With images of the war in Iraq blaring across television screens each day, the gaming industry has been producing an increasing number of war-based video games, from Vietnam, WWII and even the current war on terrorism. Some of these games are incredible – so realistic that they require real strategy and determination – but others like “Conflict Global Storm” are nothing more than a waste of time.

TV/New Media Reviews
“Yes, I am slightly constipated – and attacking you.” (Courtesy of 2K Games)

In “Conflict,” players begin as individual Sgt. John Bradley and end up as Red Team, the world’s finest rapid-response counter-terrorism unit. Players go through training with a set of typical weapons: Guns, grenades, mines, etc. Following the basic session is advanced training, where more team members make their debut: a demolitions expert, a tank specialist and a sniper.

In the team’s first mission, the team parachutes to the ground and is ambushed. Players have to re-assemble the team and escape from the compound – alive. There’s also vulnerability to jungle warfare, close-quarter combat and plain old run-and-gun-style fighting.

With these scenarios in place, “Conflict” should be a good game, but it doesn’t ever live up to its potential. The worst thing about the game is the difficulty in maintaining control of the visual field. It’s close to impossible for the player to turn the camera to face oncoming soldiers. The camera also turns incredibly slowly. By the time players turn around to fight back, they are already dead. Although the rest of Red Team is there for back-up, its aim is so atrocious that it makes no difference, and death is still inevitable.

Certain death is guaranteed in other scenarios as well. When riding in the Jeep – players are forced to drive because no one else knows how. Tragically, this means that in order to man the grenade launcher, players are left to sit openly in a nonmoving vehicle. If gamers do choose to take the wheel, the teammates have problems even hitting the enemy tank – yet the enemy tank has no difficulty hitting back and killing the entire team. When survival is against such bad odds, players are hard pressed to find a reason to continue on with the game at all. And that hits at the game’s biggest problem: It’s just not fun.

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