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Frontlines: Fuel of War

PUBLISHED: 13:08 10 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:06 05 October 2010

Publisher: THQ
Price: £44.99
Format: Xbox 360 (also on PC)
AGE RATING: 16+

It S the year 2024 and the world is in the grip of an energy crisis. As oil fields

Publisher: THQ
Price: £44.99
Format: Xbox 360 (also on PC)
AGE RATING: 16+

It 'S the year 2024 and the world is in the grip of an energy crisis. As oil fields run dry, the world's superpowers rush to secure what resources remain and quickly become embroiled in a series of deadly confrontations. Before you know it, all hell has broken loose as the Western Coalition (Europe and the USA) and the Red Star Alliance (Russia and China) come to blows. This cheery scenario is played out through a series of convincing news reports at the start of the game and then it's straight into the action.
At its heart, Frontlines: Fuel of War is a grisly first person shooter that offers an intriguing mix of advanced weaponry to play with and an ever-changing battlefront that demands your keenest attention at all times. On the outbreak of hostilities your character is asked to sign up with either the Coalition or the Alliance and, depending on who you choose, you'll then be shipped off to a number of military hotspots.
Every mission throws up a number of mini-challenges that need to be successfully completed - for instance, you might be tasked with blowing up a fixed gun emplacement or stealing vital enemy information - but the order in which you undertake assignments is up to you. It's this fluidity to the mission structure that'll keep you constantly on the move, looking for targets and engaging in some fearsome firefights.
Each battlefield is gigantic but has been divided into smaller zones that have to be fought over for control. This creates a shifting frontline and a war that's constantly in flux. The more land you control the more equipment and vehicles you'll have access to and the more your soldier's skills can be boosted.
All this is just so much window dressing, of course. It's the weapons that really make Fuel of War stand out. They are the most inventive we've ever seen and you've never known fear until you've witnessed a tiny remote-controlled tank obliterating your troops with a machinegun that can fire hundreds of rounds a minute. There are all kinds of other weapons to choose from, too, but we don't want to spoil your fun by listing them here.
As a single-player game Frontline is impeccable, but it's when 32 players engage online that it really starts to sing. The mixture of unit types and advanced weaponry add a new dimension to what would otherwise be just a Battlefield clone.
It's definitely the most in-depth and satisfying combat sim currently available.

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