Chrome Specforce PC CD-ROM
Published by Deep Silver
Developed by Techland
Release Date: Out Now
Chrome Specforce, an introduction.
Cast your mind back to the latter part of 2003. The delayed release of the 2 big FPS games, Doom 3 and Half-Life 2, came as a big disappointment to many gamers. Gamers had to wait quite a while for Doom 3 (although id never actually set a concrete release date to begin with) and the delays in the release of Half-Life 2 were to become the stuff of legends. One FPS did manage to arrive in September 2003 and that game was Chrome. Chrome had none of the hype of these other two games and limped onto the shop shelves without a whimper which was a big shame because it was a good game. Graphically it looked very good and the game as a whole was quite pleasing, if nothing spectacular. Well almost two years on and here we have the second game in the series, Chrome Specforce.
What's the game about?
Once again you'll play as Bolt Logan. Instead of being a sequel though, the events in the game appear to predate those in Chrome. In Chrome we're told that Logan has spent four years in the elite Special Forces (SpecForce). In Chrome Specforce Logan is a member of SpecForce and it's his job (along with fellow squad members) to investigate the production of illegally produced synthetic enzymes on Estrella. The enzymes are thought to be manufactured by the LoreGen Corporation and it's up to you and your companions to investigate and put a stop to their activities. As you might expect things don't go according to plan and it all gets messy very quickly. Aside from the single-player gamer there is also a LAN and Internet multiplayer mode offering 4 game types for up to 32 players.
What's good about the game?
There's nothing wonderful or outstanding with Chrome Specforce but what it does, it does it well. The actual game play is pretty straightforward stuff. Along with the traditional FPS mechanics there's also some vehicular combat here too and this controls and plays quite nicely. You'll have to hack computer control panels quite often and in a novel twist you'll have to play a memory match kind of game in order to perform the hack. As we've mentioned below the game is quite deaf gamer friendly, which is also a bonus. The price is another positive aspect as is the fact that you don't need the original Chrome in order to play the game. It may seem a small thing but I also appreciated having four alternating quicksave slots which prevents you from quicksaving when you're in a mess and then being forced to return to a much earlier save.
What's not so good about the game?
The biggest disappointment is that the game hasn't really been improved upon since Chrome. The game looks, and for the most part plays, just the same as Chrome. It's also a shame that you didn't have some kind of control of those characters that accompany you. Seeing as you have to keep them alive it would have been great if you could have given these companions orders but for the most part the AI is OK so it's not a major problem. The AI of your enemies is patchy. At times it looks great as your enemies will run for cover and make it really difficult for you to hit them whilst at other times they will run around like headless chickens, which makes them very easy to take out.
How does it look?
Chrome, upon its release was one of the better looking FPS games. The same graphics engine has been used in Chrome Specforce and whilst it's aged a bit (we've had Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 since then) it still looks good. If a complaint has to be made then it's the textures that look the most dated of all and by today's standards they look quite bland. Some stone structures have an odd, metallic kind of sheen to them which looks strange. The character models still look good but the animations are not quite up to the standard of those in recent FPS games. Despite the aforementioned comments, you'll still need a strong graphics card to run the game at full detail when it comes to the higher resolutions.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Chrome Specforce is OK for deaf gamers. By default the game is subtitled which means you'll be able to follow the entire goings on in the game. Mission briefings are shown in text and whenever you reload a game they will appear on the loading screen. Pressing the 'L' button during the game will bring up a log of the important conversations. This is a great feature and allows you to go over any important dialogue as often as you like. There aren't any captions for important noises though. The game lacks an effective aid that would make it clear from which direction you're being fired at (red lines do appear at the side of the screen but they are not ideal in helping you locate an enemy) and this can make things frustrating.
With the FPS genre being so popular amongst PC gamers these days, it's all too easy to simply dismiss a game that isn't over-hyped or isn't filled with new features. A game doesn't have to be sensational to be worth a purchase, especially when the asking price is only £19.99 and not £34.99 or £39.99. Chrome Specforce definitely falls into the category of being OK but it lacks that certain something that makes it standout. If you're a fan of FPS games this might be worth a look.
Overall Game Rating: 6.5/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Chrome Specforce is a competent FPS that fans of the genre will find worthwhile. However there's nothing particularly exciting here and it's lacking in originality. The game is fairly deaf gamer friendly though.