Frontlines: Fuel of War

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Frontlines: Fuel of War
Frontlines.jpg
Developer(s) Kaos Studios

nFusion Interactive

Publisher(s) THQ
Engine Unreal Engine 3.0, PC v433.52
Platform(s)
Release date(s)
  • EU February 29, 2008
  • AUS March 6, 2008
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution DVD, digital distribution, cloud computing
Gameplay example, PC version

Frontlines: Fuel of War is a first-person shooter game for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. It was released February 25, 2008 in North America. It was produced by the now-defunct Kaos Studios. Frontlines: Fuel of War was also originally in development for the PlayStation 3, although THQ announced it had canceled work on this version on January 24, 2008,[5] seemingly as a result of problems with developing for the PS3,[6] issues that had been referenced in interviews prior to the PS3 version's cancellation.[7]

Frontlines includes a multiplayer mode as well as a single-player campaign that uses the Frontlines system found in the multiplayer component. Single-player mode limits the players to the fictional Western Coalition, while online modes let players play as either the Western Coalition (WC) or Red Star Alliance (RSA). It is not bot compatible. A multiplayer demo of the game was released for the Xbox 360 on February 11, 2008.[8] A demo was also released for the PC. At the end of 2012, the PC online multiplayer mode of the game was no longer available, although the LAN mode still operates.

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay focuses on a central mechanic, the frontline. This is designed to keep the action in one place, by focusing objectives closer together on the battlefield. The frontline also has bonuses. By moving it back and forth across the battlefield, the player may gain or lose weapons and equipment.[9] The frontline mechanic is used in all gametypes, which forces players to choose which objectives they will pursue or defend, adding a strategic level to the gameplay.

The UCAV Drone plays a crucial role in gathering information in real time on the battlefield. The drone reconnoiters enemy units, which are visible through walls, and then show them on the player's HUD and map. Some drones can also be used as a kamikaze bomb, by running them into enemy infantry and self destructing them.[9]

There are four other drones, the Assault Drone, a small treaded vehicle with a mounted Gatling gun, a Mortar Drone, with a mounted four barrelled mortar, an RC drone, which can be packed with C4 and used to destroy armored targets and finally a variant of the UAV drone equipped with anti-infantry rockets.[9][10]

In an interview, Kaos stated that there would be more than 60 vehicles and weapons in the final game.[9] Airstrikes will also play a large part in gameplay, being an effective way to destroy an opposing force from a distance.[9]

In an interview with developer Joe Halper, Kaos has stated that 32 player multiplayer would be supported for the console version.[9] Near release the maximum player count was raised to 50.[11] The PC version of the game supports 64 players online.[9] Near release it was confirmed that the game would not support cross-platform play, but the developers have stated that they are considering eventually moving the franchise towards becoming a Live Anywhere title.[12]

Maps[edit]

Frontlines shipped with a total of eight multiplayer maps. These maps range in size and location from a small city block to a solar array over 4 square miles (10 km2) in size.[13] Kaos Studios stated they were looking into releasing extra maps in the future as downloadable content.[14]

This began with the brand new map: "Boneyard". The map was released as a free download on Xbox 360's Marketplace. The map not only offered another well-sized map, but more weapons and vehicles. This included: an all-new Automatic Shotgun, a Carrier Helicopter for the Red Star Alliance, and a "Rocket Jeep".

In addition, the downloadable content clearly stated that this new map was the first of five to be released. The other four maps are named "Sunder", "Wide Awake", "Hind Sight", and "Infiltration". On September 19, Kaos released these maps on Xbox Live. These were later released for the PC as a free download patch.

Dedicated servers[edit]

The game features dedicated servers similar to Battlefield 2: Modern Combat as well as client-side hosting found in the majority of Live-enabled Xbox 360 games. This is done in order to support the 50 player limit, which is unprecedented on the console the dedicated servers are down. Client-side hosting will still be available, but will only support a 16 player maximum.[11]

Synopsis[edit]

Frontlines: Fuel of War is set in a dystopian 2024 in the midst of a global energy crisis. As supplies of oil and natural gas wane, diplomatic relationships between the East and West are strained, causing new alliances to be formed. The two major alliances in the Frontlines era are the Western Coalition, consisting of the United States and NATO, and the Red Star Alliance, headed by the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China. The RSA launches a surprise attack on the Western Coalition in retaliation to proof of the Coalition supporting a coup d'état in an oil-rich Red Star country. As the last oil fields start to go dry, the countries move to secure what resources are left, leading to several small outbreaks that turn quickly into full scale war.

