|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Red Storm||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 15, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by James Ruffin
July 5, 2007 - Ubisoft and Red Storm Entertainment have collaborated on another next-gen game. So far so good, right? Well it certainly is for the US Army. The game is America's Army: True Soldiers on the Xbox 360, and the Army is officially sponsoring it.
Supported by the GRAW 2 engine, the soldiers in America's Army: True Soldiers have been improved in a number of ways over their predecessors from previous America's Army titles. In its single player mode, the game allows players to build and customize the soldier they control. Roles, or soldier types, can be chosen (such as riflemen, grenadiers, and snipers, among others) and skill sets can be tweaked and improved throughout the game. Also new is what the game calls the "Play-Lead-Recruit" feature which rewards players for honorable battlefield actions, encouraging them to behave as real soldiers are expected to behave. This stress on battlefield etiquette, if you will, is unique not only to military shooters, but all shooters. Combine this novel feature with the realistic GRAW 2 engine, next-gen graphics, state of the art weapons and battlefield support systems, and pulse quickening action, and you have a military game that is as authentic as civilians could hope for.
The single player campaign should play very similarly to the single player campaigns in previous America's Army games. Remember too that it is being developed by Red Storm Entertainment and published by Ubisoft so expect combat that relies heavily on the taking of cover in a multitude of positions and against a multitude of structures. Also, and not unsurprisingly considering the game's reliance on the GRAW 2 engine, heavy will be the player's dependence on his squad of soldiers, as is characteristic of most militaristic shooters nowadays. Multiplayer will be similar, but your friends and enemies will take the place of friendly and hostile A.I. New to True Soldiers though is a sixteen player online cooperative mode, another unique feature of the game in a genre of adversarial online play. In fact, team play is said (by the folks at Red Storm) to be a critical, defining feature of the title. Rewards will be given to players based on how well they perform as a team, accomplishing tasks cooperatively while obeying the rules of engagement, and employing the best strategies at their disposal.
Graphically, the game will be the best of the America's Army series to date. It will highlight weapons in greater detail, improve the in-game aiming and shooting, and greatly increase realism. Basically, it's what you'd expect from a next-gen game officially supported by the US Army. Set to hit shelves in September of this year, America's Army: True Soldiers is a first person shooter that any fan of military action games should keep his eye on.
CCC Freelance Writer