Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 67 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 67
  2. Negative: 0 out of 67
  1. Full Spectrum Warrior contains more polish than your average shoe store. Top notch stuff, and for once, I can't think of any way to improve things.
  2. 100
    The game has incredible graphics and sound, as well as clever AI that doesn't require you to baby-sit each squad member.
  3. 100
    Without a doubt, this game shows that originality in gaming is very much alive and kicking, even if it is wrapped inside a sensitive subject. If you want a true military experience without going through boot camp, Full Spectrum Warrior is it.
  4. Watching one of your GIs fall to a single bullet provides a harrowing exclamation point to FSW's immersive thrills. [18 June 2004, p.L2T 20]
  5. Issuing orders and planning strategy for a day in the life of a solider highly trained in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT), is what Full Spectrum Warrior is all about.
  6. 96
    One of the greatest aspects is learning how important cover is for your units.
  7. The sense of joy when you accomplish such tactics successfully will leave you begging for more, but the most intuitive thing is that you will start playing in such a fashion out of second nature after a short amount of play.
  8. The combat is 100% original. You issue commands using an innovative cursor that makes the game feel like an RTS. It's brilliant.
  9. The game is extensively authentic and requires a lot of thought to successfully complete it.
  10. If you love a good strategy game or have the slightest interest in authentic military tactics then Full Spectrum Warrior is not only fun, it’s even a bit educational, and a must-own game.
  11. One of the best tactical action games ever released and also one of the most accessible.
  12. 92
    A rich, Oh-My-God experience thanks to its innovative game design, its beautiful graphics and excellent technology, and because it's one of those genre-bending games that does something few have imagined before.
  13. My only real complaint is that the game is somewhat short... However, Full Spectrum Warrior is still a must for any hardcore gamer.
  14. What's so captivating is FSW's constant assault on your senses - whether shaken by explosions or hanging on live-or-die decisions, you are always in the thick of it.
  15. Full Spectrum Warrior ultimately delivers the most realistic console experience of war.
  16. If you’ve been searching for a strategy game that really puts you in the line of fire and in which you always feel the consequences of your actions, look no further than this.
  17. As you get to the later levels of the game the strategy becomes even more complex and the game starts going at its full potential.
  18. One of the smartest and most informed ways we have seen in creating a realistic setting/atmosphere in a game and this offers so much more than you can possibly imagine.
  19. This is certainly one of the most innovative games on the Xbox and one that even non-military buffs should check out. I have a feeling this is just the start of an exceptional series.
  20. 90
    The game is actually ten times more deliberate and strategic than even the most realistic squad-based shooters, and if you try to approach it like one of those, you're going to die a dog's death ... ten times over.
  21. The gameplay is varied and engaging, and coupled with the storyline and character development you'll find that you can't put the game down until you finish it.
  22. 90
    The most innovative and unique title to be released in quite some time. There are many out there, like myself, who will find just what they were looking for: A thinking man’s game.
  23. Playing Full Spectrum Warrior over Xbox Live can become a dangerously addictive hobby, but even without it, the game is an absolute blast. The only thing that I could have asked for is more – more tactics, more weapons, more grenades, more missions, more everything.
  24. The satisfaction of using one team to distract an enemy while the other team sneaks to take them out is unmatched, and truly makes Full Spectrum Warrior one of the best games of 2004.
  25. An awful lot of fun. It's not a fast paced game at all; very methodical in nature. But the strategies you get to employ really give Full Spectrum Warrior it's depth.
  26. Ingenious, but a little gameplay short of "must have."
  27. What's fundamentally so appealing and refreshing is how Full Spectrum Warrior is a breath of fresh air nor not one but two genres, with the unique gameplay, stellar presentation, and sweet two-player Xbox Live co-op play adding up to make this a winner. [Aug 2004, p.74]
  28. If some of the A.I. flaws are corrected the enemy presence is beefed up in a sequel it would be a near perfect experience, but as it stands this game is still a blast. They have succeeded in creating an immersive, fun, and most importantly original game that is easy to pick up and play.
  29. It may seem like homework at first, but the game throws you into some tough situations from the start, and draws you into a military experience you've never seen in a game before.
  30. Full Spectrum’s audio has a really gritty simplicity to it that really gets one into the mood Pandemic seemed to have been trying to convey.
  31. For those looking for more brainwork than sheer brawn then this game is well worth a look.
  32. Weapon sounds are very realistic, and your soldiers have some foul mouthed dialog that will keep you pretty entertained.
  33. Features some of the best visuals on the Xbox.
  34. The AI in the game I think could've been much improved. They do run for cover and they do engage you before you engage them. However sometimes they jump out right in front of you.
  35. From a technical perspective there are just so many things that could go bad with a game like this. To make it believable you really need a dynamic gameplay and an AI that’s believable. Full Spectrum Warrior has this.
  36. The control is tight, but the movement icon and camera need work. [July 2004, p.119]
  37. Thanks to its innovative design and slick controls, some of the game’s shortcomings are slightly forgivable, while others stand out like a sore, war-torn thumb. Even so, Full Spectrum Warrior is an excellent, original creation, but it’s far from perfect.
  38. An interesting simulator of small unit urban tactics, but a lot of gamers will find the gameplay too slow and constraining.
