Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy
April 7th 2005
Groove Games brings out the budget FPS, Combat: Task Force 121. The task force is obviously limited compared to its Rainbow Six, Counter Strike influences. Will the Task Force be able to hold its own against these giant of games?
The Game: Combat: Task Force 121 might have you hooked with its marked down price, fancy box art and action packed screen shots on the back of the box, that's until you put the game into your console. The concept sounds like it will be a fairly cool game on paper, but unfortunate it can't deliver. We've come to expect more out of our games, even if they are a budget title. If you have played a shooter before then you should know how this will go, but wait. think eight to ten years ago.
The story revolves around a group of military specialists who have to stop the evil goons who have schemes to terrorize the world. The subject matter is overly used in today's games, but it still has some merit left. The game mechanics of Combat: Task Force 121 are very familiar and will do nothing for any experienced gamers. The presentation really comes off as a poor mans Tom Clancy game and the gameplay follows suit. The best word to describe the gameplay would be bland. If you manage to run through the games ten levels you won't find much of a personal reward considering the limitations of the challenge. Maybe try running through with the hilarious stab-and-fall knife and you'll steal some laughs.
It's not all lost with Combat: Task Force 121 because there is still play this game on Xbox Live. Xbox Live offers up eight standard modes of fraging fun. The game is a affordable option if you're looking for a budget game that all your friends can purchase relatively cheap. Online I would say Combat: Task Force 121 falls close to Solder of Fortune II, with less weapons. Although if you're looking for a cheap Xbox Live title you could always snatch a used copy of Solder of Fortune II, Counter Strike or Rainbow Six from your local pawn shop.
Graphics & Sound: I wasn't too impressed with the graphical quality in Combat: Task Force 121. The game uses a the Unreal Championship graphics engine, but honestly I found it hard to believe. If my memory serves me correct the original Unreal from Epic Games developed in the late nineties looked better then this product. Well, maybe its not so horrid... just don't compare it to today's high standards. Combat: Task Force looks good enough to run though once mainly because of the excellent frame rate and fluidly the Unreal engine provides.
The sound in Task Force is a leap beyond the graphics which helps elevate the scoring marginally. The most noticeable effects are the weapons resonance which seemed very adequate. I also enjoyed the musical score that occasionally kicks in to break up the silence of the levels. Overall the sound proved to be above the graphics quality, just don't try to awe your friends with this turkey.
Innovation: If you have read through this review, you can probably figure out how this section of the review is going read. Although Task Force 121 does more pulling then pushing gaming forward, I did admire some features they included. First, they could of skimped out and put health and ammo all over the environments, but they didn't which was nice. Your character can not regenerate health making the game a little more challenging, and if you need extra ammo you'll have to find it by going through the pockets of your fallen foes. Again, this has been done in games before. but it always nice to see a bit of realism in shooters these days.
Mojo: Combat: Task Force 121 could desperately use some mojo backup although I don't think she's coming. Even if this game was the new Rainbow Six, the chances of it being pick randomly bought by the average consumer with a campy name like Combat: Task Force 121 is low. Everyone has to love low priced games with Xbox Live support which gives the mojo a little jingle. This force next task should be to gather more mojo.
Lowdown: Yes, Combat: Task Force 121 is a budget title, but the low price factor can't excuse it from being so poorly developed. especially when stacking up to other budget titles like Phantom Dust & Scrapland. Luckily the Xbox Live portion of the game redeems the game slightly. Overall I suggest you save you cash and look for the real deal, any Tom Clancy FPS will do.
Gameplay: 4, Graphics/Sound: 4, Innovation: 1, Mojo: 2. Final: 3
- 10 exciting single player missions take you through a variety of locales including dense jungle, shanty town, oil rig, refinery plant and an exotic island. Day and night missions add to the challenge and realism.
- Use a variety of authentic military weapons such as USP Pistol, M4 Assault Rifle with M203 Grenade Launcher, MP5 SD, Mk43 7.62mm Machine Gun, M1 Combat Shotgun, .50 Cal Tactical Sniper Rifle, C4 charge, Grenade and Combat Knife.
- Exciting online play with up to 16 players via LAN or Xbox Live. Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, VIP Escort and Last Man Standing game modes are available (along with team variants).
- State of the art graphics by the UNREAL Championship engine.
- Command your observer to defend and cover your position when the action heats up.
- Fully scripted storyline immerses the player in the action.