Remember when you used to get ya little plastic army men out of the tub, play in the sand pit and wage war against each other? Well now it’s time for the Xbox to step in and take control of the on going war… sadly, badly.
You take control of the Green Army member, Sergeant Hawk. You pretty much just pick weapons up, trek through the levels and take down the Tan Army recruits, Simple to understand, sadly a hassle to actually play. You play in 3rd person perspective or ‘just behind your dude’.
The button controls are pretty easy to understand, but to turn and look around you have to use the two thumbsticks, okay so far, so normal, but they have made the stick over-sensitive, and you turn way to quickly.
It honestly gives me a headache just playing this game and you can’t strafe in terms of hiding behind a crate, pop out and shoot a few rounds off, this is because you can only strafe if you hold the lock-on button, and you can’t lock on if you can’t see the enemy you want to shoot at. So to strafe you have to be actually aiming at an enemy, yet you can’t aim if he’s not in your sights.
So if you want to pop out and shoot a tan, you have to walk out from your cover, turn, lock on, shoot, then you can strafe, it kind of sucks, and makes even the easy parts of the game frustrating, Especially when it should be a simple maneuver. You have access to the usual shoot, duck, and jump, but you rarely actually need to jump in the early levels, more of a shooter than a platformer. You can’t hold the fire button down to spray the room with bullets, you have to press the A button per bullet, so you end up just hitting the button as fast as possible.
You have a lock on button, and you need it, it’s extremely hard to aim at an enemy without this handy button but you end up taking on the groups and enemies one at a time because of this. Sadly to successfully use a grenade or sniper rifle, you have to sit in the open while you ‘charge’ your throw, or zoom in, again a pain because you can’t properly strafe like most shooters on this genre
There is a tutorial to start the game off, and even when I finished the tutorial missions I wasn’t looking forward to the first proper mission. Each level is split into little sections with primary missions that have to be done to complete the level, and secondary missions, which aren’t vital, but give you that little bit more to do (it normally involves finding a hidden flag) Each Mission doesn’t take very long to complete, and each carries a restart point, so if ya die ya don’t have to re-do to much, a bonus! The game is pretty easy from what I’m played; it just doesn’t feel natural to play though.
You fight ya way through the early town levels, avoiding bombs, hiding in shells of houses, taking out any Tan you come across. You have access to the usual machine guns, assault rifle, sniper rifle and rocket launchers, oh and grenades. Then you go onto harder missions where you are in a sand pit, sand castles, spades and empty cans litter the place, and it’s like ‘Micro Machine’ wars. The story progresses and it appears an old enemy called Malice is out for revenge, and he won’t give in easily.
You have the option of saving your game at the end of each level, so you don’t have to start all over again each time, unlike some more arcade like games. The graphics are very average for the Xbox. You have your usual energy bars, ammo count etc. It’s bright and colorful, and it’s easy to tell your team mates from the evil Tan members. As you get shot at, chunks of you go missing, until you can actually see right through the character, this is a neat idea, but sadly that’s where the originality ends. Sadly this game offers nothing new. And with Riddick and Halo 2 out soon, this game is a let down to bridge the gap since the last few good ‘shooters’
Multiplayer is fun for a while, whether it be deathmatch, capture the flag, or team advance where you have to ‘gain ground’ you can have up to 4 player in split-screen and offers enough fun till the headaches start setting in again. There are only 4 levels to play on, and there aren’t very big either. Sadly this game is only live aware, no online play, or content download… but at least people can see when you’re online, and invite you to a better game. Even a co-op mode would have been a nice touch, covering each others back, scouting ahead… oh well, never mind.
An average game overall, made a pain to play with over sensitive controls. Easily could of made more customisable options, but they didn’t. All feels rushed.