Elite Forces is a tactical shooter that involves a squad of four specialized soldiers (demolitions, sniper, electronics expert, tank) traipsing through the jungle on a mission to annihilate countless cannon-fodder enemies.
The control method is a bit odd (the game is played entirely using the stylus) and you can’t assign different tactics to your squad members – instead you have direct control over one of them while the rest follow obediently, and you can switch between them or split them up as you see fit.
Each soldier has a weapon or skill in one of the aforementioned specialties – a sniper rifle, grenades, a rocket launcher and the ability to see and defuse landmines. Different parts of the missions often require specific skills, so you’ll be assigned the appropriate pair of soldiers to clear out an area or defeat a boss before rejoining the others and continuing to the end.
The sniper is the most satisfying to use. When you see an enemy’s red blob on the radar screen, simply call up the targeting cursor, scroll over and one-shot the oblivious victim from on high. Ammo is very scarce, though. Also scarce are the checkpoints, which are in dire need of being closer together.
It’s pretty easy to play, but we didn’t really get on with the stylus controls. If you don’t tap directly on the enemy you want to shoot at you’ll just walk defenselessly towards him. Also, the camera is so close to the action it’s impossible to fire until your target is just a few metres away. You can’t run and shoot at the same time, so some potentially exciting action scenes are reduced to shuffling forwards, waiting for the radar blobs to get close enough, then picking off the enemies when they finally appear on the main screen.
If it were a console game we’d quickly tire of these little quirks, but on handheld it’s more acceptable. The strategy also ramps up as the game progresses, becoming more interesting as vehicles are introduced to the mix. Elite Forces looks the part and it’s good for a quick blast, which is all we could ask from a DS shooter.
Mar 6, 2009