Frontlines: Fuel of War

Environments are fairly varied in size, density and location. Wide-open oilfields give way to rubble-strewn cities of broken tower blocks and abandoned civilian cars and buses. Mountain bases rise out of vast prairies and mud huts mark primitive villages that can be totally blown apart, as can some concrete walls in towns, occasionally opening up new areas or routes. You’ll be going deep inside bases and buildings, crossing open plains, climbing mountains and clearing cities, both in and out of transport.

We've played two multiplayer maps, both very different in terms of locale and tactics. The first was a mountain base - hangars, cargo storage, prefab huts, metal walkways and concrete ramps linking split-levels within a tilted bowl of the hillside. Objectives included defend and destroy - waiting close to a capture point to claim it for your team, or planting explosives on fixed weapons and equipment. This is where the name Frontlines started to make real sense. New objectives all appear along that mobile 'frontline' and as your team captures or loses more of these spearheads, the line advances or retreats, opening up new objectives farther down the map.

This ensures that action focuses along the line and really encourages team tactics. It also means that if you’re playing with a group of mixed experience, you can choose peripheral work or hardcore heroics, always clear by your radar and the frontline objectives where the danger zone is going to be. The dense structure of the first level precluded many vehicles, but a helicopter and tank added plenty of occasional panic. Many vehicles take two or more players, a rider manning a secondary gun, or spotting targets for the driver.

The second map offered a wide flat oilfield, sprinkled with low metal huts, vehicle depots and refinery buildings, including a sky-high central tower that granted sniper cover of the entire map. This map is built for vehicles. Objectives were spaced well apart so that you really needed to drive or ride to have any chance of getting between them in relative safety. Although mass vehicle battles proved great fun, the map itself was less inspiring than the first and really just felt like a great flat board pinned regularly with objectives to take.


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