E3 '07: Frontlines: Fuel of War Updated Impressions

THQ takes on EA's Battlefield game with this upcoming single- and multiplayer action game.

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When it comes to large-scale military-themed multiplayer action, EA's mighty Battlefield series rules the roost. THQ is taking aim at the Battlefield franchise with Frontlines: Fuel of War, a game that will feature multiplayer battles of at least 32 players (on all platforms) armed with both weapons and vehicles. And unlike the Battlefield games, Frontlines will also feature a single-player campaign, and we got to see both in action at E3.

Frontlines is set in the near future, as energy resources have dried up and sparked a global war for the remaining sources of fuel. On one side is the Western Coalition and on the other is the Red Star Alliance. The single-player will take place from the perspective of the Western Coalition, but you can play as either side in multiplayer. Since it's set in the future, Frontlines features a lot of weapons and technologies that are on the drawing boards today. You'll have advanced versions of today's weapons, as well as cool technology like battlefield drones that you can employ in battle.

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The single-player campaign will take place on large battlefields, and you'll be tasked with accomplishing a series of objectives. For instance, you'll need to figure out a way to blast open the gate to an enemy compound, advance through the compound and the building, and then move on to assault the enemy fortress behind it.

To get the gate open, one thing that you can do is call upon your helicopter drone, which is a model-sized piece of equipment you can hold in your hand. Just toss it in the air and you have full control of it, which means you can fly it around the battlefield and have it act as a scout. There are a couple of caveats, though. You can't have the drone fly too far away from you, as the signal strength decays, and while you're piloting the drone your character is vulnerable to anyone who comes up to him--so make sure there are no bad guys around. The drone also has a nifty little ability to detonate on command, so to open the gates to the compound, just have it fly into the security room of the enemy building and detonate near the gate controls.

Once the gate is open, your computer-controlled teammates will storm the compound. You can join them, or you can have fun with the gun drone. Like the helicopter drone, it's a small vehicle that you remotely control, but this one is armed with a machine gun, so you can use it to charge into a dangerous area. The drone can be destroyed if it takes too much fire, but it does allow you to scout ahead or deal with a dangerous threat without exposing yourself.

There are also vehicles such as tanks and helicopters that you can use in a pinch. The levels are designed so that you have multiple ways of dealing with objectives. For instance, in order to charge the enemy fortress you have to destroy the tanks defending the front. You can do so by jumping into the helicopter or the tank. The controls are not unlike that of Battlefield, so you don't need to have a pilot's license in order to fly the helicopter effectively.

The single-player promises to have a plot that explains the conflict, but if you don't want to mess with that you can jump into multiplayer for online fun. All versions of the game will support at least 32 players on 10 different maps, and the PC version is currently planned to support 64. Frontlines will support computer-controlled bots in single-player, but there won't be bot support in multiplayer.

The action in multiplayer is similar to that of single-player, though you do get to choose a class and a role in the game. The class you choose determines your basic weapons and equipment load out, so the special forces class gets a carbine or submachine gun and explosives that can be used to blow stuff up. Other classes include assault, heavy assault, sniper, anti-vehicle, and close combat.

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Then there are roles, which further specialize your character. These determine what kind of support you can call into action. There's ground support, counter measures, drone tech, and air support. So for drone tech, you get three types of drone. There's the helicopter drone, the gun drone, and then a mortar drone for the Western Coalition, while the Red Star Alliance gets a fast helicopter drone, a ground drone that can drive under a vehicle and explode, and another type of helicopter drone armed with rockets. Or the air support role can call in a precision airstrike, a carpet bombing, or a fuel-air explosive.

Frontlines will offer a mix of fast-paced infantry and vehicle action along with high-tech warfare, and it has the potential of becoming a popular multiplayer game. It's scheduled to ship in January.

Discussion

57 comments
White_Bitterfly
White_Bitterfly

@Sridanu, klinsi I don't think that the Red Star are being protrayed as bad guys. Your enemies, yes, but not bad people. The fact is that they probobly have only enough time/manpower/money/other limiting factor to create 1 campaign. They are going to make the campaign based off the one a Western audience is going to connect with best.: the Western Coalition. However, both sides are fighting over natural rescources, which makes it appear that no side will have the moral high ground .

HaRiZ420
HaRiZ420

I hope this has wide screen if so, I am going to drop BF2142 and play this instead. Oh and don't forget about the MECH's!

eminem_trick_01
eminem_trick_01

i don't like games that have vehicles..specially in every mission.

madman5222
madman5222

@sridanu i don't think that's why the U.S and europe are most of the time the good guys its jest that it's hard to portray north Korea or china...... ect as the good guys.....

haloman2652
haloman2652

I just want a game where me and my buddies can all hop in a chopper and go whoop some A$$. Thats what I love about battlefield. There is nothing better and this game looks very promising.

football_legend
football_legend

Cool... combining elements of BattleField online in singpleplayer. I like it...but. I probably think Bad company is the one to watch for. But who knows.

