Posted by: KoKroach (Koratte) | February 19, 2008

Bye Bye Battlefield?

Frontlines

 

So, hands up who’s been playing the Frontlines: Fuel of War demo then?

I know after the single player demo it seemed a little too quirky to be considered as a serious shooter, but you really have to give this game a chance to grow on you, and definitely get into the multiplayer. In fact, start downloading the new demo now before you read any more.

So the singleplayer sets you in a mediocre level, pushing through a fortified town to get to an objective at the far end you never even get to see, with only one tank to destroy, and a very limited choice of weaponry. Doesn’t sound like a very attractive demo does it? at least that’s what I though after playing it. I dismissed it as yet another shooter trying to be too quirky in a vain bid to overtake Battlefield 2 as the top dog in territory-based, this-century combat. Unfortunately for the otherwise lovely people relying on a Bad Company whitewash for their pay rises this year, Frontlines looks set to give it a hiding, or at least a good swift kick to the balls.

First thing that grabbed me when I started up the demo was the option in the menus to read up the background info on all the vehicles, weapons, and ‘role’ classes available in the game, which took me around 45 minutes to read, and I am by no definition slow. There is a lot in info packed into those few dozen pages, and as you should all know, knowledge is power in a game as tactically minded as this.

There are 2 maps available in the demo, Streets (16+ players) and Oil Fields (32+ players). Yeah, that’s right, Frontlines has confirmed support for upto 50 players, and all hosted on KAOS dedicated servers, so lag doesn’t seem to be much of an issue, even in the most intense 15 Vs 15 battles over the small objective zones.

Frontlines implements a fantastic new game mechanic called the ‘frontline’ (strangely enough), that forces the players to converge on a maximum of 3 or 4 territories at a time if they are to aid their team’s cause. This gives a clear-cut line down the middle of the minimap showing exactly which areas you control, and thus how safe you should feel. Though feeling safe isn’t often an option in this game, with a huge range on the almost idiot-proof (vehicle)seeking rocket launcher, and a fair few vantage points where a good sniper can practically control the map.. Until someone hits him with an airstrike anyway.

The game revolves around six unit classes, and four ‘role’s. The unit classes are relatively straightforward; Assault, Heavy Assault, Sniper, Anti-Vehicle, Spec Ops, and Close Combat. The two assault types give you an assault rifle and light machine gun, anti-vehicle gives you the awesome rocket launcher and landmines, spec ops has a silenced SMG, and the close combat has a beefy shotgun. The sniper class is pretty self-explanatory. now, the interesting bit is the roles. They are Ground Support, EMP Tech, Drone Tech, and Air Support. Each role can be upgraded twice from the base level as your player points increase by getting kills, securing objectives etc, rewarding more skilful players with better technology and resources. The role equipment is slightly different for either faction, so I’ll let you check out the official game site for more details on that.

Also worth note on the game site are the vehicles, of which there are plenty. There’s all the sorts of transport you’d expect in the game; buggies, tanks, attack choppers, jet fighters… but with their own little futuristic twists, like advanced target sharing, that with the touch of a button allows you to designate targets to other gunners leaving yourself free to drive, fly or whatever else you may be doing. another cool feature is the electronic countermeasures system on the light armoured vehicle, that allows the secondary gunner to not only go about their business shooting whatever the driver wants them to, but also to take down homing projectiles in mid flight, saving yourself a nasty trip back to a spawn point.

The best way to gain insight into this beauty of a game however is to go play the demo for yourself. I promise you, as long as your top 5 favourite shooters don’t consist entirely of The Club, Perfect Dark 0, and any James bond games after the legend that is Goldeneye, you will enjoy your time with Frontlines. I’ve preordered my copy, get it 29th Feb ’08.

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Responses

  1. “The best way to gain insight into this beauty of a game however is to go play the demo for yourself.”

    No pun intended, right?

  2. Me? Make a pun? Never :p

  3. picking mine up also. Got it payed in full. I was online the exact second the multiplayer demo came out and loved the game since then. I always rank number one in all of the matches i played…or at least 2nd or 3rd. looking forward to fraging people when the game drops!!!!


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