If you had to ask which genre seems to get people online, chances are the answer will be the First Person Shooter. There is something about the way a FPS works that really makes it very appealing for online gameplay and it has showed since the beginning of online gaming on consoles and PC. Today we are checking out a game that is both offline and online, but obviously favoring the online version which hopes to earn a spot in your 360 library. The game is Frontlines: Fuel of War, does this FPS from THQ and Kaos Studios have what it takes? Read our full review to find out!
There is no doubt that Frontlines: Fuel of War is coming into a very crowded and well developed FPS field. In fact much of what you see for the upcoming calendar and that of the recent releases are in the same genre. However Frontlines: Fuel of War takes a few different steps to hope to separate itself from the rest of the pack. Is it able to?
Like many first person shooters before it, Frontlines: Fuel of War’s single player experience can be seen as more of an afterthought, or a quick warmup for what is to come in the game’s multiplayer. There is a story but it’s built up far too much by the pre-released promotional material that you really lose sight of what it could have been. The game basically has China and the Soviets joining together for world domination, and then the rest of us trying to stop them. There is one catch however, the worlds oil supply is nearly gone except for a few left in the Middle East where the battle is fought.
The story is a bit over the top, its over zealous in a lot of ways, and it really took a bigger issue than it probably needed to. A simple this person said something about my mom and we are going to war would have sufficed. Needless to say, the story isn’t without its moments to shine, and there are times where you will want to see what happens next. However the single player doesn’t really give a lot of direction as where to go with the game’s single player experience. It’s pretty unoriginal, straightforward, and lacking any sort of new ideas.
The good thing for Frontlines Fuel of War is that its single player is overshadowed by a far superior multiplayer mode. What I struggled with when writing this review was putting the game into perspective. There were two powerhouse FPS multiplayer experiences in the last few months of 2007 in Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. For this game to be successful it would have to compete with the likes of both of those titles.
However for Frontlines: Fuel of War it takes more of a Battlefield approach that we have see work beautifully on both the PC and consoles for the stoic franchise. Frontlines takes that idea and runs with it, with 32 players and 8 different maps. This is a game that really takes a lot of players and uses them right. And if there was one thing that I always made sure of when getting into a game on Frontlines was that it had to be heavily populated.
With Frontlines thriving with big maps and large amounts of players you may ask what exactly makes it this way. One of the strongest cards the developers played in this game was the implementation of vehicles and air combat in the game. Your goal in the multiplayer, similar to what we saw in games like Battlefield 1942, is to capture points on the enemy map while securing your own. It’s a simple mechanic that doesn’t force you to work in groups, but rather supports it and promotes it. The games themselves become all out wars. If you get into a good game, which chances are you will, the game is a blast to play. There is so much great content, a lot of well designed maps, and enough variety in classes and weaponry that really makes the game run quite smooth.
Is the multiplayer enough to really compliment this game as a complete package? I am surprised in some ways to actually say it really is. The game pulls together a lot of not necessarily ground breaking ideas and puts into a solid package. The multiplayer is the breadwinner for the gameplay, the mechanics are nothing necessarily new, but they all come together to make an exciting and entertaining multiplayer experience.
Visually Frontlines: Fuel of War is a great looking game outside of a few minor shortcomings. The animation and explosions in this game are really some of the best in the business. The big downside is that on a few of the multiplayer maps there is a lot of great buildings and vehicles with a ton of detail. But then scattered throughout are blurry, low textured, pieces of shrapnel, tires for a bus, and other things that if your starring at waiting to take out an enemy does take down the experience a bit. Outside of some small grievances I was very impressed with the visual presentation of the game.
Most of the time when I talk to you about the enjoyability of a game I don’t bring up the sound, but this is a game where I find it necessary to do so. The sound in this game is really quite remarkable, it really brings the game to life in a way that very few titles are able to do. Outside of this the multiplayer is really quite fun to get into. Most of the times I am more of a fan of games with a 4 on 4 sort of mentality, but this all out brawl experience in Frontlines manages to work quite well, and offers a great multiplayer elements.
Frontlines: Fuel of War is not the best FPS on the Xbox 360, its just not in that league. However if your beginning to want a new experience, this is a game that would make a great choice to turn to. If you looking to go online with a FPS, then Frontlines: Fuel of War is a great game to go check out.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.