Straight out of the Games Workshop, Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior is a futuristic, first-person shoot ‘em up - a well proven format from the days of Doom and Quake - which is still effective in this, its latest reincarnation.
Those with knowledge of the Games Workshop and/or Warhammer 40k will be well versed in the story of the Fire Warrior. Without getting too technical, you are a member of the alien race, the Tau. The Tau are a young, dynamic race with highly advanced weaponry and technology and an ever expanding empire. Their civilization is based around a rigid caste system, which divides the Tau into fire, water, air and earth. These castes dictate your role in society, be it warrior, bureaucrat, pilot or worker. You are Kais, a warrior of the fire caste. Recently, a violent incident in the outer colonies threatens to cast Tau against Humans…again. You, armed with a pulse rifle, intelligent armour and the concept that is it only right and noble to work for the greater good of the empire, are to touch down on one of the Human colony worlds “for the greater good”, apparently.
Following a ‘training level’ which negates the need to read the weighty instruction manual, you are sent on your first mission - a trial by fire…and it really is. As you look around the inside of the drop ship, you realise you really aren’t 100% sure of what you’re doing. The next second, the ramp lowers, several of your comrades explode and you’re thrown out into the trenches of a fairly well established war zone. The graphics are really very good and the sound effects are great. There is a constant barrage of artillery fire in the background and you find yourself actually trying to crouch down as you run manically through the trench system, destroying the Humans. If you survive this trial and depending on how well you do, you are awarded a rank and hop back into your drop ship for another death defying mission.
This game is really a lot of fun to play. As you progress, you are able to collect weapons from the enemy dead, grenades a-plenty and even set demolition charges. Information is fed to you via your head-up display (HUD) and your commanders are continually monitoring your position and sending in updated intell reports. The main fault of the game is that it’s not that hard. Ammo and life power-ups are all over the place and if you round a corner and get shot to pieces, you simply backtrack a little way and collect the power-ups that you left behind because when you last passed them, you had more life and ammo than you could physically carry.
There are nice touches. If you stumble across a fixed gun emplacement, you can man it and mow down thousands of Humans. There’s a ‘scope’ option to allow sniping with some of the 7+ weapons at your disposal and the HUD is invaluable - except the infrared vision, which last approximately 14 seconds and is about as much use for seeing in the dark as a stiff poke in the eye.
One essential aspect of a game like this is the multiplayer options. This is available either as a split screen for up to four players or online. Using a network adaptor (Ethernet) you can take part in Deathmatches, Team Deathmatches or Capture the Flag. All of which must undoubtedly be fantastic fun, just make sure you convince some pals to buy the game at the same time as you do!
If you like Games Workshop and Warhammer 40k, you'll love this game. If you like shooting things, blowing things up and generally wreaking havoc, you'll love this game. If you have Ethernet and friends all over the world whom you'd like to Deathmatch with, you'll love this game. In short, Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior has filled the gap left when Doom and Quake got old, but could do with being a bit more taxing.