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     " Desert Storm 2 is a great example of good intentions and bad execution. "

      Title: Conflict: Desert Storm 2 by Gotham Games

      Format: Military Action Game for the PS2

      Reviewing Monkey: Zimbu

      The Hype: Set in the early 90s, Desert Storm 2 is the sequel to the best-selling original that takes you back for more missions against Saddam in the original Desert Storm.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: Featuring jaggy textures, unimpressive explosive effects, and indistinctive character models, Desert Storm isn't going to be the most impressive looking game you've ever seen. Every Iraqi soldier looks the same and you can only tell your fellow troops apart by their distinctive hats. But there are some cool effects. The first comes with using the night vision goggles. Looking like something you'd see on a special CNN report, your goggles give the game a little taste of realistic military action. Also, some levels feature sandstorms that shroud the entire landscape in whirlwinds of sand and dust, making it feel like you're actually out there in the desert. Not great, but it certainly isn't the worst looking game ever. 3 out of 5

      Sound: As this is a shooting game, there's a lot of gun sound effects being used. They're pretty average, especially since a lot of the different rifles and pistols basically sound the same. Voices play a big role since you'll be giving your troops a lot of orders. The American and Iraqi voices all sound fine but the British voices are some of the worst impersonations of a foreign accent I've ever heard. Every member of the British team sounds like they're doing a bad imitation of a Scottish accent. It makes you half-expect your commandos to run out into combat armed with a set of bagpipes and a kilt. 3 out of 5

      Playability: : The opposite of tactical shooting games like SOCOM and Rainbow Six, Desert Storm 2 almost always boils down to straight run and gun. You control a team of Special Forces operatives with different abilities. The team leader is able to direct bombing runs with his laser designator, the sniper can take out enemies with long-distance shots, the heavy weaponry grunt can use heavy machines guns and anti-tank rockets, and the demolitions man can place C4 to take out tanks and blockades. Items can be traded between characters so any of them can use any weapon or tool but they won't be able to use them as well (the heavy gunner will have a harder time drawing a bead on targets with the sniper rifle). With these troops under your control, you go through a variety of missions in enemy territory that vary from defending another escaping Special Forces team as they make their way to an evac chopper to diffusing the bombs set in a Kuwaiti oil refinery.
          Though you can only control one character at a time, you can order the other three to attack, scout ahead or carry out other orders. Different buttons correspond to different orders, which is pretty confusing at first but you'll get the hang of it after the first mission or two. Of course, your teammates are idiots so you'll likely tell them to hold their position while you go ahead by yourself.
          One thing that should be noted is the difficulty. Even on the easiest setting, your team is guaranteed to be wiped out at least once a mission, especially in the face of tanks. Tanks are your major foe in this game. Appearing in almost every mission, tanks are heavily armored and can shoot shells that can eliminate your entire team in one quick blast. It's sure to cause a few controllers to be thrown around. But overall, the simple arcade gameplay is a pretty fun way to spend a weekend. 3.5 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: If you have a buddy handy, you can play through the normal single player missions in co-op mode. But it would've been pretty cool if there was a mode where two players could control an entire four-man team against each other or at least a four-player co-op mode. 3.5 out of 5

      Story and Drama: The storyline is about as straightforward as they come. Your Special Forces team has been deployed to help eliminate Saddam's regime in the last stages of the first Desert Storm. Between some missions, you'll see a CG movie that fleshes out the story a little but it never really goes anywhere. And the ending is a big 30-second copout after everything you go through to get there. 1.5 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       Desert Storm 2 is a great example of good intentions and bad execution. While the battles are mildly entertaining, almost all of the aspects fall flat. Maybe with a more substantial budget and some more dev time, it could have been another excellent entry into the limited tactical fps genre. As it stands now, it's just barely above average.

      The Good: The straightforward arcade action is great for someone looking for a simple shooting game fix.

      The Bad: Mediocre content in other areas takes away from the experience.

      The Overall Ugly: For people who want to shoot up a bunch of bad guys without the patience to sneak around in the shadows.

      What it's Worth: Makes a good weekend rental or a great bargain bin find.

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