Frontlines: Fuel of War Review

FPS games on the Xbox 360 are a dime a dozen these days. With titles like Halo 3, Bioshock, CoD4, The Orange Box and others coming out in the last six months or so, there’s a huge surplus of shooters out there for the shooting aficionado to choose from; even some of the most hardcore gamers haven’t yet had a chance to sample all of 2007’s fantastic FPS offerings.

It’s with that background that THQ released Frontlines: Fuel of War on the Xbox 360 and PC. The game takes place in the not-so-distant future, the year 2024. The world is in a massive energy crisis, and two sides have formed to battle it out for the rights to claim what limited supply is left: the Red Star Alliance (Russia and China), and the Western Coalition (the US and Europe sans Russia). The backstory for the game is rarely fleshed out more than that, as 99% of the time you’ll be wrecking stuff in combat with friends rather than watching cutscenes or reading text in the short single player mode.

Anyone who’s played the Battlefield series should feel a kinship with Frontlines. Much like Battlefield, you’re given an area with points to capture or attack. Unlike just about every other shooter these days, Frontlines doesn’t funnel you from point A to B while giving you strategically improved weapons every now and then. It’s a very open game, and you can pretty much pick where to go on each map, what to grab, and how to take out the enemies.

Much like CoD4, I really liked Frontlines’ single player experience despite the obvious push towards having me play online. Unfortunately, the non-linear approach means you can beat it in about 4 hours or less, and there’s little to no reason to replay it. Unlike CoD4, there’s no awesome presentation awaiting you; just straight up shootin’. So while it’s fun, it’s really nothing more than a stringed together collection of battle after battle until the final map is beaten, at which point it’s time to trade the game in or go online.

If you go online, be prepared to have some fun (assuming you don’t lag). You can play with up to 32 people online across a variety of maps. Like the name of the game, the multiplayer mode called Frontlines relies on (what else) establishing frontlines. Each side battles for control of points, and as you gain control, the frontline is pushed in one team’s favor while new points appear. This forces the team on defense to work with fewer spawn points. When you force the enemy to use all their respawn tickets, capture all of the points, or hold the most territory as time expires, you’re victorious and can pretend you just gained control of the world’s remaining black gold supply.

What seems to be the standard in most realism-based shooters these days (namely CoD4) is the class system and leveling up. Frontlines also features this, although not to the profile-tied degree of its distant cousin. You can perform assault, play a support role and do things like call in airstrikes/EMPs, snipe, deploy drones, etc. Each class can level up through the course of the battle, and as you do you gain new abilities to use.

When it’s all said and done, Frontlines is a solid enough game, but it doesn’t really do anything too unique. The single player is fun but too short and offers no replay, and the multiplayer is hectic and features massive battles, but compared to other recent FPS offerings in the multiplayer arena (and past games like Battlefield) it too doesn’t really stand out. If you miss massive team-oriented battles the likes of which we last saw in 1942, then by all means give Frontlines a go. Otherwise, you’re better off sticking to the other recent shooters which outperform Kaos’ latest creation in just about every way.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.