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Review: Full Spectrum Warrior : Ten Hammers - Xbox

by Steven Williamson on 5 July 2006, 09:14

Tags: THQ (NASDAQ:THQI), Strategy

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaf6o

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Slow response time



A new ability allows you to split each squad into two teams of two, therefore increasing your workload and making the game more complicated. Of course you don’t have to use this option, but it’s a good idea and allows masters of the game to further test out their skills.

Although moving your men around the harsh environment is thought provoking and often provides an insight into real-life army tactics, it’s difficult to master thanks to the multitude of controls at your fingertips. Indeed, mastering the system may take a considerable amount of time, and it’s often a matter of trial and error before you complete a mission successfully. The tutorial introduces you to the game’s mechanics and commands, but doesn’t prepare you for some of the erratic and often repetitive gameplay.

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The right thumbstick controls the camera and allows you to circle around your team, whereas the left thumbstick allows you to position your team mates. Once again the rotating cone shape with circles representing your four team mates are present and, as soon as this movement cursor interacts with an object, the cursor turns blue and re-aligns the four circles in order to show the potential positioning of the troops. Pressing the ‘A’ button brings up a radial menu that displays the executable orders.

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Obviously this method takes much longer than just moving your soldiers into a position. It can be frustrating if you need to move your team fast, but without these tactical options Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers would lack the strategic depth that it achieved in the original and expanded on in this latest instalment. From basic moves, such as moving your men to a set location, to issuing a scout order that sends one of the troops scuttling off ahead of the field to survey the surroundings, there are plenty of orders to choose from. There are also 'all out fire orders', if you need to engage with any targets, and cancellation orders if you need to retreat or take cover.

In theory, issuing orders should be a great deal of fun but, due to the slow response of your team mates, these actions can be excruciatingly frustrating at times. Split second mistakes can cost lives and due to the control system, you’ll occasionally not have the time to press all the required buttons needed to get out of a situation and, even if you do, they’ll sometimes react so slowly that you’ll be gunned down before you can shout ‘Where did I put my copy of G.R.A.W.?’!

For example, if you cancel an order you need your team to respond immediately. They won’t, they’ll carry on doing what they are doing for a few seconds and then respond. The errors don’t stop there, during close fire-fights your team appear to have no clue whatsoever, and they’ll often let insurgents run right past them without taking a shot.