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WarPath  Preview for Xbox
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Preview for Xbox

- William Usher, " Cyguration ", Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, May 28, 2006 

Review Preview


Groove Games
Digital Extremes
Teen (T)

WarPath  Screenshot Gallery

WarPath  Screenshot Gallery

WarPath  Screenshot Gallery

Among the clutter of new titles this year, Groove Games is reaching out from the barrage of FPS clones to bring gamers, Warpath. This game was built as a multiplayer frag-fest from the people who brought us Pariah. Warpath is a cross between Unreal and Pariah. There are vehicles present and a strong focus on multiplayer gaming, despite the lack of any split-screen features. There’s a single player campaign amid the multiplayer fray, and an upgradeable weapon feature for three levels of lethal impact.

There are a total of four play modes that include: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Frontline Assault. The first three modes are standard fare; much of what you might expect from other FPS games. The last mode, Frontline Assault, is similar to Battlefront's command-post capturing. You have to defeat the enemy and stand over the post to capture it. It requires a lot of teamwork and appears to be very similar to the command-post capturing that was featured in Unreal Tournament.

But wait, I thought there wasn’t any strategy involved?!

The story loosely follows three races vying for control over a resource-rich planet. One of the species happens to be humans trying to mine the planet for its riches, while another species is trying to retain the planet’s religious roots. The third race is a group of cyborg killers who will do whatever it takes to preserve the planet’s necessities for their own cybernetic up-keeping. Each race’s desire to own the planet will be the deciding factor (along with the player’s unparalleled skill) in who comes out as the victor.

Even though this game focuses heavily on its multiplayer features, the single-player mode is adequately suited for some measure of replay. Like the game Risk, Warpath’s single-player is set atop a hexagonal board with both sides vying for control. When landing on a space, players will take control of a character and commence into battle. Like Battlefront , though, there’s perks for taking over enemy territories. From weapon upgrades to all new weapons, players will have an extensive power-up strategy to use when battling in the single-player mode.

Another aspect that is different from other games is that there is a non-linear approach to the single-play. There are no restrictions on how players approach the methods of conquering the enemy. This fond addition is what made Battlefront II an endearing attempt at keeping players stationed at the single-player modes when not playing on-line. Hopefully Groove Games two-fold attempt at an affordable shooter with a lot of replay will pay off.

Big guns, Bigger guns, and Bigger Big guns

If this game were made for any other reason than being an affordable multiplayer frag-fest, it was made for sci-fi gun freaks. Warpath relishes in a monument of special effects for space-age weaponry. Among the eight or so upgradable weapons, there is the: Vanguard, which can be upgraded to shoot plasma, work as a sentry, or shoot a vanguard orb which latches onto surfaces and electrocutes nearby foes. There’s a Tyrant Grenade Launcher, which is the standard grenade launcher featured in just about every other FPS. The grenade launcher, though, can be upgraded to charge, trigger charge and an adhesive shell. The Wolverine Machine gun is a weapon that sounds a little more dangerous than its results. However, the Wolverine has silk jacket rounds, focused fire, and assault over-ride. Rocket launcher junkies can also rejoice with the Judge, and the C.A.M., upgrades eventually add homing support, twin rockets and hydra missiles. For snipers there’s a neat little weapon called the Javelin (sounds deadly, eh?). The upgrades for the Javelin include more damage, a thermal scope and increased magazines. Finally, there’s the Violater, a kick-butt shotgun with the options of a quick clip, smart shell and smart shell repeater.

Each weapon upgrade comes from collecting a select number of C.A.M.S. This feature gives each gun a remarkable improvement that ranges from increased firing rates, to an extra boost of unquestionable damage. These C.A.M.S., can be retrieved from killing off opponents and collecting them from the fragged corpse. The weapon upgrades are about as important as the weapons, and hopefully there will be an even enough balance for gamers of different weapon proficiencies.

Just in case you’re out of ammo or there are enemies who just love to get up close and personal, there’s a melee weapon. The vibro-blade, like in Unreal Tournament games, is a melee weapon that’s only good when you’re smashed up against a foe with little or no alternatives. Still, something is better than nothing. To replenish health there’s even med-kits for quick-healing, which, by the way, can also receive upgrades.

Festivities in Fragland

Despite the lacking split-screen options for the Xbox, there’s a beefy amount of single-player and multiplayer maps. There’s more than 25 maps dedicated to arena-styled battles for fast-paced death-matching. To keep players on the move, the maps have specifically been designed to allow players to maneuver through them with special moves.

Like in Pariah, there’s a turbo boost that allows players to run with a boost, for a short period of time. Utilizing the boost with other special maneuvers, such as ramp jumping or elevator hopping, allows players to perform extra special moves. For instance, combining boost jumping off a ramp allows players to float high in the air at a slight angle, giving players an aerial view for sniping, etc. Like in Unreal, players can also utilize a boost jump off elevators for extra high leaps for an aerial barrage of gunfire.

If you’re a gamer who liked the settings and gameplay of Pariah, but loved the deathmatch style features of Unreal, then Warpath might be a perfect fit. The amazing visuals and the physics are sure a promise for enhanced gameplay. You can look for Warpath, the $19.95, vehicular, multiplayer frag-fest, to hit store shelves on June 6, 2006.

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