THQ continues to unload an array of shooting games, improving upon gameplay and concepts one label after another. Their latest offering to the military scene called Frontlines: Fuel of War is set in the distant future where the planet is being torn apart by warring factions, who are desperately fighting for the last remaining fossil fuel. Whoever controls this crucial resource will be able to escape extinction as well as tip the balance of power. The core of the game’s mechanics is based on one central concept: advancing your “frontline” by any means necessary. On paper, it looks like an RTS game but deep down, it is an FPS title with lots of infantry and vehicle-based action throughout its missions. Needless to say, the game’s greatest attraction is not in its single-player campaigns but it is in the multiplayer features.
With the ability to enable 50-player matches, you know people will be flocking online to join the fight. The multiplayer combat is so engaging that most players may just forever revere Frontlines as the household name for first-person shooter MMO. Just how massive can these matches get? It’s large enough to accommodate an army of 25 men taking on another 25 in opposition! The battles in Frontlines are of epoch proportions. You’ll never run out of activities as the maps are loaded with objectives and predetermined capture points. Since this is the future, you have access to myriads of sophisticated tanks, jets, jeeps, hummers, helicopters, drones, and other explosive devices. Tanks and jeeps are the easiest to control while jets are the hardest to maneuver. It’s nice to see the game provides players with a number of commanding roles to choose from, including special ops team, assault team, etc.
One of the best features of Frontlines is the frame rate stays smooth regardless of how much action is transmitted onscreen. We didn’t feel any lag time in the animation even after taking on heavy hits in an online battle. What makes Frontlines easy on the eyes are its incredible camera angles that provide us not only a wide view of enemy terrain but also sizable offensive strikes. The game boasts some impressive graphics with good use of particle effects in blowing up structures and cover materials. You’ll see concrete of a building shatter into small debris after a rocket slams into it. Also, the inclusion of a smoky landscape delivers a convincing tone of a wasted industrial environment as well as infuses a greater depth of hostility to the battle scenes. The whole “shattering” sequences reminded us of the old Red Faction for the PS2 except the special effects on this one are 10 times better!
In the audio department, Frontlines did an amazing job of bringing what could easily have been a World War III scenario. You’ll hear explosions coming in different sides as though you are closing in on enemy barracks. As you get deeper into the heart of your campaigns, bombs and machine guns become ever so lively! You don’t have time to blink anymore, you just run on instinct. Besides, if you find yourself in the verge of losing your life, just take cover, and you automatically be able to replenish your health bar. It’s a good thing that this game comes with warning signs, too! It gives you an idea where you’re being shot at. It’s also nice to know that you can be deployed near the area you were last killed instead of starting from the last save point. That way your mission doesn’t drag on. Overall, Frontlines: Fuel of War is a solid FPS package, suited mostly for multiplayer experience. It might not be as technical as Activision’s Call of Duty 4 but it captures enough tactical excitement for a remarkable futuristic warfare.