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Frontlines: Fuel of War

Preview: THQ's Battlefield beater goes to war

EA's Battlefield 2 is good - huge open worlds, 32 players, vehicles, a range of weapons and checkpoint capturing fun. But how would you like a war game that's even deeper, more open and includes one of the most unique team-based scenarios since CTF?

That's what Frontlines: Fuel of War aims to be. 'Depth' and 'choice' are the two key words Kaos General Manager, Frank Delise, uttered when we asked him to sum up Frontlines.

Made by the guys responsible for Desert Combat, the massively popular Battlefield 1942 expansion, you can see the obvious similarities between Digital Illusion's BF series. But with even bigger worlds, new weapons and gadgets, and a unique frontline mechanic, this takes the BF formula and expands on it.

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The mechanic we're talking about is what decides the winning team in any battle. When you start a game the map is divided in to - half coloured red and half blue.

The line down the middle that separates the two zones is the frontline, and placed along this line are three mission objectives (or capture points). Both teams spawn at their bases on either side of the map, and then scramble to the frontline to capture those points.

The team that does capture all three points has its half of the map extended as the frontline is pushed deeper into enemy territory. There'll be more capture points at the new frontline, and so the battle ensues until on team controls the entire map space (or the time runs out).

Choose your destiny

The whole point of Frontlines though, is that it gives you seemingly endless ways of going about your tasks. Just like in BF, you choose your class before you spawn, which dictates your weapon set. So, there are heavy gunners, snipers, anti-vehicle infantry and the like.

But beyond that, you also get to shoot what type of Role you want - which is basically like a secondary weapon. You can either choose drones, EMP Tech, ground support or air support.

EMP Tech lets you deploy a defensive zone around you the disables all vehicle use round you, including drones. Air Support gives you air strike powers and ground support hands you deployable gun turrets that pack a serious punch.

But the most exciting is the drones - you get a selection of mini remote-controlled military vehicles, used to sniff out your opponents and deal out some death.

Bites louder than its bark

At first you only have a helicopter without guns at your disposal - it's primarily a recon vehicle used to spot enemies. With one of these babies left hovering overhead, enemies will show up red on your screen, and the screens of allies, making them easier to shoot.

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But if things get hairy, these helicopters can also be detonated, taking out an enemy gun turret or group of soldiers in one blast.

The cool thing is that using your Role weapons to frag enemies earns you higher ranks, and in the Drone Role's case, a higher rank means new drones to use. You can get a nippy little car packed with C4 - handy for taking out tanks. A miniature tank packs a lethal chain gun that does a remarkable amount of damage considering its small size.

Our favourite is a helicopter with side-mounted rocket launchers. You can do incredible amounts of damage with that thing, and flying it is brilliant fun. You see everyone scrambling to escape your fire as you fly through raining down rockets.

I've got a big one

If you prefer your hardware to be larger in size, there are plenty of vehicles around to pilot. Too many to remember. We've driven all manner of personnel carriers - fast trucks that simply get your where you want to go, tanks, helicopters and even fighter jets (which you can jump out of at any time a parachute down).

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