Point Seven: ”’Use your imagination.”’
There are times when I quite enjoyed playing Chrome Specforce – moments of tense confrontation or sneaky, pick-em-off gameplay – but for the most part it’s terribly bland. The plotline is fiendishly predictable, the action repetitive, the set-pieces so frequently come down to “watch it, there’s a load of guys coming your way.” We might be getting a bit bored of the standard FPS now, but from Half-Life 2’s epic dystopian narrative to Brothers in Arms meticulous WWII accuracy to Doom 3’s survival horror leanings, it’s clear that this is a genre that can take different paths and bring different pleasures – if only developers exercise a little imagination. Chrome Specforce’s damp forests and constant drizzle could have provided the background for an interesting story and some great moments of adventure, but instead we have a dry, overly-technical tactical shooter in which you spend far too much time searching bodies and managing your inventory. How about some fun?
So developers, unless you have something better than this to offer, please don’t bother. As for anyone in the market for a new first-person shooter? Well, Chrome Specforce is cheap and has its moments, but there must be something better out there that you haven’t played. Try Doom 3, Half-Life 2, Halo, Far Cry, Chronicles of Riddick, Call of Duty, Painkiller, Medal of Honor, Brothers in Arms, Star Wars: Republic Commando, SWAT 4, and Deus Ex: Invisible War before you even think of trying this.
Chrome Specforce doesn’t look half-bad. If only it played half-good. Developing a decent engine is one thing, but Techland really needs to learn how to build a better game.