Conflict Desert Storm II Review (XBox)
Pandaís. Thatís right, you heard me, pandaís. See, I reckon pandaís are cool. They can be cute, but also a visceral killing machine if angered. Conflict Desert Storm II doesnít really have enough pandaís for my taste. Sure, it has some goats, but not really any pandaís. And when you think about it, pandaís have had an instrumental effect on the entire video gaming industry. Warcraft III had pandaís in it, and it was one of the best RTSís in years. But this is just a novel way to start my review, Conflict Desert Storm II fails for multiple reasons, and the exclusion of my furry friends is not one of them.
The game itself is the sequel to the original ConflictÖ released a little over a year ago. That game was generally well received, and only one major gaming site got their review right in my opinion. Set in the first gulf war, you control a squad of four men, leader, sniper, heavy weapons expert and demolitions expert. Close up, you could say that this sequel changes little, and is nothing except some new missions. You would be right. Itís closer to an expansion pack than a full sequel.
After playing the game for but a few minutes, I realised nothing had changed. The first irksome factor in this game is the control. Your character both looks and feels like he has just been defrosted and the animation appears very stiff. Running forward is fine, but you will probably get shot by the respawning enemies (more on that crime later). Strafing is by and large far too slow, and donít even try running diagonally. You character can lie down and crouch, which can be useful. With belly to the floor your soldier can now roll left and right, which in fairness is a welcome addition and saved me many times. Cumulating with the shoddy character movement is the terribly implemented first person view. Unless youíre using a sniper rifle its absolutely pointless.
The missions are generally boring; it usually involves infiltrating an enemy town/base/installation. Rinse and repeat until youíre done. The level briefing usually advises stealth. While stealth kills are possible, and especially gratifying if you manage to slit a guardís throat, stealth the majority of the time is impossible. Itís not because of your other squad members (you can switch between them at will, or give them commands, which is easy, and your team mates AI is good), its because usually whenever you come near an enemy, he automatically spots you. This results in using the same tactics of clearing rooms in every mission.
In combat, one thing becomes obvious, enemies in certain sections respawn. This was clearly evident in the original game and appears to have been toned down in the sequel, but it still exists. Adding to this problem is your inventory system. Because there is no ďuse med kitĒ button, you will need to open your inventory with Y, scroll all the way to the bottom, use a med kit, and then re equip your weapon, by which time you are probably fairly dead. In the golden rules of video games, respawning enemies is the rule you should never break, especially not in a console game. It shows laziness of the highest order, a total disregard for well designed sections.
Graphically, this Xbox version of Conflict II looks substantially better than the PS2 version which looks more like a dog that has been hit by a train, but itís still below the Xbox's sharp graphical quality. Iíve seen much worse, but I know Microsoftís machine is capable of a lot more. So much of this game is brown, unless itís at night and then itís all an ugly shade of blue. Itís bad in single player, its nightmare inducing in cooperative mode.
Sound is generally forgettable, explosions sound nice enough, but your weapons sound like plastic toy guns. Very little of this review is devoted towards the sound, for the simple reason that it doesnít deserve much attention.
Now this may sound contradictory, but Conflict Desert Storm II is far from an awful game. It just left me uninspired. Generally sloppy and so rough around the edges it becomes a blur. As armed forces based game goes, itís not as bad as the laughable Americaís Army but its pretty damn borderline average anyway. So, Conflict Desert Storm II: no pandaís, nor much of anything else. Producers SCI should go back to the Desert, they successfully created a solid game with no excitement, and that, surely, defeats the whole point.
Last edited by SALvation; 04-26-2008 at 02:38 AM.
desert storm is sh1t, its only poor copy of great game Hidden and Dangerous. very very good game, ive spend a weeks playing it