  39. 82
    Lack of replay value aside, Full Spectrum Warrior is an experience to behold.
  40. During play you can’t help thinking there’s more to come but unfortunately, as good as the game is; there isn’t.
  41. The rush and stress of sprinting both teams from cover to cover in the midst of this chaotic bombardment, knowing that any random high-pitched streak or painted contrail could take out half your team in an instant, is unprecedented in military games to date. [Aug 2004, p.85]
  42. Whatever you conclude about the bigger picture, this is special stuff. The claustrophobic buzz of flies, the distant muezzin drone, the desperation as you crouch uncertain in the dust whilst your men call frantically for orders will lodge in your mind long after you've walked away from the game. [July 2004, p.98]
  43. The most socially relevant videogame in recent memory and should be played not just by fans of the genre, but by anyone desiring a deeper understanding of what it must be like to participate in urban warfare. [Aug 2004, p.98]
  44. Apart from the fact that it's a largely seamless gameplay mechanic, sensibly balanced and gloriously fresh and interesting to play, it's also an ingenious premise that deserves further exploration - indeed, this is one of the few times you'll see us crying out for a sequel.
  45. The real deal, and anyone after something more cerebral than another heavy dose of gunning down swathes of [insert fashionable victim here] should seriously consider tracking this one down. War is finally good for something. [July 2004, p.124]
  46. While it's essentially a puzzle game, some of the challenges are very tough and will require a lot of trial and error if you're not careful, but some intense music, good gun sound effects and your squad screaming at the top of their lungs to move make for a fun experience.
  47. The game mechanics are unique and enthralling.
  48. Delivers on the promise of offering a modern day tactical game that is totally different from the average title, yet is incredibly easy to pick up and play. My grievances focus around the slightly linear mission design, occasionally idiotic AI (both enemy and friendly, though more so the former), and a short campaign, but everything else the game offers left me with an excellent experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.
  49. Visuals are crisp and life-like.
  50. THQ and Pandemic do deserve commendation for stepping away from the tried and tested styles of military simulations and trying something different.
  51. There is no better representation of the war mojo then sneaking up your two squads for some nice ambush crossfire killing action.
  52. A fascinating strategy game mixed with a lot of tactical shooter elements. Additional online modes and some gameplay tweaks would have earned the game a higher rating, but as it stands, it's a thoroughly entertaining and involving experience.
  53. 80
    Pure strategy in a shiny candy shell. It takes the brains of a strategy game and stuffs them into the buffed-out body of an action game. The result is a tense, nail-biting experience that rarely fails to amaze.
  54. Full Spectrum Warrior has clearly been simplified and made more ‘gamey’ with the intent to appeal to the broader gaming community. Unfortunately the level design suffers from being too restrictive and players are encouraged to search for the intended solution with little opportunity to think outside the square.
  55. The developer has obviously done the best it can with the camera and you will have few problems controlling your men. It can be incredibly annoying that the camera can't pull away from the action just a fraction more.
  56. The game often ends up feeling like a string of puzzles whose solutions are pretty obvious. Nevertheless, Full Spectrum Warrior is very good overall, and deserves credit for being something other than just another military-themed shooter or strategy game. It's just too bad that it isn't more involving.
  57. When your boys start screaming as RPG rounds streak by, showering 'em with flying plaster and car parts, you'll feel silly for assuming you'd miss being the one pulling the trigger.
  58. Slightly repetitive combat and linear level design keeps the game from earning must-have status, but gamers with even a slight interest in strategy titles and a yearning for something new should give it a rent.
  59. Although it feels like there's a lot to learn when you first play Full Spectrum Warrior, you'll quickly realize that your options are actually quite limited.
  60. A thinking man's military game, Full Spectrum Warrior's set-piece confrontations tend to force you into one specific course of action. But it's still as close as you'll come to living the real thing - and be thankful for that.
  61. The presentation is handled so well that you end up disregarding how ultimately arbitrary the setup can be. [Aug 2004, p.58]
  62. A great mix of tactical shooter and strategy based gameplay that, although fun, stumbles a bit due to the limitations within the game.
  63. It’s this lack of real replay and major feeling of linearity that I feel many will be turned off sooner than later.
  64. Oh, and one final message to the developers, a little note for next time-if you're not going to bother making your characters able to climb stairs, a good way to disguise this massively unrealistic shortcoming is to not put any stairs in the game! Something to keep in mind.
  65. 60
    From the wreckage of its weak structure and thinly spread action, the auspicious concept of Full Spectrum Warrior emerges a damaged, substantially broken vessel. Its strengths, however, are such that only a fool would dismiss it at this juncture.
  66. Lacks depth in all areas. In any given situation there are only a few options available to you. The game is linear and scripted which means that you can learn by trial and error. Events in a game of this nature should be randomized since that's how a war is experienced.
  67. While the graphics and overall presentation rock, the gameplay is hampered by a lack of depth, length and intricate strategy, leaving this warrior a few medals shy of the full spectrum.
User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Mar 23, 2011
    8
    You move, you die... repeat. A game that makes you think about what you do before each and every step and is therefore tense as all hell. This is not a fun game, and is better for that. Full Review »