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Iron Storm

aka: Iron Storm: The Face of War Has Changed, Ironstorm
Moby ID: 7570
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Description official descriptions

The year is 1964, and World War I still continues. The Russian Baron von Ugenberg (based on the real-world Baron von Ungern-Sternberg, with a similar biography) conquered Mongolia in an uprising following the Russian Revolution. The alternate timeline began when he invaded Soviet Union, defeated the Bolsheviks, and founded a Russo-Mongolian state, with the eventual goal of capturing the whole of Europe. United States of Western Europe (the Alliance) were established to counter that plan. Lieutenant James Anderson, a veteran soldier who has been with the Alliance since the age of nineteen, is sent on a highly dangerous mission: breach the enemy's defense line, and prevent the Russo-Mongolians from developing a new nuclear weapon.

Iron Storm is an alternate reality-themed first-person shooter (with optional third-person controls). The gameplay strives to reflect realistic warfare, a mixture of World War I and World War II styles. Siege tactics, trenches, and mustard gas co-exist with machine guns, mortars, and other weaponry characteristic of World War II; more advanced technology such as wireless communications, automated turrets, and spy satellites, is also common. The hero has to rely on careful advancement, taking cover and trying to avoid or outsmart the more powerful enemies.

Spellings

  • Коммандос: В тылу врага - Russian spelling
  • 钢铁风暴 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

104 People · View all

Studio Director
Production Manager
Editor-Developer Coordination
Game designer / Level designer
Gameplay Engineer
Head Programmer
Main Programmers
Additional Programmers
Script Language Programmer
Level Programming Editor
Level Script-editor
Artistic Directors
Head Graphic Artist
Character and Scenery Designer
Scenery and Kinematics CG Designers
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 70% (based on 29 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 18 ratings with 3 reviews)

Past Imperfect

The Good
IronStorm poses the question, what if World War One never ended? Well the Bolshevik uprising in Russia is squashed leading to a united Russo-German army under Baron Ugenberg that’s taken Asia and most of Europe. The United States of Western Europe is fighting trench warfare against helicopters and tanks and faces the threat of a more powerful superweapon. It’s 1964, and you are Lieutenant James Anderson, a graying soldier who’s lived his entire life entrenched in battle-ravaged Europe. Your commander feels that one man might succeed, where hundreds have failed. It’s up to you to fight your way into the heart of enemy territory and disrupt the plans for this new superweapon, before the Baron becomes unstoppable.

So does IronStorm succeed? Yes and no. The premise of the War to End all Wars never ending is intriguing and the designers do a wonderful job of taking 1920’s weaponry and bringing them into the future. You get a definite sense of a war machine that keeps cranking out weapons, without taking a breather to refine them. The MG-36A assault rifle is a clunky rapidly firing weapon with poor accuracy, as opposed to the M-16’s used in our world. Likewise the Heckler & Koch MP-6 machine pistol is loud and weak, but fast and the Dragunov Snayperskaya sniper rifle has an excellent zooming scope, but small magazine.

IronStorm seeks to account for all the weapons Anderson carries, meaning that you can’t pick up every weapon you come along. Using Anderson’s body as a template, there are a few left leg guns, a few right leg ones, etc. That means you’ll have to choose between lugging around a rocket launcher or an assault rifle, a silenced handgun or a machine pistol. If you play in the third-person perspective, you’ll see the guns rendered. In addition to guns, you also get a useless knife (decent for stealth missions) and four types of hand grenades: standard pineapple, incendiary, poison gas and a disabling gas which warps your perspective for a short time.

James Anderson begins his journey assisted by Cecile who monitors via a camera/headset device. Cecile seems more omniscient than the period’s technology allows, but since the game has limited character interaction, it’s nice hearing a friendly voice. Another recurring character is a Russo-German newswoman. From time to time, you can find televisions and watch her broadcasts that either cover events you just participated in or offer hints about upcoming levels.

IronStorm has interesting level design, ranging from dismal early levels that may turn players away to a brilliant middle section taking place in a wreck of a German town. Here the ambient war noises are top notch and the city looks wonderful. This level offers white-knuckle gameplay as you creep around enemy bunkers, try to spot snipers and take on tanks.

IronStorm is very hard despite a hit-or-miss enemy AI. Even on the medium level, shots do a lot of damage and it’s often difficult to spot snipers, especially when the sun is behind them.

