Fireteam 2200 logo

Internecine * £29.99

The 23rd century will be dominated by mega corporations, each exploiting world resources to keep Earth going. They have to guard against alien and each other's attacks, so they hire mercenaries to protect their interests and attack other planets.

In Fireteam 2200, you play a career mercenary commander. The objective is to win battles and get rewarded. You can then build up your fireteam, getting different weapons and officers to make a more effective fighting force for the next battle.

Fireteam is graphically weak. It's a good thing the manual gives a good grounding on how to get started - after a few failed attempts you pick up the basics of movement and fire. Most people will find it difficult to get proficient though, due to the keyboard-based control. It doesn't install properly onto hard disk either. It certainly is a different kind of war-game - full marks for originality; nothing for the execution.

Fireteam 2200 logo

Friedensbewegung hin, Abrüstung her: Wenn es nach Internecines taktischer Kampfsimulation geht, bekriegen sich unsere Enkel auch im Jahre 2200 noch fleißig - mit Laser-Tanks und Iridium-Panzerung!

Immerhin wurde das Schlachtfeld dann längst in etwas abgelegenere Gefilde verlegt, die Metzeleien finden nämlich draußen im All auf irgendwelchen fremden Planeten statt. Dort haben (zwecks Ausbeutung) interkosmische Konzerne das Sagen, zum Schutze ihrer Einrichtungen leisten sich die Leute regelrechte Söldnerarmeen.

Und ihr sollt hier eine Panzergruppe dieser No-Future-Legionäre kommandieren. Halbwegs interessant ist dabei, daß man mit zwei bis drei Fahrzeugen klein anfängt und sich durch ein ganzen Rattenschwanz aufeinander aufbauender Szenarien mit festgelegten Siegbedingungen spielen kann. Im Erfolgsfalle fließt Kriegsbeute in die Kasse, mit der das Team auf bis zu acht Super-Tanks ausgebaut werden kann.

Tatsächlich stecken allerhand Möglichkeiten in Fireteam. Dutzende der rollenden Blechbunker stehen gegen Cash zur Wahl, man kann sich aussuchen, gegen welche Seite man antritt und darf vor der Operation seine Fahrzeuge mit detaillierten Befehlen ausstaffieren, die je nach aktueller Lage beliebig veränderbar sind.

Wenn's trotzdem nicht gefällt, dann liegt es wohl an der Technik: Schaurige Farben (angeblich 16, ein Cockpit-Design, gegen das selbst die Mageroptik von "Rules of Engagement" prachtvoll aussieht, die gräßlich ruckelnde Landkarte und ein zähes, weitgehend tastengesteuertes Echtzeit-Spieling schrecken schon so gründlich ab, daß es der paar Schander FX gar nicht bedarf.

Fazit: Nur für absolute Strategie-Asketen erwägenswert!

Fireteam 2200 logo

What have Star Trek: The Motion Picture, cricket, John Major and Fireteam 2200 got in common? They are all wonderful cures for insomnia. Strategy is one thing, but when you could play a game faster using pencil and paper, you know you are in for a dull old time stuck in front of your monitor.

Not that Fireteam 2200 is a badly-written game; you need one meg to run it and it has more features and menus than a thing with, erm, lots of features and menus, but that does not mean it is not just as dull as watching three consecutive episodes of Highway from its over-complex role-playing concept onwards.

The scenario sounds promising - you control troops doing battle on far-flung planets using futuristic transport. Your screen acts as the main screen of your command vehicle, whowing tactical maps, damage, hit and weapon reports and all sorts of other pertinent information. There are enough missions to keep you going for months and your troops grow and become more experienced as you progress.

So where do things go wrong? Well, I will give you a clue. This game was written for the PC and, boy, does it show. There is no joystick control - everything is achieved by typing in commands, and then by waiting for the next 'update' for it to carry out your order. Yep, if you want to move your tank you cannot just press down the cursor key to trundle along, you have to program in a route. You can only travel a short distance each update, so if you have got a bit of travelling to do it can take a good few minutes. And firing your weapons is even more fiddly.

The problems do not end there, either. Graphics are laughably bad, for instance - the sort of thing that gives PD a bad name. The icons are so small you cannot even tell which way your tank is pointing without a good squint, the maps are about as useful as a Jackson Pollock painting and the screen is so cluttered it makes a shared student's kitchen look tidy. Sparse use of sound, irritating large amounts of disk swapping, an incomprehensible written-for-the-PC manual and a tendency to crash all add to the debacle.

This tedium party arises from the fact that the game offers just far too many options and variables for you to deal with, but it also comes from some stupid mistakes in execution. It is all very worthy, and the most rabid of adventure gaming fans might like it, but it is really a waste of the computer's abilities.