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Like the Call of Duty games, the sense of being on the frontline of a war is overpowering, with so much action going on it's all you can do to stumble forwards in a daze and remember not to shoot the guys in British uniforms. Huge explosions shower the screen with smoke and debris, massive swarms of allied troops charge the enemy lines in front of you and helicopter/plane hybrids thunder overhead ferrying in air support.
It feels incredibly solid, and much larger in scope than COD, with more open areas and detailed structures - we fought through city streets and bombed-out buildings that would have looked hugely impressive if we'd had a moment to catch our breath. We also joined a massive offensive up a dusty valley with a draw distance that went on forever, all the better for showing off the crazy amount of human-on-alien scrapping going on in every area.
Above: This is the ugly face of the Chimera threat
We have a few concerns, though. Mainly, that the AI of the Chimeran troops seems to have gotten out of bed on the wrong side - after a while we stopped sensibly diving for cover and started just steaming up to them and filling them with lead before they would react to us. However, given that we've seen some more impressive displays of smarts in other footage, perhaps that's still being worked on. Enemy gunfire seems a little too easy to dodge as well, although with the amount of it going on that's not necessarily a bad thing.
We're hoping the multiplayer sessions on the TGS show floor will feature the full 40-player action, as we're itching to get stuck into that - stay tuned for more.
September 22, 2006