First And Best

First To Fight
Reviewed On
Available For
PC, Xbox

It’s a dangerous world out there. And if you are a U.S. Marine, this is probably more than doubly so.

First to Fight puts you in charge of a four man marine fire team in a series of missions in places that make the worst neighborhoods back home look like five star hotels. The place is Beirut, which is pretty much a hellhole on a good day. In First to Fight, yet another civil was has broken out there and the Marines are sent in to restore order.

The graphics are awesome. You will find Persian rugs hanging from balconies, neon signs advertising the latest clubs, broken up coffee bars and many civilians cowering in corners or smoking cigarettes in back rooms trying to avoid getting killed while going about their daily business.

Your enemies consist of radial Muslim militiamen, Syrian troops doing a power grab and even a few Iranian commandos. And the bad guys are very smart. They will hide behind civilians, ambush you from windows or rooftops, pop out of sewer grates and work in effective fire teams to try and pin you down.

Thankfully, your fire team is one of the best in the world. And unlike many team-based games I have played, the AI here actually acts like it. If you never give your team an order, they still do a great job covering your butt as you move through the city. When you come to an intersection for example, your two wingmen will each move to positions to cover your flanks down the street. The fourth man will take cover and watch your back.

Giving orders to your team is also extremely easy. You simply right click and a radial menu appears with appropriate commands. Perhaps you are feeling uneasy about an open balcony nearby. You simply point at it, right click, and ask your team to cover it. Or you can tell your team to get hunker down and defend an area, or even mount captured gun emplacements you find along the way. To me, it felt like using hand signals to direct my team. It was very natural and after the first mission was really second nature to me.

You use the same command structure to do other things as well. Let’s say you are faced with a powerful bunker that you can’t crack. You can call in an air strike by Cobra Gunships on that position in the same way. The game is smart enough to give you the air strike option when looking at a powerful enemy vehicle or installation.

You personally have an M-16 A4 rifle with a scope and an under-slung grenade launcher. The launcher is great for hitting that pesky sniper hiding in an upper floor room, or clearing out an area before you go marching in. The scope also helps quite a bit as you can act as a fairly proficient sniper for your team.

You can also pick up weapons from your fallen opponents. Those AK-74s used by your enemies are great weapons because they have full automatic capacity. I loved using them in sewers, where you can spray and pray and fill an entire tunnel with lead to clear it.

The game got its start because developer Destineer apparently created a simulation for the Marine Corps. They thought it might be fun to make a civilian version, and boy were they right.

I doubt it will be much of a recruiting tool though. After sweating though level after level with my team, worrying about where that next bullet is coming from, there is no way I want to be a Marine. I respect what they do and am darn glad they do it. But I know it’s not for me. I nearly had a heart attack playing the game. In real life I don’t know what would happen.

And even though the game is set in Bruit, the setting could have easily been anywhere in Iraq where house to house fighting occurs on a regular basis.

Just keep watching each others back, and rely on your training, which apparently is quite good. You really can’t ask for a more appropriate game at this time in our history, or a more realistic simulation that is actually easy to play.

Semper Fi guys!

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