Full Spectrum Warrior : Ten Hammers
Pandemic Studio’s Full Spectrum Warrior, the U.S. military sim training tool turned commercial success, has led the innovative genre-blending series in gaining a hardcore following of fans across the Globe all eagerly awaiting a sequel that stands up to and hopefully surpasses the orignal's authentic, engrossing experience.
The latest instalment,Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers, is finally available and hopes to build further on the achievements of its predecessor through more demanding missions, the continuation of the authentic military experience and by introducing a number of new features, including the ability to control vehicles.
Despite fictitious names such as Al-Afed’s haven for terrorist operations, Zekistan, Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers is almost certainly based on current military events in Iraq. Al-Afed’s regime has fallen, thanks to coalition forces and has now been replaced with civil violence. The U.S. led forces must enter into the conflict once more in an effort to stabilise the country.
The game focuses around the control of two four man squads, Alpha and Bravo, although there are also times when you can command a Charlie and Delta team that consists of two man teams or mechanised units. Rather than controlling a soldier or firing actual weapons yourself, players coordinate the actions of the two infantry fire teams through issuing orders and moving the soldiers in a point and click style. It’s a game that requires a fair deal of logic and a big pair of balls to overcome some extremely tough missions.
Tactically, Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers doesn’t stray too far from the original, but it does have some welcome, or unwelcome, new features. Once again you’ll need to order your teams through a variety of urban areas, deserts and swamplands in order to suppress and kill the enemy. This is achieved by evaluating and using the surroundings to your advantage. Flanking manoeuvres are the most obvious way to outwit your opponents; use Alpha team to suppress the enemy with machine gun fire, whilst sending Bravo team around the back to scare the living daylights out of the enemy and obliterate them.
There are other ways to gain the upper hand; by switching between team members and using each of their strengths at the appropriate times you’ll ensure a much smoother passage to your next objective. Each team has four members: a team leader, automatic rifleman, grenadier, and a rifleman. Each soldier is equipped with different weapons and has different strengths to bring to the battle.
For example, the Grenadier carries an M4 rifle with an under-mounted, M203 grenade launcher attachment, so he is crucial for sending a barrage of grenades into an enemy entrenchment at long distances. The Rifleman on the other hand is the weakest team member and although his sniping abilities can be extremely handy at times, he’s probably the only guy you can afford to lose. If a man goes down, the Rifleman should be sent to carry him to safety; after all you wouldn’t want to lose the M249 wielding, far superior, Automatic Rifleman in an error of judgement.