Frontlines: Fuel of War Preview
Xbox 360 | PC
Frontlines: Fuel of War box art
System: X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Kaos Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 25, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-32 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Fuel for thought

by Adam Brown

March 2, 2007 - In the modern-day world, fossil fuels are one of humanity's most precious and limited resources. More specifically, oil is the lifeblood of modern human existence. As the world's population continues to grow, the amount of oil necessary to sustain us increases. With increased demand comes higher consumption, higher prices, and a rapidly dwindling supply. Combine this finite supply with the fuel's incredible importance to everyone's day-to-day lives and our future begins to look bleak.

Frontlines: Fuel of War screenshot

Every country in the world will want to ensure that they will have enough oil to support their own populations. This rationale may eventually lead to violence in order for these countries to guarantee their necessary supply of oil. This not too distant and horrifying future is the backdrop for Frontlines: Fuel of War.

Fuel of War's gameplay takes place in the year 2024. By this point, the lack of oil has driven societies to begin fighting one another to procure every last available drop. Eventually, two global powers emerge to decide the fate of all that remains of this precious necessity. Developed by Kaos Studios, Fuel of War will have players joining the Western Coalition (USA and Europe) or the Red Star Alliance (China and Russia). Kaos Studios may be a fairly new development team but they are well versed in the art of war. Several of Kaos' members have helped to create the Desert Combat modification for Battlefield 1942 and worked on Battlefield 2. With this kind of pedigree, we can expect some great things from their upcoming release.

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To help differentiate Fuel of War from the other war games on the market, Kaos Studios has implemented a new Frontline mechanic into the mix. To win a battle, players must advance their frontlines, effectively pushing their enemy into a retreat. While on the battlefield, players will be given objectives that will vary depending on what is happening in the skirmish. If the enemy begins to seriously attack an important placement, the player may be given the objective of defending it against the onslaught. Unlike most war games however, battles will not be won by a player's Rambo-esque character turning the tides of the fight. Instead, gameplay will be heavily focused on teamwork and strategy. Players will need to constantly outthink the opposition and work together like a well-oiled machine to complete objectives and achieve victory. Fuel of War should satisfy fans of single player and multiplayer gameplay alike. The single player experience will unfold in a nonlinear campaign with varying objectives to keep players on their toes. Multiplayer however, as mentioned before, will be heavily team focused. While no official number of online players has been given, all three versions are said to support 32 or more players at a time.

Frontlines: Fuel of War screenshot

Also new to the game are several role-playing game elements that have been added to the gameplay. Players will be able to customize their characters by choosing their role (class), weapons loadout, and by leveling up essential skills. There will be four roles to choose from, each with their own advantages. Some examples are ground support, which specializes in armor, defense, and repair while drone tech focuses on using remote-controlled drones for reconnaissance and offensive purposes. Players can switch between roles and level up each of them for more diversity. Each role will receive bonuses when they level up that will equip the player with essential battlefield skills. Players will also be able to change their weapons' loadouts to suit the situation. With over 60 near-futuristic vehicles and weapons to choose from, there is a good weapon for every style of player. To keep these vehicles and weapons from feeling unrealistic, they are all based on real world designs that currently exist.

Players looking forward to this game should be pleased no matter which version they play. All three versions are supposed to be basically the same. The only difference comes in the PS3 version's Sixaxis implementation. The Sixaxis' motion-sensing movements will be used for object interaction, controlling helicopters, aiming, and more. This may initially seem to be an advantage, but after reviewing how poorly the Sixaxis has been implemented in games to date, it quickly becomes questionable.

Frontlines: Fuel of War screenshot

Until we get a chance to play this game, we will just have to keep our fingers crossed that Kaos Studios can make it work properly. No matter which system you play it on, look for Fuel of War to spark some excellent single and multiplayer combat upon its release.

By Adam Brown
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Tomorrow's weapons, today: As depicted in F.O.W., the U.S./E.U. and Russia/China have combined their military research and budgets, and the result is over 60 next-gen vehicles and weapons inspired by military designs for the near future. This includes remote controlled drones, gun cams, and next-generation counter-measures systems, all of which are player-controllable.
  • Advanced information sharing: Use high-tech combat systems to collect and relay recon, targeting, and threat information between team mates. Target acquisition and sharing between vehicle occupants is just one example of F.O.W.'s focus on an advanced team play experience.
  • Customization: The customization system allows players to grow their soldier to fit their play style by choosing a weapons loadout, as well as a technical specialization (role). As the game progresses each role will upgrade, providing advanced equipment and abilities. The system is a mix of RPG-like depth but with the accessibility of a fast-paced FPS.
  • Frontline combat system: The main game mechanic featured in F.O.W. in both in single player and multiplayer, is the ability to join the forces on the front line. This front expands across large portions of a mission and will require a strategy to achieve the contextual objectives in order to move this front forward. Not only does this system keep the battle centric and players in the midst of the action, it gives a unique sense of advancement as your Division is rewarded with territory for their victories.
  • Choose your path to victory: Within the front, players can take advantage of a sandbox of destructible elements and various weapons of war to create their own unique paths and strategies. Instead of failing and re-playing the same sequence of events, players can 'chip-away' with varied approaches, allowing diverse missions with high replay value.

  • Screenshots / Images
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