Humvee Assault is a straightforward third-person car combat game with one surprising feature: Whenever you feel like it, you can hop out of your Humvee and run around assaulting things on foot; you just won't cover ground as quickly as a vehicle. Humvee Assault is also a budget game. And as you might expect from a budget-priced game, it's simple, short, slightly buggy, and generally not very good.
According to the description on the game's box, you play as a soldier performing "anti-terror missions in global hotspots like Iraq, Cambodia, and Afghanistan." (Your missions also include two other global hotspots, steamy Colombia and snowy Bosnia, which evidently weren't "hot" enough to warrant a mention on the box.) These antiterror missions--all five of them--involve picking one of four different Humvees and then driving it all over the place looking for the level's key targets while shooting at a handful of different types of enemies.
This isn't necessarily a recipe for disaster. Humvee Assault's levels are huge and generally wide open, leaving you plenty of room to drive and shoot. The problem is that the vehicle physics are neither realistic enough to provide much of a challenge nor wildly unrealistic enough to deliver any thrills. In fact, there barely seems to be any vehicle physics at all. You'll never catch air, flip over, powerslide into a turn, or feel any real sense of speed. Virtually every detail that games traditionally use to separate driving from walking is missing. It often seems as if you're simply controlling a person shaped like a Humvee.
The game's vehicular enemies include four-wheelers, tanks, and pickup trucks. Generally speaking, they have one tactic: to drive toward you and then drive in circles around you. The game's lack of interesting physics extends to interactions with other cars. Collisions have essentially no effect on either vehicle. Some missions require you to hop out of the Humvee and then either retrieve or destroy a target inside a building. This is where the game goes from mediocre to dismal. The buildings are stocked with a bunch of on-foot opponents. Inexplicably, these soldiers have absolutely no AI whatsoever. They simply stand in place while shooting at you. It's almost as though the static crowds that sit in the stands in racing and sports games have finally made their starring debut in their own game...as a bunch of sitting ducks. You've only got two weapons--a machine gun and grenades--so there isn't even any variety in your choice of how to dispatch these bullet-spewing statues.
At least Humvee Assault's graphics aren't nearly as bad as the game that takes place inside them. The game's custom rendering engine does a nice job of displaying big, open spaces. The jungle levels are believably dense with foliage, and one mission takes place through the streets of a hilly, detailed, and convincingly decrepit Colombian town. To compensate for this one positive feature, the game's animations are uniformly bad. Enemy soldiers generally stand in one place, and they have absolutely no reaction to being shot other than eventually tipping over.
The game's sound effects aren't so much bad as they are missing. The game has adequate gunfire and explosion effects, as well as engine noises, but that's about it. Other than some music (which we had to turn off because it stuttered on two different systems), the game has no ambient sounds. As you'd probably expect at this point, the immobile, unanimated soldiers are also completely mute.
We experienced hard lockups three or four times during the three or four hours it took to finish the game. These crashes are especially aggravating since you can save the game only after you've completed a mission goal. The developer has acknowledged the lockup problem and is evidently working on a patch.
At 20 bucks, Humvee Assault is pretty expensive considering all the things you don't get, such as enemy AI. For just 10 dollars more, you could buy Bandits: Phoenix Rising, a recently released and much, much better third-person car combat game. No matter what it says on the box, Humvee Assault is no bargain.