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Battle in the streets.
Unfortunately this game follows the basic first person shooter script way too much. It has clearly copied many games that have come before it instead of bringing in some fresh ideas of its own. While following Halo is a good idea, using other ideas that are over a decade old is not. Things like finding a blue key to open a blue door was cool when Doom came out but in this day and age it simply does not cut it. The controls are also behind current shooters, they feel clumsy and for a game that is meant to be fast paced the movement of your character is slow. Slow is a word to describe the aiming system as well, it takes too long to line up a enemy who is blasting away at you while you will the Dual Shock to speed up.

The game does feature a huge 21 levels which is more than most FPSís but that is not a good thing. The levels are the most linear levels I have played on in years. It is basically 21 levels of walking down a hall way. Another disappointing aspect of this game is the AI, soldiers that fight alongside of you and enemies that you fight all follow strict patters and predictable movements. There is a large selection of weapons on offer, but we have seen them all before, pulse rifles, laser guns, hand guns and shot guns are the norm. They are also weak, you sometimes have to unload an entire clip to drop and enemy, most of the weapons feel like space age water pistols.

One area that Fire Warrior does stand up well to todayís games is in the visuals. The game world really does a good job of looking like a war zone. The colors are limited in these areas but it works well to create a living breathing war zone, similar in fact to recent Sony hit Killzone. The enemies are all pretty well designed but again like Killzone there are not that many different variations of enemies.

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Battle in the streets.
The sound is also pretty good in Fire Warrior. Weapons all sound pretty good and the constant explosions and bombings all sound first class. All the cut scenes and spoken dialogue is high quality as well with former Dr Who Tom Baker doing some of the voice work. One letdown is the lack of music during play, but it is not much of a problem.

Overall this game is a pretty solid first person shooter that adds to the Warhammer universe nicely. The biggest problem facing this game is in the stiff competition Killzone, Time Splitters: Future Perfect, Project Snowblind and Area 51 are either already out or on the way. Still if you are after a solid shooter with an online mode that you can probably find cheap Warhammer 40,000 Fire Warrior is not a bad pick up at all.

Review By: Graham Darko

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GRAPHICSCreates a very good looking future war zone. Nicely done indeed.
SOUNDVoice acting and weapons sound pretty good. Explosions are nice.
GAMEPLAYFollows the tried and tested formula. Not as fast as other FPS's either.
VALUE21 levels and multi player online give it a reasonable life span.
OVERALLWith a few more original ideas this could have been one of the top shooters around. As it stands it is a solid game worth getting if you can find it cheap.

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