PC/Mac/Linux
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System Requirements - Computer: A 2 GHz AMD processor or better is recommended. - Memory: We recommend 512 MB of RAM - Drives: 4 GB of free space on a hard disc is required to install and play the game. 8x DVD or 32x CDROM is recommended to install the game. - Video: A 3D accelerator video card with support for DirectX? 9.0b and at least 128 MB of video memory is recommended - Multiplayer Connectivity: Access to UBI.com online gaming service; requires a low-latency, active Internet connection, rated at 64 Kbps upstream or faster. Multiplayer games played over a LAN require an active connection to a TCP/IP network. We recommend the use of cable or ADSL connection with 512 Kb/s in downstream and 128 kb/s in upstream. ESRB notice: Rated Mature. Game Experience May Change During Online Play!

Story

You are Jack Carver and you?re escorting a journalist named Val to tropical islands to take pictures of World War 2 remains. As you get closer to the island, a rocket launcher destroys your ship. You and Val get separated, but you manage to swim onto shore and find shelter in an underground cavern. Meanwhile, you have to figure out why these mercenaries are attacking you! As you explore the caverns you will go through some basic training and be contacted by a mysterious person who will guide you out and need your assistance in rescuing Val. You won?t have any more friends on this journey so watch your back!

What will I be fighting?

You?ll be infiltrating bases, gaining access to computers, uploading sensitive data and hunting down a mad scientist. You will be attacked by mercenaries in helicopters, jeeps armed with chain guns, boats equipped with rocket launchers, snipers and some nasty mutants! The enemy AI is quite impressive. When you take down one guy, anyone near them will be in an alert state and will be hunting you down. The AI will not attack you the same way all the time, so quite literally you will not know what to expect even if you play the same level over again.

What do I fight with?

There are plenty of automatic weapons for trigger-happy people. Many come with a nice zoom feature and some share ammo with other gun types. The sniper rifle will come in handy many times, so I highly suggest keeping one in your limited (4 weapons) inventory at all times. Rocket Launchers and grenades are available if you need to make a big entrance. If you are in a pinch you can often find pistols and machetes lying around. I haven?t used the shotgun much but I imagine that it?s good for close range attacks.

Game Play

There are 20 levels in the single player campaign. When you start a level you are given mission objectives to complete. There is a compass to help guide you to your next objective. Sometimes you get more tasks to do along the way. The saving system in this game works by checkpoints, which are usually right before or after an objective is completed. The 1.2 patch supports quick saving which will be a very welcome addition. There are plenty of modifications available for this game and there is a nice community around it. So even after you beat the single player portion you can always modify the game to add more life to it. I used a quick save mod that made a new exe that supported quick saves. It was a lifesaver!

Multiplayer

There are three online game modes available. Deathmatch (free for all), Team Deathmatch, and Assault. Assault mode has two teams where one is attacking and the other is defending three checkpoints. If the checkpoints are successfully defended before the time runs out the defending team wins. All of the multiplayer levels support vehicles. At the time of writing there were close to 400 gamers playing this game online. In order to play online, you have to register an account with Ubisoft. I found out the hard way that my husband and I can?t share the same copy of the game/cd-key to play each other online.

Graphics

Most definitely an A+ here. This game has the best graphics I have seen to date. The level rendering and scenery is jaw dropping beautiful. The water reflections, plant detail and character animations are amazing! Of course my ATI 9800 slices through the graphics with no problems, but I have seen GeForce Ti4200s and FX 5200s choke up a bit even with lower graphics settings. This game is VERY resource intensive. High end gaming system owners will be proud. If you have a DirectX 9 card, you can change the rendering in the game options to make it look cartoony, even more paradise like, improved sharpness, or cold.

Sound

The sound will not disappoint. The music is very fitting and adds mood to the game. There is a music loop that does get a little repetitive when the enemy is spotting you. The environment sounds are great, as you?ll hear birds calling and bugs chirping. The weapons and explosions sound pretty good. The enemies have their own noises and calls as well. There are many taunts and conversations you?ll hear along the way. Many of the taunts are not suitable for children?s ears, which brings me to appropriateness?

Appropriateness

Obviously there is violence since everyone is attacking you and you have to fight back in order to survive. You can disable the gore, which is nice. Unfortunately there is swearing which cannot be disabled. There are some sexual overtones in this game as well. Val, the journalist, doesn?t wear much clothing and there is a bathing scene later on in the game where she is only wearing a bra and underwear. (I guess it could have been worse..) Also, if you look around hard enough, you will spot some PlayMerc magazines but those are more silly than sexual.

Final Impressions

This game has great graphics, sound and great AI, which not only makes the game pretty to look at, it?s challenging too! As I mentioned earlier the levels are not the same twice. The replay value is great as you can play people online. The engine looks promising since it is very modable. There?s a pretty good following behind this game too. With all those good points there are some bad, mainly the swearing. I do applaud the makers for allowing the gore to be turned off. Even so I still would not recommend this game for younger audiences.

Final Ratings

Graphics A+ Sound A Game Play A Interface B Stability A- Appropriateness C-

Overall 85%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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