Conflict: Global Terror Updated Impressions - Nearly Ready to Deploy

We get one last look at this modern-day action game before it wraps up development.

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Conflict: Global Terror, the fourth game in the Conflict series, is all but done at this point, but we recently got a chance to see the game in action one last time before it ships. As the name indicates, you'll have a chance to lead your elite, four-member antiterrorist team in the global struggle against violent extremism. We should note that, due to sensitivities to the recent London terror bombings, the game will be known as Conflict: Global Storm in the European market.

You're part of an elite, four-member counterterrorist team.
You're part of an elite, four-member counterterrorist team.

Global Terror will represent a big upgrade for the franchise for a number of reasons. The new graphics engine offers a lot more detail than previous Conflict games, but there's also an emphasis on improved gameplay. The idea is to give you options for how to play the game. You can switch between first- and third-person views, and the game has been balanced for both perspectives. If you like squad-based games, you can issue orders to your squad to move ahead or to flank someone, or they can just follow you if you don't want to bother with squad management. You can also jump from squad member to squad member, which is useful when you need access to a particular piece of equipment.

The single-player campaign will contain approximately 14 missions, and they're spread all over the world. We saw jungle, desert, and snow levels in action, as well as a dark, urban level. In nighttime missions, you can use night vision and thermal vision to cut through the darkness--but we were also impressed with how good the game looks when the lights are out. Lighting effects, such as muzzle flash and tracer fire, are very well done, and you'll flinch when you see tracer rounds fly in your direction.

As always, you have a variety of high-tech weapons and equipment at your disposal, but you can also pick up weapons from fallen enemies and use them against their buddies. And speaking of the fallen, the healing system in Global Terror is designed to be streamlined and forgiving. Basically, if any of your elite troops go down, you'll have about two minutes to get a fellow squad member to heal them. This gives you some time to finish off the opposition and secure the area. If you don't heal the fallen in time, they'll die and you'll have to start over at the last checkpoint. The same goes if your entire team goes down at the same time. Since there's no one left to heal, you'll have to start the sequence over again.

That's a nice RPG. Kill that terrorist and it's yours.
That's a nice RPG. Kill that terrorist and it's yours.

We also saw vehicles in action. Your squad can commandeer various vehicles throughout the game--mainly transports and light tanks, but they'll obviously give you a big advantage in combat. When your squad is on a vehicle, you can still steer and drive around, as well as man any of the weapon stations. Global Terror features a much more streamlined interface than previous Conflict games, and there are user-friendly menus that pop up that can help you get through the game. Need to board a vehicle? Walk up to it, and the appropriate controls pop up onscreen. If you want to give your squad orders, the menu pops up again to tell you what options are available to you. Put this all together, and Conflict: Global Terror looks to be a big advance for the series. We'll see it ship for the Xbox, PS2, and PC this October.

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