Support: November 15, 2004

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: Close on the heels of the U.S. Army training game, Full Spectrum Warrior, comes a similar U.S. Marine Corps game; Close Combat: First to Fight. Both are used on the Xbox game console. The army game, developed to commercial standards (in terms of graphics and easy-to-use interface), is intended to train members of infantry squads on the most effective combat tactics. The marine game, also created to commercial standards, includes more peacekeeping and fire control operations (calling in artillery and airstrikes). The marine game also addresses one of the major weaknesses of the army game; fighting inside buildings and room clearing. The commercial version of Close Combat: First to Fight will be released in January, 2005. Both games were first developed for purely military training purposes, but with the expectation that a commercial version could easily be created from the military one. This kept the development cost, for the military, down. These cooperative arrangements have been popular with game developers, as they get some money from the military (rarely more than a few hundred thousand dollars), as well as expert advice. All they have to do is keep it realistic, which is something the games want to do anyway. However, the purely commercial versions will remove some of the realism (unlimited ammo, more accurate weapons, troops moving faster and not getting injured as easily, and so on.)

Despite the complaints about the limitations in the army game, it has been very useful for new troops, who have no experience with combat. Full Spectrum Warrior does run the player through the correct moves a squad should use in combat, and this is very useful. Future versions of the these games will probably feature the open world capability found in games like Grand Theft Auto.

 


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