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Point Two: Give your characters character.
Chrome Specforce has hordes of enemy troops, some friendly rebels to win over, and a comrade to battle through the game with, so why don’t any of them have any personality? The enemies are generic to an almost spectacular level – generic troops with generic battle armour shooting generic weapons at you. Even if they run for cover and make occasional efforts to outflank you, they’re as dull as dishwater and about as menacing as a group of weekend ramblers. Think of Halo’s covenant forces; the way the little guys sneak around or run for cover, while the elite troops charge in full of arrogance and fury. Think of the Combine forces in Half-Life 2; their radio messages, their concerted movement, their casual brutality. That’s personality. And remember – it’s not just in the design, but also the animation. Nobody in Chrome Specforce runs in a remotely believable manner, and even the death motions look jerky. It all stops you feeling that these are real soldiers fighting real wars on real distant planets.
Point Three: Variety is the spice of life.
Chrome Specforce takes efforts to make each level different, with new objectives and new circumstances for each one and some set pieces thrown in along the way. But in the end it doesn’t matter if the forest is green, blue or brown if all you’re going to do is wander through it, find a base, hack a console, and repeat. Each mission feels a bit monotonous, and they build to form an equally monotonous whole. Again, think of Halo as a comparison point – the way it varies environments and localities. It also doesn’t help to have a game so dominated by one type of adversary. When everyone you shoot looks and acts the same, boredom is sure to set in. And no, the pitiful memory-game console hacking bits don’t count as variety. They’re just pointless and annoying.