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CTU: Marine Sharpshooter Review - PC

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CTU: Marine Sharpshooter makes an attempt at separating itself from the other First-Person Shooter games on the market by focusing on the sniping side of things. During the game you play as a member of the Counter Terror Unit or CTU, focused on investigating and eliminating a terrorist faction smuggling nuclear weapons into the country, with no one to help you except your spotter, who gives you the locations of nearby enemies, helps fire at them and often gets in the way.

Gameplay

Despite the fact that the game is centred upon sniping, some of the levels are designed otherwise. You'll often wish you had some kind of machine gun or assault rifle like your spotter has; trying to take down hordes of enemies with only a useless knife, an extremely inaccurate pistol and a slow sniper rifle in close to medium-range areas is slightly frustrating, and the fact that you can't obtain any other weapons besides those three makes things even harder. The pistol is so inaccurate in fact that it becomes tempting to use the sniper rifle instead, even within the small corridors of buildings. Almost all of the levels in the game are quite poorly-designed, featuring plainly laid out tracks and tunnels, giving CTU: Marine Sharpshooter an outdated feel. The missions are presented in variety as they take place in all kinds of environments, from small towns to tropical jungles.

The mission briefings in CTU: Marine Sharpshooter are to the point and only one or two sentences long, so the game's storyline isn't explained properly and people and names start appearing out of nowhere. This seems to give the storyline an undeveloped and poorly-structured feel, which is disappointing. Every mission contains numerous objectives, but they also are poorly-structured and you'll find that you'll run into and complete them simply by wandering through the level without even opening and looking at your objectives screen. This gives most missions in the game a simplistic 'run to the end of the level while killing the bad guys' feel, reminiscent of older games such as Quake and Doom.

Your spotter is with you on all missions, and you can assign commands to him to get him to hold, follow, not fire, or fire at will. Aside from helping you kill the terrorists whenever possible, he contacts your Commander to update him on how your mission is progressing. He also provides locations of enemies, assigning coloured pointers to the bar compass at the top of the screen. Different colours determine how close that enemy is, and finding them is as simple as turning around so that the pointer is in the centre of the bar. Having a useful spotter comes with side-effects, though; sometimes he gets in the way by blocking doorways and thin walkways, at which point you'll have to run back to get him to follow you out. He also gets in the way of your fire, and one accidental shot at him with the sniper rifle will kill him and render the mission ... (continued next page)