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Close Combat: First to Fight [PC]







Good enough but it misses its mark.

6.5

Fair
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Almost, but not quite"

Summary

The game is well enough made but it misses its mark in several ways. The fire team movement works pretty well, but your teammates' AI is weak. Many times my SAW gunner put a couple hundred rounds in to the pillar he was trying to hide behind, rather than lean out and shoot around it. The hallmark of the Close Combat series has always been the psychological model. The company's website mentions that this game has it, but it is really useless. The enemy AI is week enough that they will stand there and let you shoot them, and the fighting is basically getting ambushed over and over. There are no cat-and-mouse chases and no interaction with anyone you don't shoot. That said, the game is pretty and the atmosphere is very immersive. It's an okay game, but just okay. Close Combat devotees will not miss anything by passing on this one. It has very little, if anything, to do with Close Combat.




Fun for a few hours, or one.

7.0

Great
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Been there, done that"

Summary

Just another fps.
Regular fps style of gameplay. Nothing too unique in this game.
The game has no real tutorial. The tutorial in game is basically watching some short videos. You don't actually get to "play" the tutorial.
Anyway, the game takes place in the city of Beirut. The whole game is in this city so you'll get tired of the environment rather quickly.
There's a storyline but doesn't really do much and is predictable.
The gameplay is ok. Killing bad guys, going from checkpoint to checkpoint, commanding your squad. The AI is not very good but isn't as bad as some people say. They can still aim, sometimes.
It gets really repetitive however. Each mission (next checkpoint) is pretty much the same. You will travel through sewers often and go into different houses that look similar inside. I got really bored after a while.
There's only 3 different guns in this game, and all the bad guys look the same.





play it at moltiplaier.

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

is a flashy -- albeit transitory and imperfect -- new FPS from Atomic Games and Destineer Studios that pays respectful homage to U.S. Marines abroad.

Developed with input from over 40 active-duty Marines, First to Fight is an urban combat game set in a war-torn 2006 Beirut. As the head of a four-man Marine fire team, you must lead your RTFA (Ready Team Fire Assist) squad through six hectic missions subdivided into 22 levels. Your three teammates consist of a SAW gunner (equipped with an M249 machinegun), an assistant gunner, and a rifleman. You can't directly control these soldiers, but you can individually or collectively order them to perform specific tasks, such as "Go To," "Form Up," and "Give Suppressing Fire." When breaching a closed room, you can also direct them to execute a Takedown (or Frag Takedown) maneuver to minimize your exposure to enemy fire. There are some built-in tutorials explaining the procedures, but they're non-interactive, and like the game's coarsely animated FMV cutscenes, largely forgettable.

The game also features a MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force) component that permits you to call in air and mortar strikes against dug-in enemy positions or request a Marine sniper when your team's pinned down outdoors. This support is limited, so you have to pick and choose when it's really needed. The RTFA concept is intriguing and adds significantly to the FPS dynamic. It's good to know that someone's got your back when you're advancing down a dark alley, and FtF models these real-world Marine tactics quite convincingly. Your team will seek cover from surrounding buildings and vehicles as they move while orienting themselves to cover potential fire sectors and provide 360-degree security from OPFOR (Opposing Forces) attacks. This four-way buddy system is extremely effective in an urban setting where enemy fire can come from any direction, including windows and rooftops.

Unfortunately, the A.I. isn't sophisticated enough to pull it off with any consistency. When an enemy gunman jumps out from behind or above you, your trailing teammates will identify and engage the threat, but it's a real coin toss whether they'll dispatch him effectively. I witnessed a number of firefights where my guys used an entire magazine to kill a bad guy from point blank range and many more where they stood rooted to the spot (while completely exposed), ingesting round after lethal round of OPFOR fire.

