PC software: Tom Clancy: The Sum of All Fears

In the grand, if somewhat overburdened, tradition of onscreen Clancyesque paramilitarism, SOAF (Sum of All Fears) is a ‘terrorists have taken over the world and it's your job to take them down, soldier' kind of thing. It's based on the Tom Clancy Ghost Recon game engine rather than the tedious Rainbow Six one, so you can perform your close quarters battle and command your squad on the hoof rather than having to plan everything in advance.

SOAF is actually rather good - the enemies are predictable, but then people often are. The AI is fair and the in-building tactics are different.

It's a little bit samey, though. Recon's main selling point was its outside feel mixed with excellent gameplay. In SOAF you get the gameplay but it all feels a bit claustrophobic.

I must say, though, that you have to watch your step and, just like Recon, the baddies will wax you if you poke your head round corners without thinking (stun grenades soon sort that out).

There's also a new style of gameplay, Lone Wolf, in which you alone must escape a baddie-filled map normally used for set-piece missions. It's fun and a quick fix, so you don't really lose anything by jumping out early if your dinner's ready.

Also interesting is the ability to record replays of your missions, although unfortunately they aren't adjustable.

All in all, SOAF looks good - especially for me, because I hated Rainbow Six and loved Ghost Recon. But, and it's a big but, I simply can't award this game top marks, for anything.

Publisher: Red Storm Entertainment.

Developer: Ubi Soft.

URL: http://sumofallfears.ubi.com.

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