War in the Gulf

Title		War in the Gulf
Game Type	3D Combat Sim
Company		Empire
Players		1
Compatibility	Not A4000
HD Installable	Yes
Submission	Stuart Wilson

The third and final game in the trilogy that encompasses Team Yankee and
Pacific Islands centres on the games namesake: The Gulf War. The
similarity between this and the previous game is obvious: The same basic
game engine is there, the layout is exactly the same, except this time the
graphics seem somewhat more 'orange' to reflect the sand in the Gulf. This
is not as bad as it seems, the colour is something more of a yellow ochre
and actually adds to the games realism. Something that has improved,
dramatically I might add is the enemy AI. Whereas certainly not cutting
edge, the AI here WILL punish you severely if the smallest factor has not
been taken into account. Take a particualr mission for example, where you
have to defend the village of Failaka and prevent any buildings from being
destroyed as apparently, valuable treasures are there (seems a bit silly
in the height of war), and prevent any counterattacks from enemy troops.
What I had failed to realise was that there are large numbers of troops
actually hidden on the dirt tracks in the forests and jungles. These rush
out with almost terrifying speed and unless you are on a caffeine high
there is no chance you will react in time. It is a bad idea to have a unit
stationed in the village itself, because they take pot shots at you, if
one of the buildings is destroyed then the mission is deemed a failure.
Whereas actually completing the mission is quite straightforward with some
forethought, it is this application of planning that wasn't quite so
involved in Team Yankee and Pacific Islands.

One factor not addressed in my Pacific Islands review was that of money.
An essential part of War in the Gulf is raising funds through the
destruction of enemy military installations, but any civilian buildings
lost will cause money to be deducted. It requires a sharp eye and quick
thinking to stay on top of things. When you have all four units under
attack it can become a real drain on you to ensure that any particular
unit is adequately prepared for the task. Sound and graphics as mentioned
earlier are pretty much identical to PI and TY. The sound itself is sparse
though functional and occasionally adds to the overall atmosphere. The
graphics have somehow been 'streamlined', in that they seem slightly
clearer, more professional, and the overall game is actually quite
refined. If I could fault this game it is on the difficulty curve: It
starts bloody hard and stays that way through to the final mission which
I, and some people I know who played this, have deemed virtually
impossible. I'll let you get there your own way so you can find out why...

Graphics: 83%
Sound: 62%
Addictiveness: 84%
Playability: 78%
Overall: 77%

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