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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Dreamcatcher

 

Developer

4X Studios

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

 

- Compelling original story concept

- Stripped down simple action

- Challenging

 

 

- Dated graphics

- No cutscenes to enhance the storyline

- Not innovative

- Linear gameplay

 

 

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Iron Storm

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

After first hearing about the storyline of Iron Storm, I was completely drawn to the idea.  In it World War One has not ended and it is fifty years since it has started.  The modern world has evolved around war, and things are different in a strange parallel universe.  As Lieutenant Anderson, you embark on a mission that could alter the stalemate of the war and end it once and for all.

 

iron storm pc review         iron storm pc review

 

Now after having played through the game, the execution of this excellent storyline isnít carried out to its full potential.  The game doesnít have cutscenes or a significant running narrative to further the story.  I also didnít find myself at all feeling like I was actually involved in the story as I would in a game with a well-executed storyline. 

 

We all know that a great storyline can help make a first person shooter memorable, but dreadful gameplay will make it instantly forgettable.  This is where Iron Storm comes through.  Without a well-executed storyline, the game relies on thoroughly engaging gameplay.  The enemies are fairly intelligent, enemies are sensitive to where they are shot, and so is your character.  There are a variety of settings for the levels, which include trenches, open snowy fields, and city levels.  Each one is 

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intense in its own way with varying enemies such as tanks, and snipers.  Some of the later levels include a stealth element that needs to be used in order to pass them.

 

The game follows a slightly more realistic approach than some in the FPS realm. If you get shot in the head by a sniper, youíre dead.  If a tank shoots you with a shell you will be blown apart.  In this way, the game is fairly 

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challenging, but it is never so difficult so as to frustrate the player.  While offering such a challenge, gamers will find that the straightforward nature of the gameplay is a nostalgic breath of fresh air compared to some of the more busy tactical FPS games of late. 

 

The choice of weapons is also very good, even though there are not that many of them.  True to the concept of the game, the weapons look and feel as though they would have been designed through fifty years of WWI.  There are pistols, automatic rifles, explosives, and rocket/grenade launchers, all with a distinctly unrefined gritty feel.  Players can only carry one of each weapon type, so at any given moment, a player must choose what will be best from that moment on.  Each is useful in a given situation, but is useless in another situation thus allowing players to use all the weapons based on what the gamer decides will be most effective on a given level. The only drawback of this is that there is often one weapon that is best suited for a given level, thus reducing the effective freedom of choice of the gamer.

 

iron storm pc review          iron storm pc review

 

Along with this is the fact that often times, there will only be one way to achieve an objective.  This used to be okay for games, but nowadays, developers tend to lean towards allowing gamers to define what kind of gameplay experience they would like.  I for one would tend to think that this type of freedom is a good thing. 

 

With that being said, Iron Storm does look and feel dated because of the graphics, and because of the type of gamplay that is offered.  While it does feel like a complete game, and while I did feel satisfied playing it, it left me felling like the storyline should have been done justice.  Like fast food, it filled me up, I enjoyed it, and I didnít really want it or expect it to be better.  Iron Storm is good for what it is, but itís not like fine dining.

 

- Mark Leung

(July 20, 2003)

 

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