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The first thing to get through your head is exactly what type of game Full Spectrum Warrior (FSW) is. This is a third-person tactical combat game set in an urban environment that shares more similarities to a real-time strategy (RTS) title than an action game. There is no God-like perspective which most RTS titles use, but the primary focus of FSW is to control two US Army fire teams (and occasionally a third) through various hostile settings in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Zekistan. In doing so you'll move from cover to cover, using suppressing fire and flanking maneuvers to take out enemies; a.k.a. tangos. What this means to all the Rainbow Six 3 lovers out there is that you will never take aim and eliminate an enemy at an individual soldier level. Forget about arming the .50 cal. and sniping the tango at the end of a street. Instead, each soldier has a very specific responsibility and is programmed to react according to real military tactics. So, if a tango engages your soldiers in the open, they will return fire, and cover certain positions. Still, many of the tactics are still left up to the individual player and this serves as the real appeal of the game.
Ready for action.
The story behind FSW focuses on the capture or elimination of Zekistan's de facto ruler, Mohammad Jabbour Al Afad. It hardly seems a coincidence that Al Afad's background eerily shares many similarities with the Osama Bin Laden, as there is nothing that gets the blood pumping more than the thought of taking him out. With intelligence linking Al Afad with several worldwide terrorist attacks, a coalition force (including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Poland, Spain, and the Czech Republic) is formed and sends troops into Zekistan to remove the radical from power.
As mentioned previously, you'll primarily control two US Army fire teams, each consisting of 4 men. FSW attempts to draw the player in by providing true personality to each soldier. PFC Ota, for example, will boast how he'll kick anyone's ass on the Xbox, being he is an avid gamer. PFC "Philly" Silverman comes from the streets of Philadelphia and his demeanor and free use of profanity proves it. As in the real military, each soldier as a specific responsibility to his fire team, those being either: Team Leader, Automatic Rifleman, Grenadier, or Rifleman. Though you can assign individual fire sectors to each man, through the majority of the game you'll act as the Team Leader; issuing commands to the team, checking the GPS, or reporting back to HQ. Should the Team Leader be incapacitated, the next highest ranking soldier will assume the TL's duties. Occasionally a Charlie team will come under your control which acts just as the other two, depending upon the situation.
The interface of FSW is arguably its best feature due to its simplicity and ease of use. With a game that focuses on the realism of urban combat, you might expect a complicated setup that would attempt to mimic RTS games. Instead, FSW's controls primarily stick to the use of each thumbstick, the D-pad, and face buttons. There are no complex combinations to be input as most face buttons have both a primary and secondary command depending on if it is tapped or held.
Here is an overview of the basic gameplay controls: Left thumbstick - activate soldier movement cursor Right thumbstick - camera control D-pad - select individual soldiers Left trigger - camera zoom Right trigger - activate Fog of War A button - issue command B button - cancel issued command/seek cover (hold) X button - toggle firing cursor/toggle grenades (hold) Y button - cycle between Alpha and Bravo teams/cycle to Charlie team if available (hold) White button - call in report, receive objective, hints Black button - access GPS Start button - menu/pause game