Monday, April 18, 2022

Conflict: Desert Storm (PC) Review

I finished this game on Wednesday, August 9, 2006, 4:07:00 PM. This review was first published on GameSpot on March 3, 2008.

The game is based on the 1991 Gulf war. Through most part of the game, you control 4 characters that have to infiltrate enemy camps, destroy missiles, warheads, and rescue POWs etc.

The game spans 15 missions...fairly decent gameplay time, any more than that, I would have quit playing. After the 10th mission, I had just about enough of this game, but I don't usually leave games this easy unfinished.

Let me highlight something good about this game before I go on to the many bad aspects.

The graphics are decent…nothing special, but they are not too bad either, and the game has some huge environments, all of it is desert landscape, with varying degrees of visibility and time. Oh yes, there are night and day missions too. In one of the missions, the day turns to into night, and that was a bit of a surprise for me, because I wasn't expecting anything slightly creative, and then there are desert storms, which are quite well done. In this case, the visibility is very restricted.

After a couple of missions, once the control system gets familiar, playing the game isn't as tedious as it is in the beginning.

The enemy AI is nothing special, but the enemies have an incredible gift of sight it seems. Even during night missions, they never seem to miss spotting your soldiers in spite of being miles away. Also, in every mission there are a huge number of soldiers, so their stupidity doesn't really matter much because they are going to keep you really once that alarm is raised.

The same can be said about your teammates I suppose… they are equally up to the task when it comes to clearing crowds of enemy soldiers. But sometimes they act really insane, like walking into the enemy's line of fire, wasting away rockets ad such. So you have to constantly watch over your teammates, watch the kind of weapon they equip themselves once they run out of ammunition for a certain kind of weapon.

For example, one of the soldiers was carrying two fully automatic machine guns, and a pistol. While fighting a bunch of enemy soldiers closing in, this guy ran out of ammunition and equipped himself with a pistol instead of another automatic machine gun, just because the pistol happens to be the next item in the inventory. And this cost me the mission and I had to reply from the previous save point all over again.

Now the most irritating part of the game is the controls. Even to do simple things like using a medi-pack, or changing a weapon, you have to go through elaborate procedure of scrolling the inventory by holding the shift key. If you are in a battle situation, either you will get killed or suffer a significant loss of health.

Also the movement is terrible. When they are confronted with a wall, the character cannot turn right or left, you have to move back and then turn, so if you are running from enemy fire, and happen to run into a wall, consider yourself dead. Also they move quiet slow…

Finally, the game could have been better, but the control issues and movement have spoilt the experience for me. I know some people don't find this a problem, but I have played a lot of 3rd person games, and after having played them, this game just didn't cut it for me.


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