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Dropship: United Peace Force
Review By:  J. Michael Neal
Developer:  SCEE Camden
Publisher:  BAM!
# of Players:  1
Genre:  Flying/Action
ESRB:  Teen
Online:  No
Accessories:  N/A
Date Posted:  8-20-02

Dropship: United Peace Force is one of those games that really could have been something if it had a little more funding and a little more time in the oven. Essentially this game is an Ace Combat style flight sim that tries to combine elements of driving and real-time strategy with frequent pickup and delivery objectives using futuristic hovercrafts. The problem is it doesnít do any of it very well, at least not well enough to get it any attention on store shelves.

On a strictly technical side, Dropship fails on almost every level. The visuals range from bland, to down right ugly, and fundamental aliments such as flat textures, drab models, dull environments, and severe draw-in are rampant. It feels like no time was put into developing a believable physics engine; none of the planes react the way they should and ground vehicles control like they are made out of lead. The game also lacks in the audio department, where run-of-the-mill effects, an uninspired soundtrack, and lifeless voice-overs combine into a disappointing mix. All this comes together to create a very slip-shad package that gives players the distinct feeling that this game was made on a shoestring budget with a minimal time commitment from the developers.

In terms of gameplay Dropship tries, in vain, to create a unique experience by combining rather elementary gaming elements into one package. These include driving segments, on-rails shooting, dog fights, bombing runs, troop commanding, and pick up and delivery. The problem is that the game is standard fair at best; at itís worst itís frustrating or downright boring. More often than not, missions are a chore to complete, forcing players to endure attempt after attempt at poorly designed objectives, like landing on a small icon to pick up units or protecting allies while engaging wave after wave of hostels, in the hopes that the next mission will be a little more enjoyable. Anyone who manages to play the game all the way through, however, will merely find an unending cycle of boredom and repetition until the credits roll.

Even for the most diehard flight sim fanatic, Dropship doesnít have enough enjoyment in it to fill a shot glass. Thatís a real shame too, considering the lack of quality titles PS2 owners have within the flight sim genre we could have used something fresh and entertaining. Instead we got yet another low-budget port of a lackluster overseas title to take up space on store shelves.

HIGHS:

  • Some of the on-rail shooting stages, in which you control the turret on the back of a hummer-like vehicle, can be fun.
  • It can be turned off.

LOWS:

  • Everything else in the game.
  • It can be turned on.

FINAL VERDICT:

A primitive attempt at the flight genre that tests just how weak a game can be and still get released. There really is no reason why someone would want to pick this game up.

Overall Score: 3.0

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