The single-player game also breaks pace with the same use of vehicles and remote weapons that feature so heavily in the class and role-based multiplayer experience. There’s no better training for online play than completing the substantive solo mode, where you’ll have to use every piece of equipment and captain every ground and air vehicle by the end. There are tanks, troop carriers, Humvees, anti-aircraft trucks, helicopter gunships, transport helicopters and fighter jets. It’s up to you how much you use them. You may want to fight using a tank, enjoying armoured protection as you battle through a raging vehicle skirmish to capture a hilltop base. You can later return to the tank trial when you have acquired a rocket launcher to fire at them from your elevated infantry position. Alternatively, just stick in the tank and finish off your metal foes before heading for the hill objective. You decide on the fly.
This is a very flexible solo game and one that encourages the kind of tactical thinking that you’ll need to bring to your team battles in multiplayer. But story mode is much more than a practice round for online mode. It’s just a shame that there’s no co-op play. Frontlines seems to be perfectly set for a friend (or friends) to join you against an AI enemy, but there’s neither additional humans allowed in the single-player game, nor AI bots available to pad the multiplayer.
Tomorrow’s technology today also encourages wider tactical problem solving, particularly when using remote drones. These come in the form of explosive radio control cars to drive under tanks; miniature helicopters used to fire miniature rockets, spot enemies for your radar, or detonate like homing grenades; and robot tanks with turret guns to clear paths that are under heavier fire and enemy protection. But you’ll also use EMP technology to defend from mechanised enemy attacks, dropping choppers from the sky and denying air strikes within your airspace. Counter-measures are as important as offensive weapons and you’ll need to learn to use them well.