Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 10/04/03 | Genre: Shooter
In 1991, the US and the armies of the world, backed by the UN, came to the aid of Kuwait by attacking Iraq and the armies of Saddam Hussein. This is the setting for last year's Conflict Desert Storm title. Despite the first title receiving mixed results, a sequel was developed and is now available. Conflict Desert Storm II Back to Baghdad is set once again in 1991. If there are future versions of the franchise, I guess they may include the current Iraq conflict then. But before we begin speculating on the future of the franchise, lets take a closer look at Conflict Desert Storm II Back to Baghdad.
This time around, players are given 10 missions to complete. Within each mission there are several different objectives. You won't know all of the objectives at first. As you progress through each particular mission, you will be given them. Before you go into the heat of battle and begin a new game, you must select if you want to control the mighty American Delta Force or the British SAS. Depending on the side you choose, some elements of the game will be changed. For example, the voice acting will be different depending on what side you select, the appearance of the soldiers and weapons will change, and finally the stats for your troops will be slightly different. Because of the inclusion of these two sides, players will find a little more replay value with the game. The missions will be the same but you can always go back and relive them in a new experience with the other team.
The gameplay in Conflict Desert Storm II Back to Baghdad is nice except for an auto-aim feature they threw in. While I am not as good at this style of game as other genres, the inclusion of an auto-aim allows you to easily go in and wipe out hostiles. However, at times, even though you have your crosshairs over a particular enemy and fire on them, they won't go down. It is as if the bullets magically go through them. With a bug like this in the game, I am quite surprised the title made it out of the door. It would have been beneficial to delay the game a little bit in order to clean up the issue with shooting your hostile opponents. Besides running and crawling to shoot enemies, players can also get into vehicles, a tank or jeep, to take on their foes. However, this proves to be a bit difficult to control. The vehicles are very slow to respond to you.
The PlayStation 2 version supports single player and two player modes. The two player mode is played on a split screen. Unfortunately, no online play is available on the PlayStation 2. Players who want to take Conflict Desert Storm II online will have to wait for a future installment. I did not enjoy the two player mode on the PS2. So if you are planning on loading up this game, make sure you play the single player mode only. Stick to the Xbox for the multiplayer portion of the game. You can at least play with up to four players there. However the only Xbox Live features are content downloads.
Overall, Conflict Desert Storm II Back to Baghdad is a better game than the original. However, it is not quite as good as the SOCOM or Rainbow Six series. Still, Back to Baghdad is worth taking a look at if this is one of your favorite genres. Who knows after a weekend with the title you may decide it is worth a purchase. I hope the series can continue in the future. It would be nice to Gotham Games continue to improve upon a third installment of the series.