Sgt_Smith
Sgt_Smith

this game sounds pretty sick

paradise96
paradise96

I have been ready to buy this OUTSTANDING GAME!!!!

reeve92
reeve92

i dont get it i recon this game will rock but what do ya mean not many people will play because of halo 3 ..... halo sucks it is really cruddy this if done right will rock but halo is a geeks game one of them games for people who play dungions and dragons

jonjonsilver
jonjonsilver

This game is going to be $60 no doubt and I can't wait for it to be released!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sridanu
sridanu

@klinsi i agree. And the fact that the game companies that produce these games belong to western countries or they develop these games targeting the American and Europian market doenst help things. Nevertheless the game does look fantastic and should be very entertaining,

klinsi
klinsi

@sridanu Yeah, but what can be done ? Its pratically same with many many WW2 FPS that portray always the good side too ! Apparently there are lack of innovative story in recent games world now

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

I hope my comp will be able to handle this game, cause I will most likely be checking it out!

sridanu
sridanu

Yet another game in which Russia and china just happen to be the bad guys and the unplayable side. To be honest im getting a bit tired of western good guys fighting the eastern bad guys scenario :-(

Pemobian
Pemobian

The single-player campaign alone is enough to interest me. Battlefield-style multiplayer is a drag, which is why I could not possibly care less for the last few BF games. This looks like a promising alternative, if the gameplay pans out.

smghottie
smghottie

It seems like it will have a few more features than the latest battlefields, but whether or not its worth another $50 is the question.

pidow
pidow

You guy's can fight over multi-player, PS3's etc., all I care about is single player and if the game interest me.

Sony_FreaK
Sony_FreaK

I want to play this so bad. Its looks great. The graffix on this game looks real good. Can't wait till I see it on my HD and play it.

OfficeLinebackr
OfficeLinebackr

this game deffinately looks to have one of the best looking battlefield environments i've seen to date. hope to see a demo if nothing else before the release.

jodamn
jodamn

I'll admit these games are not my forte. Still, this one looks pretty damn appealing - I'll give it a shot when it comes out!

klinsi
klinsi

@msududue211 I think TOO MANY so I hope each game will have A CLEAR DIFFERENTIAL point & offer a new radical & revolutionary GAMEPLAY not just RADICAL GRAPHIC DISPLAY, bah... @SrDingDong Hm... yeah, I agree that will be super cool if the setting is in WW2 Watch out, Koenig Tiger Roll Out !!!! @macabre190788 For PS3 only ??? Hehehe.. are u joking ? this is a FPS GAME ! not Action Game so its very UNFAIR for PS3 to have this game while PC doesnt' even get Grand Turismo or Metal Gear Solid ! What if we barter cuz I believe its a good deal, very good deal, u get Frontline (only for PS3) while we get Grand Turismo or MGS (Only for PC, hehehe... so ? deal ? ) If u want to play this game, simple, buy PC (I still saving now to buy PS3, wow yeah... gaming is one of hobbies that need a lot of money) PS3 will get super many superb & marvelous games in the future, lets we say like PS2 in the past too @raynSpear Oh yeah, I believe 10 multiplayer maps are too few ! And oh geez... its absolutely same with BF2 & 2142 again, no bots for MP, there are only 2 sides (like BF2142), and even the story is rather similiar with BF2 story too so ? I hope this game will come with many good point compared to Halo or Bf or Unreal ! Judging by the screenshots, this game will rocks

bdavis801
bdavis801

it's funny hearing ps3 fanboys talk of exclusives, you can almost hear them poppin pill everytime microsoft takes them...i didn't event want to hear them when devil may cry came over, and remember alot of games microsoft plays with is on Vista until playstation upgrades you wont see alot of games ported because online play will suck......anyway this game look pretty good and this game i doubt will have alot of players because HALO 3 will take up most of xbox live

raynSpear
raynSpear

As fun as the 32 players online sounds i dont think there will be many ppl playing it on the 360 once halo comes out, and having only 10 maps will get pretty repetitive. Hopefully the weapons of the same class for the different sides wont behave in exactly the same way like battlefield, that was a joke how they claimed like 30 different weapons.

laa84
laa84

Cant wait!!!!!!!!!!!

winnerjay
winnerjay

lol. why do you cAre if its ps3 exclusive? what differnce does it make if owners of both consols get to play it? it doesnt make the game less enjoyable for you to make it enjoyable for someone else. this game should kick some major ass regardless of what systems it is on.

macabre190788
macabre190788

Gonna be great. I agree that this should have been a PS3 exclusive, I mean, can't we get something special this year? Oh well, next year is gonna be different 360 owners. But for now, I envy you.

zander_ki
zander_ki

it is on ps3 Haruhi_love.......

hchir
hchir

Another one of those from low end deveolopers. ew..

nev70
nev70

Haruhi_love nice wish it was just on PS3 .................................................Struggling for good games to play on your ps3 then ? not much this year is there.

du565sk
du565sk

As an addicted BF2 player, I really can't wait to play this game and wean myself off BF2, which gets boring sometimes. ET:QW, looks like good competition, too.

du565sk
du565sk

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

wargod53
wargod53

Since it is being made by the guys who brought us the Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942 - which was widely regarded as being better than than original game, and also who helped make Battlefield 2, this should watched with a great deal of attention!

SrDingDong
SrDingDong

if only this game was set in WW2 era...

astro64th
astro64th

Meh. I too am tired of these types of games. But this one looks good regardless.

Thorpe89
Thorpe89

Game is looking great I must say.

jesus_knight
jesus_knight

another soldies game this game better offer something new

Bansheesdie
Bansheesdie

Frontlines is shaping up very well it seems. Should keep an eye on this title...

jrdom
jrdom

looks good...its just ghost recon A.W. on steroids

magicmo
magicmo

The title sounds like it is suggesting that you go to war over oil...Hmmmm, could have been taken from the headlines of today. :|

DouglasBuffone
DouglasBuffone

The screens look very good for the game, and the 32 person multiplayer is really cool

polygoo
polygoo

this is NOT midway, its THQ!

icytower
icytower

Good looking screens for the game.