Joint Task Force hands-on

And it does seem possible to overcome the game's various obstacles in a number of different, reasonably flexible ways. It's also possible to adapt your equipment on the fly - swap out an APC's machine gun for a TOW anti-tank missile launcher, for example. There also appear to be numerous opportunities throughout each mission to call in airdrops and new or additional equipment if you think you need it, and it's also possible to commandeer enemy vehicles and weapons, or even civilian ones. In fact, one touted tactic is to have someone climb into a civilian vehicle, which the enemy won't recognize as yours (at least, not right away). This affords an excellent opportunity for quick, sneaky recon.

Which brings us to the game's most interesting idea. As an international and (let's face it) mercenary force, you're dependent on payments and donations coming in to keep your small army afloat. During the game, the world is always watching via satellite TV (and the occasional embedded reporter, who you'd do well to try and keep alive). The flow of funds will dry up fast if you start committing atrocities like launching mortars into a civilian area. Also, you'll sometimes have to engage in purely humanitarian missions with the eye towards winning "hearts and minds" (and thus keeping those sweet, sweet donations of cash coming in).

Joint Task Force still had the few odd bugs to clear up (a strange tendency to instruct you to use the wrong mouse button during the tutorial mission, for example), but its release date is just two weeks away and the version we played was essentially complete. We're sure to have a full review up soon.