Chrome Specforce Review (PC)

It's a FPS. I really could end the review there because that pretty much sums up Chrome SpecForce. It's a solid little game that delivers exactly what it's supposed to, but severely lacks that X factor. This is a prequel to a game titled “Chrome” which launched with little to no fanfare in 2003.

Beware the 2D Trees!Joyous Stomping

If variety is the spice of life, then this game is the bread and butter. No, it won't particularly wow you with any of its gameplay or features, but it will keep you occupied when you feel the need to kill a few people.

In Chrome SpecForce your character's name is Bolt Logan, which is a very manly sort of name indeed, and functions as an accurate predictor for what the rest of this game is like.

As Bolt, you find yourself a member of the Federal Expeditionary Corps. Not just any member though, you're part of the SpecForce military unit. Ooh, don't you feel special. Your first mission finds you investigating corruption in a massive galaxy wide corporation. This makes you not unlike a souped up accountant. Enron would never have happened if we'd have just had a few of these guys hanging around.

Instead of pens and pencils and a super big calculator, you come armed with big standard guns, like a pistol, the ol' assault rifle, the rocket launcher, sniper rifle and shot gun, along with a few others, and you get armor that can blend into its surroundings, along with a couple of other pretty decent tricks. The Matrix has made its mark here, as in so many other games, with a slow mode which allows you to hang about frustratedly trying to shoot people as you all flounder about like fish swimming in jelly. It's referred to as a neural boost, but you know that the ghost of Neo is not far away.

The gameplay itself involves fire fights, traveling on various machines and a few mini games where you have to “hack” into a computer.  SpecForce calls it hacking, I'd call it playing memory. Which could be challenging if you happen to be a small child. The juxtaposition of nursery games and blasting people's heads off is somewhat odd, but it's a strange world out there.

Cause of death - White shiny dots...Prepare to run directly into enemy fire!

Where this game must be complimented is its story line. Someone actually sat down and planned this game out to make some form of coherent sense. This means that you can actually immerse yourself in the story instead of mindlessly killing lots of people. Eleven missions on, and you emerge triumphant and ready to explore the rest of the games features, which are pretty much in line with FPS standards.

This means that you get multiplayer maps and modes to play with, as well as a map making feature to make your own little corner of a world. Capture the Flag and Death Match feature in the multiplayer modes of course, as well as a couple of team games, Team Domination and Team Death Match. Naturally you will be able to play online too. Did someone say cookie cutter ?

Other aspects of the game are in keeping with the standard motif. The graphics are somewhat pretty, though a little two dimensional, and the animation is functional. Yes, functional, a tad floaty, but hey, perhaps Bolt failed to load up on carbs and lost some weight.  The AI is pretty decent... on the other side. The enemy is more wily than a jack rabbit on crack, whereas your troops apparently enjoy the whistle of bullets into their soft target bodies.

Oh Oh, and you don't want to forget about the capacity for vehicular travel that is available during some of the missions. This is standard on almost all FPS shooter games now, so I guess they felt they had to have it in there. You won't be having too much fun though, as you're only allowed to use it at certain pre-determined times throughout the game and it will be whisked away once your use for it has finished. Would have been fun to whip around the game world a few times on one of the machines, but no.

Quick men! Just stand there!Red Eyes 1: Bolt? Is that even like, a name?
Red Eyes 2: I dunno dude

Also standard come glitches which prompt restarts and occasionally make for stupid scenarios where people are apparently stuck by invisible walls. I'd call it a glitch too when your fellow soldiers just walk in front of enemy fire, or appear oblivious to the fact that they are being killed.

Chrome: SpecForce: Average with a vengeance.

Top Game Moment: A few minutes of stolen joy stomping around in a mech. Yippee.

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