America's Army: True Soldiers Review
When I think of soldiers in war time I get all of these images of big vehicles rolling all over the place, gunfire from all directions, explosions… ya know, the works. Generally speaking this is how Hollywood and videogames have portrayed warfare, even the more realistic ones. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but this is what I was expecting of a game that talks about showing you what the real Army soldiers fight like. America's Army: True Soldiers is a bit more realistic than that and this seems to really sink the game.
Now when a game talks about being realistic I never expected it to take it to this degree. It gets just a bit more than ridiculous.
When you put the game into your Xbox 360 you are given the option to customize your character. This is, without a doubt, the most interesting aspect of this game. You can pick from a few predetermined heads and goggles/glasses combinations to customize your face. Then you can put points into your skills which is where the real customizing comes into play.
There are a number of skills for you to increase such as Marksmanship or Medic which help you in your chosen role. Want to be a fire team medic, put points into your Medic skill so that you heal your squad faster. Snipers can basically ignore everything except Marksmanship while front line gunners will need a mix of Valor, Marksmanship and Physical Training. It's actually fairly cool to watch your character's abilities grow so drastically, and they will. From initially having difficulty aiming that rifle for the life of you to suddenly being able to run and gun with the best of them is great to watch.
And that's about where the praise for this game ends since every actual aspect of it works out so obnoxiously. Generally speaking everything about this game is slow and somewhat bland. The character movement is slow, aiming is plodding and every action you take, including reloading, takes a good amount of time to pull off. It gives the game a generally boring pace that some would call deliberate and that I call a cure to insomnia. Zzzzz…
The game is broken up into three segments, two of which are meant to introduce you to the game itself. The first is the practice modes which have you learning to use all of the weapons in the game and move around properly. If you make it through these congratulations, you're a better man than I. I eventually gave up on them, and the skill points you get for completing them, and moved onto the next stage: War Games.
Sounds promising, right? Wrong! War Games should be called what it is… Freaking paintball! You and an opposing squad are going head to head in training exercises shooting paintballs at each other. Whoop dee freaking doo. The only thing worse than this is the fact that you have to practically hump your squad commanders leg the whole way through or you fail the mission. So when you finish fighting the enemy squad and he runs off towards the next objective you can fail the mission because he ran away from you. I found that decision most… peculiar.