Wait a minute, Global Storm? What happened to Global Terror? Here's what probably happened: after some highprofile incidences of global terror, the publisher shat its pants and opted for a more wishy-washy name. In the current
climate, it was probably a wise move, as with everything from GTA to The Sims being blamed for the downfall of civilisation, it was a headline that Eidos could do without.
Fear not, the game remains the same, with the Gulf War veterans reunited as a weapon in the war on, er, global terror. Retrained as a rapid response counterterrorist unit, if there's a problem, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Red Team, otherwise known as Bradley, Jones, Connors and Foley.
Conveniently enough, there is a big problem brewing in the jungles of South America, where a bunch of second- and third-generation Nazis have formed a terrorist cell by the name of March 33, in honour of the date that Hitler declared the Third Reich. Intent on destabilising world governments, it's a story that could have come straight out of 24, and to be honest, we only know the basics because we've read it. Does anyone ever follow the plot in games like this? When it comes down to it, it's really just a lot of people shouting "Tango down!" During the course of this review we must have killed about 1,800 people without ever really knowing who they were, or what they were trying to achieve. As a rule of thumb, if they have a moustache or a foreign accent, they would appear to be fair game.
Somewhere in the midst of the carnage, we do remember storming a Colombian cocaine factory, killing all of its employees and then setting about destroying their equipment, thus insuring that the streets of London would be short of sniff for at least a week. There was also a bit where we had to go to Seoul to protect a senator, something that involved killing in the region of 100 Koreans, while he kept his head down and made a dash for the chopper.
For all its pretensions towards being a tactical shooter in the mould of Rainbow Six et al, Global Storm is a far more hectic affair. Often degenerating into a glorified shooting gallery, the twisted limbs of the recently dead provide a macabre backdrop to the frantic action, and you can find yourself tripping over bodies before they magically fade away.
For sure, you can order your team-mates about, give individual instructions and even delayed commands. But when you've a got a legion of infidels raining hot lead down on you, you're not really going to be bothered about sending Foley up a tree to snipe, and employing a three-way pincer movement to neutralise the enemy advance. In reality, you're going to run like a mad thing, dive for cover and shoot anything that moves.
There are always casualties in war, and indeed in global storms, whatever they are. It's done a bit differently here, though. Say, for instance, you're shot in the face by a tank from about three feet. You don't die instantly, but are afforded a few minutes' grace to writhe around in your own blood and vomit, screaming in agony as your life ebbs away. During this window, one of your team-mates can crawl towards you, dodge the flack and administer magical medication which restores you to full health.
However, in doing so he's likely to get shot himself, at which point you'll have to heal him, or, if you are him, shout for help. In the midst of a ferocious firefight, all four soldiers can be involved, and it turns into a farcical daisy-chain of healing, crying and occasionally dying. Encapsulating the futility of war in one tragic vignette, it's a scene worthy of Joseph Heller's seminal Catch 22. Alternatively, it's just really stupid.