LAS VEGAS--Frontlines: Fuel of War is a game that's got a couple of big ambitions. The first is to provide a large-scale multiplayer experience along the lines of Battlefield: Modern Combat. That means in addition to running around on foot, you can jump in and control a variety of vehicles on the battlefield. However, it also wants to add what Battlefield sorely lacks, which is a compelling single-player experience.
We checked out that single-player game by playing a mission called Mountain King, which tasks you with taking out an enemy missile base that's threatening to launch a nuke. This is a mission with a sequence of objectives; achieving one manages to unlock another as the radio fills you in on the changing situation. However, you get to employ a lot of the toys that will play a big role in the multiplayer game.
Mountain King is the sixth mission in the game's campaign, so it's pretty intense. The facility, which is sort of like a giant version of Cheyenne Mountain, is full of generator rooms, control centers, and large caverns, all swarming with bad guys. You've got a pistol, grenades, and an assault rifle, as well as a missile launcher that can be used against hardened positions, such as heavy machine gun posts. The really neat toys, though, are the drones that you can employ. A gun drone is like a radio control tank, and you can use it to dart into heavy fields of fire to pick off bad guys from a position of relative safety. The helicopter drone is also really useful in the multilevel missile silo because you can fly it remotely up the shaft and use rockets to wipe out grunts hiding behind cover.
There's a pretty shocking ending to the mission--one that we can't spoil. But it did give us a sense that there's going to be an interesting and hopefully meaningful story. Developer Kaos Studios is going to be busy finishing things up during the coming weeks. The game will ship next month for the PC and Xbox 360, while the PlayStation 3 version is due later in the year.