Fire Force is a 2D scrolling game in the vein of Metal Slug and Bloody Wolf. As a solitary soldier chosen to complete the mission of taking on an entire enemy army, your character (chosen from a list of pre-rendered characters) has an arsenal of machine guns, anti-tank weapons, grenades, knives, and more at his disposal.
Enemies on screen include soldiers, tanks, bunkers, etc. As you complete missions, your evaluation will determine your progression in rank. A separate menu is used for weapon and equipment selection.
While the majority of the game takes place outside with side-scrolling the major form of movement, certain buildings can be entered with multiple levels. Locations include deserts, jungles, and enemy strongholds. Acquisition of weapons can be from stray guns and ammunition laying on the ground or taken from the bodies of dead enemies.
This is what we want! Enough of Bub and Bob and all those sissy game scenarios where you can only 'stun' the bad guys for fear of parental outrage and the consequent removal of the product from the shelves. What we want is a game with some real stones, where players can get tooled up with some seriously hard real-life weaponry, tie a blood-soaked bandana round our heads and blow holes in a bunch of terrorists and jack-booted scumbags in as gory a manner as possible.
And that, as luck would have it, is exactly what you get with Fire-force, a Green Beret-style military shoot-'em-up that, due to the demise of former publisher Electronic Zoo earlier in the year, has only now made it onto the software shelves. In Fireforce, you kit yourself out with a military alter-ego, beginning with the rank of Ensign, and progressing through 12 increasingly difficult (and violent) missions, earning medals, commendations and promotions for each one successfully completed. And... well, that's about your lot. Despite the military scenario, Fireforce doesn't have any simulation or RPG pretensions like, say Airborne Ranger or Special Forces. On the missions here you get some nice shiny guns, a bucketload of high-explosive ammunition and one simple instruction - KILL ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.
At first, Fireforce really doesn't look like much at all. The graphics are basic and look more suited to an ST than the Amiga, and initially gameplay seems slow and limited. But give it a chance and you'll soon be surprised to discover that the game is actually tremendous fun. It's not just the fact that it's violently realistic that makes it compulsive entertainment - there really is a decent game hiding under these cardboardy visuals. Like the strangely similar Green Beret, Fireforce is just an arcade blaster at heart - but there's a bit more to it than your everyday left-to-right scroller. The ability to choose and use a whole arsenal of varied weaponry, the searching of bodies and buildings for useful items, the medals and promotions... all are elements that help to lift Fireforce above the norm. With the enemies as intelligent as they are (they actually will follow and aim their weapons at you, no matter where you are), Fireforce is a tough game, becoming almost nightmarish on the later missions - but experience teaches you how to survive against such impossible odds, and there's a great Rambo-esque feeling to be had when your tactics work. The whole thing is given an extra edge of tension by each mission's strict time limit - you simply have to get to the extraction point, no matter what happens. Oh, and did I mention the soundtrack? Apart from the fine spot effects during play (a variety of gunshots, explosions and bloodcurdling screams), there's a rousing military drum anthem on the title screen that gets the adrenalin flowing nicely. Don't let the graphics put you off - Fireforce is one of the most enjoyable and sophisticated shoot-'em-ups I've played and full marks to I.C.E. for having the bottle to try something with a bit of an edge to it for a change.
Everyone who ever played Airborne Ranger from Microprose will see the resemblance to this game. Fire Force puts you in role of an elite commando of an elite SEAL team!
First of all, make your character then select a mission to play as well as weapons to take with you. The action is viewed from side perspective as you sneak into enemy bases, kill enemy soldiers and destroy their ammo depots, bunkers and other buildings and vehicles. The bad thing is that the game is pretty hard and the controls are not as good as they should have been, but the game is very fun to play! Also, night missions are incredibly dark and you will have hard time seeing anything around you... Sure, it's night, but aren't commandos carrying night vision goggles or something?
As you complete missions, you will be earning higher ranks and medals for bravery, getting wounded and such. Airborne Ranger lovers - get this game!
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