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2K Games






April 2005



- Good balance of tactics and action

- Control scheme is well laid out

- Unit AI is good

- Co-op mode



- Same areas repeated

- Short campaign

- Not enough unique personality



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Review: Ghost Recon (PC)

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Close Combat: First to Fight

Score: 7.0/10


Tactical first person shooters have been pretty much right up my alley ever since I first played Ghost Recon. I didn't really like the Rainbow 6 series, but I loved the pacing and action of Ghost Recon and more recently Swat 3 and 4. First to Fight is somewhat similar in style to Ghost Recon however is based on the training software developed by Destineer for the US Marine Corps. How much it resembles the actual product that the Marine Corps uses is something that would be interesting to know, however Destineer has done a decent job in making a training utility a viable and fairly entertaining game.


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The story is based on a fictional conflict involving Lebanon, Syria and the United States centering on the fighting in Beirut. You lead a unit of four including yourself and the introductory "tutorial" that merely explains the concept of the game through in engine cut scenes provides some interesting insight into the military tactics of leading and being part of a four person marine squad. While the game touches on these concepts, I would have liked to have more of a focus on the specific tactics and responsibilities of your four man squad. For instance, each marine is assigned a quick call sign that represents their unique responsibility within the team; these are Ready, Team, Fire and Assist. You play Team which is the leader, while your heavy gunner is Fire, and Ready and Assist are riflemen. Each member of the squad has a specific responsibility in any given situation. For instance, when storming into a room, each member of the squad is meant to cover and clear a certain part of the room. Likewise, when moving in an open space, each member of the squad has a specific are of fire which they are meant to cover. While these concepts are touched on, I found that Destineer may have glossed over these concepts to some extent in order to create a faster paced game. While I realize that a balance had to be reached through compromise of real simulation, I would have loved to learn more 




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about proper military technique. While explained in the manual, I would have loved to have played through a tutorial that forces you to maintain the correct covering position. Also, it would have been also interesting to play as other members of your team to learn their responsibilities as well. The remainder of the introductory "tutorials" let you know how to call on air strikes, mortar crews and snipers for assistance.



The single player campaign is separated into larger mission objectives based around a primary target you are pursuing. In each mission, the action is broken down into levels where your goal is usual as simple as to reach a given area. On your way to your objective you may be presented with obstacles such as machine gun nests or tanks. For these, you are usually able to call on air strikes, mortar teams, or snipers to help you take out your targets. The gameplay is usual as singular as moving forward and taking down your opposing force. This singularity in game play design is likely a reflection of the simple goals presented to marines; achieve the assigned objective and eliminate those that oppose. This style is somewhat refreshing in a game climate where choice and creative problem solving is the trend of game design. The older and somewhat passť style of First to Fight does however work very well in its context. Playing through the game you feel as if every shot does count and your responsibility to make quick sound decisions in leading your team does make for a satisfying and entertaining game experience.


>> Continue to Page 2 of First to Fight Review >>


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