Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior PlayStation 2
Developed by Kuju
Released: Out Now
For thousands of table top Games Workshop fans out there, this could be the most appealing RTS of the year. Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior is centered around just two of the races that you'll find in the Warhammer 40,000 catalogue. Previously the Warhammer brand has been associated with a variety of strategy games, including some rather impressive turn based games. Let's take a look at how Kuju have adapted the brand to suit a FPS.
Fire Warrior places you in the shoes of a Tau Warrior called Kais. Kais has to under go a Trial by Fire which is basically a test mission in combat. Life is never easy though and Kais finds himself in an almost impossible position, almost immediately. Kais has to battle the brutal force of the Imperium of Mankind almost single-handedly. The Imperium are intent on destruction and Kais has just 24 hours (spread over 20 missions) in which to save himself and his race from extinction.
The game begins with a tutorial that introduces you quite nicely to all the controls and gameplay conventions. All of the tutorial is subtitled so you're not going to miss out on anything. Once you're done in the tutorial you'll begin the first of the 20 missions. The missions have a nice variation in their objectives and whilst the gameplay is not particularly outstanding it certainly is enjoyable and is does not always take the 'all guns blazing' approach like you see in most FPS games. For instance instead of just plowing into the enemy and wasting ammunition you can look for explosive barrels which are near to them and fire a single shot at them which will take all the nearby enemies out. There are more nice touches like this that you probably won't notice on the first play through the game. In addition to the single-player game you also have a 4-player split screen mode and an impressive online mode which makes the game good value for money.
Kuju really did a nice job on the game engine. Not only does the game look very good but the framerate is superb. It's definitely one of the smoothest FPS games on any console. You can even enable a 60Hz mode if your TV supports NTSC or you use a RGB scart lead. Occasionally some of the textures look bland and some of the explosions don't always look brilliant but on the whole it's a big thumbs up for Kuju in managing to create a FPS that keeps the framerate high and suits the mood of the game.
One of the most pleasing aspects of Fire Warrior for deaf gamers is the fact that it is fully subtitled. In fact it has to be the most completely subtitled FPS I've seen on the PlayStation 2. The mission briefing are also given in text and you have to press the X button in order to close them. You don't always get enough time to read the text that appears onscreen but thankfully you can always pause the game and recall any messages that you may have missed or half-read. The text, which is blue, is fairly clear most of time the but the visibility depends on the colour of your surroundings. You could argue that had the text been placed on a dark overlay then the visibility would have been much improved but such an overlay might have obstructed your view in hazardous circumstances as occasionally there is a fair amount of text onscreen. The game makes good use of the force feedback and if you use a a subwoofer the explosions will lift you out of your seat as they are really powerful.
Whilst no part of the game is actually outstanding, Firewarrior is definitely an enjoyable FPS. The graphics, the framerate and the comfortable controls have all been well done and make the game a worthy consideration for FPS fan out there. The game might have a strong Warhammer 40,000 flavour to it but that shouldn't put off those who aren't into such things as the game stands up on it's own without needing background knowledge. It's also worth mentioning that it does a pretty good job of being an online FPS too, in a time when the PlayStation 2 is in desperate need of such a game.
Game Rating: 7.5/10
A decent single-player game and a satisfying multiplayer experience make Fire Warrior a enjoyable title. If you have broadband and a broadband adapter for your PlayStation 2 then it's definitely worthwhile.
The game is fully subtitled but occasionally the text disappears too quickly. Thankfully though you can recall it.