The enemy A.I. is similarly inconsistent. Some will shoot from behind cover, smartly evading your team's return fire, while others openly stagger towards you in some ludicrous Night of the Living Dead impression. (A cursory psychology model is in place here, but "suicidal" doesn't quite fit). These rag-tag Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, and Arab radicals -- they're pretty easy to spot, just look for a turban and a scruffy beard -- are also quite the Chatty Cathys. As you near their "hidden" positions, they'll erupt into spontaneous Arabic conversation to let you know you're getting close. Even when they're alone.






The US Marines finally join the party...

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Guilty pleasure"

Summary

That's right, dear reader, after dozens and dozens of "military sims" we were bombarded with, we finally get the chance to jump into boots of US Marines in this new, "realistic" military tactical FPS called Close Combat: First To Fight. Not to confuse with Close Combat RTS series, of course...

Anyway, in this new military-simulation-wannabe, you get to see what it's like to be a badass Marine in these modern days of urban warfare and high-tech gear. Sounds cool, you might think. Well, you're right. Mostly. Altou extremely fun and well-balanced, this game suffers from a few drawbacks that sometimes ruin all the fun, just in the middle of the coolest missions.

Well, to be honest, this game wasn't really signed by USMC as their official product. It was derived from a simulator that Destineer (allegedly) developed for the Marines as a training tool. Be that as it may, once again you are confronted with a typical scenario of good and honorable US Marines being deployed in Beirut to protect the poor people from the evil terrorists. And the civil war. And the Syrians. And the crazy warlord. And... ah, you know the rest. Truth be told, I never even paid any attention to the story, simply because it's confusing, and because I've heard it all before a thousand times. And, of course, because it awfully reminds me of recruitment commercial. From the very intro movie to the silly macho one-liners your fellow marines say over and over again every time you clean the area of few hostiles.

Really, after a few minutes, you'll begin to wonder what crappy action movie from the '90s served as an inspiration for this game. Your squad mates sound so over-the-top macho you'll probably see it all as a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor implemented into the game. Ah well.

But oh, I really am being unfair. I still haven't said anything about the game itself. Well, there isn't much to say actually. This is a tactical FPS, pure and simple. You are a squad leader. You command your squad. You can give them order to cover you, suppress the enemy, hold position, clean a room of enemies (with or without lobbing a grenade in first), and that's about it. Been there, done that. If you played any tactical FPS game before, from the very first Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon, you'll know what to expect here.

The thing that is crucial to any game such as this is the AI. I mean, this is a squad-based game, where you're supposed to rely on your mates to cover your back. And work together with them to achieve a goal. If the AI fails, squad-based tactics turn quickly into babysitting, and you'll often wish it was a lone-wolf FPS where you wouldn't have to wait for some moron who can't even pass through a damn door without getting stuck, or killed.

Lucky for us, your squad mates in this game are pretty smart and efficient killing machines. They cover each other very well, and don't think twice about killing an enemy you might not even notice. If you order them to take cover behind something, they do it good. If they're supposed to suppress the enemy, they unload on him like crazy, mowing down anything in their path. Unlike Full Spectrum Warrior, where your opponent would remain unharmed by hail of your bullets if he's behind some cover, despite the fact that half of his back and his head lies widely exposed.

However, the AI does display occasional signs of idiocity. Sometimes you feel like your squad is doing all the work for you, but sometimes they're so dumb you'll want to kill them yourself. Sometimes, if you order them to take cover behind something, they won't be able to cover a certain direction, or even shoot. All they have to do is peek around the corner, or raise their head a little bit, but noooooooo... They will crouch behind a car and tell you they can't see the target. Really?! And how about getting up on your feet so you could have a better view and still remain behind a damn cover? Never tought of that? Or peek behind a corner? Sometimes they'll even ignore the enemies, or even fire at the wrong direction. Happened rarely, I know. You really have to work with them, I know. Take care of your squad and they will take care of you, I know that as well.

But sometimes they're really pushing their luck with my patience.

