At a glance...

Previewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Release Date Screenshots
Matt Bailey Xbox Eidos Interactive Pivotal Games 1-2 (Xbox Live) 30th September 2005 Here

GME: Conflict: Global Storm preview

This preview is based solely on the code available at Games Market Europe.

Following the troubles of Conflict: Vietnam, Bath-based Pivotal Games have decided to refresh the series. We return to the modern era, with the team of four present in the original Desert Storm titles, complete with a brand-new engine, improved AI, and online co-op play in tow.

I can't comment on the online play, as only single player was available at GME. The code offered a chance to check out the game's first level, where the team are escaping from a prison, having been captured while behind enemy lines. My initial impression was somewhat confusing - I found myself slightly lost, and not understanding what to do. However, I had picked up from where someone else had left the game, and restarting made it easier to grasp what I had to do. As the footage shows, you begin with just a knife, so the game introduces you to the close combat and more stealthy elements of play immediately. With the guard taken out, you proceed to gain your backpack - complete with weaponry - and rescue your team. Now you get to try out two other aspects of the game - the gun action, and more importantly, the squad-based action.

The Conflict series has traditionally been about squad-based third-person action, but Global Storm offers some more; a first-person perspective. It's possible to easily switch between the two, making the gun action more satisfying, particularly over longer ranges. Switching between team members as they became available was still easy, and each character's backpack gave you an immediate idea as to their role - there's no doubting who is the sniper amongst them. The short time on the single level didn't allow me to fully explore their abilities, or how they apply to the game's new storyline - which consists of the new counter-terrorist unit taking on far-right terrorists across various world locations.

The brief period I played the game, however, did allow me to explore the game's fundamentals, which all seem to be working well, as well as checking out the improvements on offer. Firstly, the completely rebuilt engine provided for some good-looking surroundings, although I'm sure the closed spaces don't show the game at it's best. There's plenty of detail in the Xbox version, and this includes the characters, whose new appearances and animations look more lifelike. The new rag-doll physics also makes the action more engaging, and this is complemented by improved artificial intelligence which sees the enemy jumping for cover and diving through windows.

Overall, Conflict: Global Storm looks like a return to form for the series, and offers more dynamic team-based action than Ubisoft's Rainbow Six games.

Two videos of Matt playing Conflict: Global Storm at Games Market Europe are available here and here (both require the XviD codec). You will need to save them to disk before playing.

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