Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers review

Hammer time? Or is the series already banging nails in its coffin?

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The thing with all these war games is that they let us enjoy them too much. Don't get us wrong, stuff like Call of Duty is great, but when you're just running around blasting things like a superhero, then you might as well just hold the whole thing in space or the Mushroom Kingdom or something.

If you're going to base it on the real thing, however, it might be nice to replicate the vulnerability that comes with real warfare. Our granddads never once spoke of 'respawn points'. And believe us, they talked a lot.

This is where Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers comes in. Summed up in a grenade-shell, as it were, it's a strategy game done in the style of a third-person shooter - you point and click to where you want your platoon to station themselves in the war zone, assess the situation and decide whether to hold your ground or press on.

Where it gets interesting is that you're in control of several different groups which can be moved at will, leaving you to decide the best way to flank and suppress your enemies. One lucky hit and your squad members are goners, though, so there will be absolutely no gung-ho charging in Ten Hammers.

You'll have to access the landscape thoroughly and judge for yourself where the best hiding places are. You'll practically need to bring a pen and paper.

This would all fall down massively if it wasn't for the AI: although prone to the odd clanger, the AI on both sides of this war is superb. You can feel safe leaving a squad to their own devises in a firefight while you scope the level out, for instance - they won't follow you like lost sheep and they won't stick firmly to your every last order if it will get them killed.

There's a lot to learn, unsurprisingly, but it's shockingly intuitive; the game holding you carefully by the hand in the early stages, but it soon gets challenging - Ten Hammers will not so much let go of your hand as it will kick you down the stairs. But it's so well put together that you'll persevere with it out of a sense of pride and duty. And THAT'S what war is all about!

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DescriptionWe're excited to jump back into a military shooter that tests our brains more than our reflexes.
US censor rating"Mature","Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"16+","16+","16+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)