Well, most of the time you will be leading your men through war-torn urban environments, take on MG nests, armored cars, call air strikes, sniper support, etc., etc. Nothing new there either. Despite a few glitches with the AI, this game offers a lot of fun. It somehow blends hard-core military sim and user-friendly FPS into one. And does the job quite well.

There is no conventional save system, of course, only checkpoints. You can save any time you like, but it always brings you back to your previous checkpoint position. But thank God, there are enough checkpoints to go around this time. So there won't be any frustration about that. Both you and your men have a health bar that can be replenished by medpacks if necesarry. Personally, I think that just about kills any realism in the game. But hey, better than hurling your wounded mate to medevac for 10 minutes, such as Full Spectrum Warrior.

Also your enemies display a stunning amount of stamina and damage they can take before dropping dead on the ground. Both you and your men wear helmets and body armor, so I can somehow understand why one bullet in the chest doesn't mean an instant incapacitation, but when you see a half-naked terrorist taking 4 bullets in the chest without any sign of slowing down, it feels simply stupid and unfair. Sure, he may limp for a few seconds, but the only way to bring him down with one shot is if you hit him between the eyes. Or three or four shots in his toe, doesn't really matter.

When, oh when will there ever be a "realistic" military game where your enemies die if shot in the chest, and limp if hit in the leg? Where there will be a difference between shooting a man through his heart and scratching his backpack? Because of these shortcomings, this "realistic" game isn't realistic at all. It's just one of those military-sim-wannabe games that never truely gets all the credit it should get.

But hey, it's fun. Very fun. I hate to admit it, but I was actually pretty surprised by this electronic wonder boy. Like I said, it's well-balanced and offers a lot of cool stuff. Graphics and sounds are nothing special, but don't let that distract you. It's a game worth playing, but don't expect a lot. There is no new Operation Flashpoint here. More like "Ghost Recon meets Star Wars: Republic Commando". A little bit of realism, a little bit of plain fun. Semper fi, men!




Yet another game that deserves to be in your collection!

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

First to fight is much like the many team based combat games you find on the marked today. If you played Ghost recon or Rainbow six you pretty much know what the game is like. The major disappointment was thinking that I was buying a Simulation. However, even though it states training tool for US Marines on the cover of the game and the fact it does have simulation mode in the game. All simulation potential is killed regarding the fact medical kits are available as you progress throughout the game, practically destroying the whole definition of the term simulation.

As a marine your quest is to capture or kill five high value targets or otherwise known as the four Aces and a Joker. Since they are all leaders in some way, they are generally the so called problems of the Beirut war in First to Fight. For the duration of the game you will come across Lebanese Militia (operating along with Syrians), Radicals (under equipped soldiers), Syrians (well equipped soldiers), Iranian (highly trained professionals) and of course civilians.

Despite the fact you are equipped with an M203 Grenade Launcher, you have access by using fallen comrades or enemy insurgent's weapons. During certain levels, 50 Cal mounted machine guns are at your disposal which will become useful to defend your allies by wiping out the enemies, or in some circumstances just to suppress your enemies. If the mounted machine guns are not enough, there is always the possibility of calling Mortar support or airstrike support.

After every level you complete, you are rewarding according to your performance by unlocking medals or badges. It also gives feedback regarding your status, accuracy with weapons and so on and so forth. The more experience you as the player become fighting and using the tactics, which of course the game is all about. The more likely it is for you to unlock certain medals.

Multiplayer in my opinion with most games is the best ingredient. Its guilty pleasure, its fun and gets you addicted. The modes available in First to fight is Cooperative (Four players join together for the single player game), Modified cooperative (able to choose preferred weapon) and my favorite "FTA" Fire Team Arena (up to eight players and two teams) fight against one another.
Overall:

Graphics are good
Sound is good
Storyline is good
Multiplayer is Great
Value for money is Great
Yet this is another game that deserves to be in your collection.




7.3

Great
6.7