First to Fight

Review

posted 5/2/2005 by Phillip Ellis
other articles by Phillip Ellis
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Close Combat: First to Fight is a game I have been following for a long, long time. I’ve been reading about it ever since Full Spectrum Warrior was released in hopes of it possibly coming close to Full Spectrum Warrior in terms of a realistic, modern military experience. While Close Combat does retain a somewhat realistic and modern military experience you can easily tell the difference in the quality of the games. Whereas Full Spectrum Warrior was very innovative in style and game play, Close Combat fails to capitalize on the opportunity. But somehow that is okay, because we are left with a very playable first-person modern military shooter.

Close Combat boasts a storyline set in the near future in Beirut, and it is closely similar to the storyline in Iraq or any other rogue nation that the United States will enter in the future to protect democracies worldwide. You are the squad leader, and you go into the missions armed with your most basic M16/203, a .45 pistol and some grenades. If you play on the harder difficulties you’ll definitely face some tough to beat AI enemy soldiers, and if you’re not very careful about what you’re doing you’ll meet your fate pretty quickly, so strategy and planning does come into play, especially the first time through the game when you have no idea where anyone is or what triggers who.

Close Combat has a decent graphics system, while not the greatest I’ve seen the engine is able to get the job done, but appears to show signs of age. The game does have dynamic lighting, and that adds a little bit to the graphics, but other than that nothing fully seems there. The soldier models are decently done, but not the best I’ve seen in a game, and nowhere near the graphical level of Full Spectrum Warrior. Where Full Spectrum Warrior boasted amazing graphics, with super realistic surroundings, Close Combat pits you in small rooms, small sewer tunnels and tiny rendered areas. This just proves the graphics capability is nowhere near that of Full Spectrum Warrior. It falls short in this category, but it is something that can be overlooked for the combat you’ll occasionally face.

The sound of the guns and the actual war time battles is on par, although nothing like the other ultra-realistic first-person shooters out there. This is war, right? So why are my soldiers acting all fine and dandy when they are shot at and saying things like ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ to tell me they are reloading. The makers of Close Combat should have taken a page from the book of Full Spectrum Warrior. A realistic war game should not be rated teen. War is not fun, and it’s hardly glorious. Soldiers die in battles, soldiers cuss when fired upon…. Something easily missing from this game. So if you’re looking for a dumbed down version of a war game because you have a little brother or something then this will work well for you here. The sounds of the guns are not that bad, but the sound of a rocket is ridiculously off key. I can barely tell when one is flying at me due to the almost silent sound, let alone actually see it that clearly. The rocket appears to be a blob flying at me, and that’s something I did not like in the second mission.
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