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The soldiers themselves aren’t merely plastic automatons that simply follow orders either. Rather, you can control them individually if need be, which in turn opens up several opportunities for direct control. Not only can your troops run, but they may also roll sideways to dodge enemy fire, crouch to provide some cover while firing, as well as drop to the ground in order to render themselves much more difficult to hit. These actions don’t always get the job done, however, and to this end soldiers may commandeer any available vehicles that they find in their area. Such vehicles include a jeep, a covered truck, a halftrack, a tank and a PT boat. Though each of these — with the exception of the covered truck — are armed with a given weapon, the various statistics of each will ensure that you will sometimes have to decide which vehicle is the right one for the job. For example, the tank may seem like the ideal choice for clearing out a Tan-infested area, but the enemy has a vast range of weaponry as well, and so the tank’s slow mobility may prove to be its undoing as it’s rapidly mauled by a hail of grenades. In this case, you may find the jeep more effective, as its considerable speed insures a quick, lethal strike while taking minimal damage. In this sense, overseeing the individual control of a soldier can prove to be more strategic than ordering simplistic “go-shoot-return” missives.
As the game progresses, you’ll often find that you have too many men to easily handle, and that you’d perhaps like to split up your forces to execute distraction or flanking ploys. This is effectively possible, thanks to a squad system which dictates the formation and behavior of your soldiers during less direct mission plans. When you divide your men into separate squads, one of them automatically becomes the squad leader, who is the single most important character in the group: if you send a “duck” order, only the leader drops to the ground, leaving the others to protect him. Similarly, if you decide to control your squad manually instead of using generalized commands through the mouse, it is the leader who will act out your directional orders while the rest of the squad simply follows his motions. Still, there are options that allow you to control the group as a whole if the need arises. Behavioral attitude can be adjusted on the fly, allowing you to select from four different settings: Attack, Defend, Stand and Fire, and Hold Fire. Each setting has its own set of rules that your men follow, which in turn can greatly turn the tides of war. For instance, you may decide to have a squad of men protect your fortifications while waiting for reinforcements to arrive. If you’ve lined your men around the perimeter, you’ll find that Stand and Fire is the most appropriate setting, as it will allow your men to attack anyone who nears their range without having to worry that they’ll be lured away from their posts. On the other hand, you may want to see your men aggressively hunt out any would-be infiltrators; as such, you’ll find Attack to be an effective choice, since your men will use any means possible to hunt down the invaders, including tossing grenades and using special weapons. Such instances arise frequently, forcing you to become familiar with squad maneuverings at the risk of losing your men.
Basic rifles and assault vehicles aside, the Green forces have considerable artillery at their disposal. In the form of in-the-field power-ups, your men have access to a small number of traditional weapons, which should seem familiar to just about anyone. This includes anything from a light machine gun to a flamethrower to a bazooka, with each presenting a different series of advantages and disadvantages, which will in turn have an effect on your battle plan. The flamethrower, for instance, is a powerful weapon that can turn any nearby enemies into bubbling puddles of plastic in no time at all; unfortunately, their range is extremely short, and thus leaves the bearer vulnerable to longer-range attacks. On the other hand, mortars allow your troops to rain explosive fire down on the enemy from a considerable distance. The down side is that the mortar takes some time to prepare and can leave the user wide-open to an aggressive strike. Some non-traditional power-ups are also available, in order to help combat some of these side effects. For example, an adrenaline pack will double a unit’s movement rate, allowing him to cover large distances or flee enemy fire with little effort. The disguise power-up is equally important, as it fools the enemy into thinking that your men are on their side, and will allow them to freely walk among their ranks. Surprise power-ups such as these often appear at the most useful times, and provide an interesting though unrealistic element to combat.
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