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Full Spectrum Warrior

Taking on the terrorists has never been so easy, or enjoyableÂ…

If you happen to be a terrorist or a drugs kingpin, keep an eye out for the Spectrum Warriors. They're an elite group of men, fearless under pressure, who wouldn't even break a sweat when eating chilli in a sauna. To mere mortals, they're an enigma - shadows in the night, ghosts in the day, that cool breeze on your backside when you're leaning into the boot of your car with your grocery shopping. They remain hidden until they find their target, and when they do, they tend not to exchange pleasantries, just a swift cap to the head.

Full Spectrum Warrior is an opportunity for you to experience life as just such a covert soldier. You'll be put in charge of two squads, Alpha and Bravo. Following the orders delivered to you from upon high to clear various levels of bad guys, you'll use both teams to manoeuvre your way around suspected enemy houses, to surround gunmen, and to achieve other tactical objectives.

It may sound complicated having to deal with so many men, but in effect each squad acts as a single unit, so there are only two entities to control. And thanks to a simple button layout, you won't need to spend hours mastering the complexities of the game. It really is a very straightforward game to get your head around, placing the emphasis on tactics, putting your men in the right places at the right time, and dispatching each enemy with the minimum of fuss, bother and ammo.

This simplicity makes Full Spectrum Warrior a potential purchase for a much wider audience than you might expect. Most games of this style are aimed solely at pure bred, strategy game fanatics. Whilst not excluding them, Full Spectrum Warrior manages to capture the same level of tactical involvement but in a prettier, fluffier way. It's a triumph of enjoyment over realism. More importantly, it works a treat.

The missions themselves are also presented very well, with clear instructions providing you with a good feel for the job in hand. Visually there is a decent level of variety in the landscapes, though the animation is quite comical at times. Watching a group of grown men in pyjamas mincing along in unison takes some getting used to, though soon you'll be too immersed in the challenge to notice. Admittedly the title music grates like a cat scratching a blackboard during an air raid, but otherwise the presentation is more than adequate.

A masterful example of how to condense a five-course strategic combat game into a pint-sized portable portion, Full Spectrum Warrior is an enjoyable and competent offering. With plenty in the way of missions and myriad ways of completing them, there is enough to keep even the fussiest of pocket gamers coming back for second helpings.

8 / 10