The player steps in the shoes of the members of a violent and battle-driven Western Coalition strike force nicknamed the "Stray Dogs" that are to spearhead assaults against defensive positions of the RSA across Central Asia and Eastern Europe, as the Alliance tries to secure resources in the best of worldwide interest. The Stray Dogs are joined by a reporter throughout the game.

The game ends after the final mission entitled "History Repeats," upon bringing the Russian ministry to a collapse and cutting the nation off from the rest of the world by destroying a satellite uplink. As pockets of resistance are hunted down by Coalition forces, a questionable future is proposed by the reporter, stating that the Russians are forming a government in exile and that the Chinese are amassing at the borders. It is his wish, however - if he were to survive it - to see the world change for the better and for humanity to start anew. The ending then shows Red Star jets firing upon the reporter, leaving a possibility for a sequel.

Development[edit]

Downloadable content[edit]

As well as gamer pictures and three Frontlines themes for the Xbox 360 dashboard, along with various gameplay videos from the developers, a new game mode has recently[when?] been released for download. Called 'Conquer' it allows the game to be played in a similar way to that of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, in that instead of trying to push the Frontline forward, all spawn points are available for capture by both teams. To win, one team must capture all points on the map, and eliminate the other team members to claim the win. It is free to download.

Retail bonuses[edit]

A Collector's Edition of the game was released in the UK, Australia, Denmark, and New Zealand. The Xbox 360 Collector's Edition contained a t-shirt, an Art of Frontlines book, a poster, and a bonus disk containing the game sound, behind the scenes videos, and more. The PC Collector's Edition contained an official strategy guide, Stray Dogs insignia patch, a deck of Frontlines playing cards, an Art of Frontlines book, a poster, and a Steelbook case. This edition was never released in North America. In Denmark the PC Collector's Edition contained a "Stray Dogs" t-shirt, an art book, a CD with the soundtrack and a 60X42cm poster and sold as a Special Edition instead of Collector's Edition.

Players who ordered Frontlines: Fuel of War from GameStop or Best Buy were given a special code which gave access to one of two Challenge Maps. This code has since been distributed on the Internet.[15] Players who purchased Frontlines: Fuel of War from Circuit City received a copy of the Frontlines: Fuel of War soundtrack. Players who ordered Frontlines from online retailer Amazon.com were given a limited edition Collector's Tin.

Alternate reality game[edit]

THQ announced the launch of an alternate reality game for Frontlines: Fuel of War in order to promote the game via a website. Visitors are challenged to unearth the mystery surrounding Exeo Incorporated by finding ten passwords scattered across the internet. Users who find all 10 passwords were eligible to win a grand prize, including fighter pilot training, and a complimentary copy of the game.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 71.45 (360), 69.08 (PC)
Metacritic 75 (360), 73 (PC)
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B-
Edge 5/10
Electronic Gaming Monthly 64
Eurogamer 6/10
Game Informer 7.25/10
GamePro 4/5
Game Revolution C-
GameSpot 7/10
GameSpy 2/5
GameTrailers 7.3/10
IGN 7/10
Official Xbox Magazine 9/10 (US), 7/10 (UK)
X-Play 4/5


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gamespot: Frontlines: Fuel of War for Xbox 360". 
  2. ^ "IGN: Frontlines: Fuel of War". 
  3. ^ Planet Frontlines - News, Screenshots, Previews, Reviews, Guides
  4. ^ The Classification Board and Classification Review Board
  5. ^ "THQ Updates Fiscal 2008 Outlook". 
  6. ^ "Frontlines for the Playstation 3 cancelled". 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  7. ^ "Q&A: Joe Halper on Frontlines: Fuel of War". 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  8. ^ "Demo: Frontlines (Multiplayer Demo)". Major Nelson. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Frontlines: Fuel of War Interview". Shacknews. Archived from the original on May 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  10. ^ "Frontlines: Fuel of War Drones". Frontlines Warfare. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  11. ^ a b "Frontlines: Fuel of War Multiplayer Hands-On - Large-Scale Warfare". 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  12. ^ "Mitch Gross Interviewed!". Planet Frontlines. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  13. ^ "Frontlines Multiplayer Map List". Planet Frontlines. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  14. ^ "Frontlines: Fuel of War Developer Q&A". WonderwallWeb.com. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  15. ^ "Bonus Challenge Map Codes". 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 

External links[edit]