The Bad
While I enjoyed IronStorm, I do think it’s very inconsistent. As I mentioned, level design can be spotty. Within the general missions you can do some exploring but it’s hard to get lost and there is a sense of linearity to the overall design. Early levels reminded me of the abysmal Shadow Force: Razor Unit, but later levels were much improved. I also think that the save anywhere function heavily influenced the level design. I definitely depended on trial and error and had to replay several sections multiple times.

Enemy AI was inconsistent as well. At times they displayed great cunning, other times they ran into walls or ignored me. It seems like scripted scenarios worked better than on the fly reactions.

The typical FPS conventions got a little out of hand- pseudo-stealth levels, levels where your character is captured/disarmed, last minute plot twists, endless supply crates, enemies that use explosive weapons in close proximity and indoors and more!

Finally- exploding dogs?!?

The Bottom Line
IronStorm is a very good game once you get past the early levels. While inconsistent, it is enjoyable and it's tough enough that you’ll get a strong sense of satisfaction after passing certain areas.

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5375) · 2003

A very original setting; a very forgetable game.

The Good
I really enjoyed the setting of this game. I confess, I don't know a great deal about war history other than we fought zombies and cyborgs in World War II, so I imagine that someone with a little more knowledge would probably get more out of this than I would. The game takes place in the 60s. The only difference is, World War I never ended and it still rages on.

The weapons are pretty cool. By "cool," I don't mean gatling laser chainsaw-missiles or anything rediculous like that. Instead, Iron Storm arms you with clunky "new technology" weapons that might have existed in that era had World War I never ended. They're not accurate, they're not fast, but they're the best we've got.

If there's one thing this game has going for it, it's its original atmosphere and setting. You begin in the trenches, fighting alongside your comrades against the enemy while helicopters fly overhead, bombs go off around you showering you in dirt and debris, and in the distance you hear the echoes of more chaos. Despite its mediocre graphics, the sound, environment and setting can really immerse you in the game.

The Bad
Unfortunately, aside from the original setting, there's nothing in this game that sets it apart from any other first-person shooter. Your options when dealing with NPCs is limited to "hear what he has to say" or just shooting them. 99% of your objectives is basically to get from Point A to Point B alive, which means taking down hordes of bad guys. Now that wouldn't be so bad, really, but the game doesn't give you enough meat with it. Every enemy (save for the...ehm...exploding dog) looks identical, aside from bodies and some blood splatches on the walls there's no real battle remains. There's really nothing exciting about combat. Aim gun. Fire. Advance. Aim gun. Fire.

And combat isn't easy at all. You'll find bad guys just spawn out of nowhere once you reach a certain area, which is really stupid if you decided to take a path the designers obviously didn't want you to take. In the very first level I had about ten bad guys spawn right in front of my comrades once I armed a turret (by the way, another stupid first-person shooter cliche exists in this game: any time there's a turret you can man, there will be a horde of enemies coming at you to chew down...many times in Iron Storm, though, the enemies won't even charge. They just stand around waiting for you to shoot them like it's some target range) and of course, it was up to me to save my buddies since they can't hit anything smaller than a barn.

You also can't lean around corners and shoot, which means in order to get a shot off you pretty much have to expose at least half your body when firing, which really sucks especially if there are snipers around, which tend to kill you in one hit.

Another problem that makes combat really tough is that often times you'll be getting shot at from God-knows-where. Bullets don't leave trails and muzzle flashes are so small you don't notice them at all...if they even exist? Also at times it can be tough to tell if you're getting shot at all. The screen doesn't turn red to indicate a hit or anything like that. Instead, you just sort of slide over a little and your little health meter drops a bit. When there's a lot of explosions going on around you and you're kind of moving anyway, you might find that you had just been shot all to hell and had no idea.

I admit, I did not beat this game. Heck, I doubt I even made it half way. I arrived at a spot in which I was advised to remain hidden, and that seemed an impossible task. The moment I was able to see the enemy, they also could see me, and then a helicopter would fly overhead and kill me forty times over. I could not get past this part, and by that point, I was too tired of dying over and over and over and over again to continue.

The Bottom Line
With such an original setting it's sad that this turned into a bland exercize in quick-saving. The weapons all look cool, the story is neat, and if you have some tolerance you can really immerse yourself in the game. But be prepared for some tough battles, buggy AI and bad game design.

Windows · by kbmb (416) · 2004

Ironstorm has potential - but doesn't use it...

The Good
IronStorm's most important point is it's story and atmosphere. There's always something happening around you. Via a TV-Station you get to know the most recent political and/or military movements. The whole gameworld is dark and decayed, the weapons have a old but evolved look.

The Bad
The game is a standard-egoshooter without any new ideas or features. The graphic could be better (doesn't even have multi-texturing,...), the leveldesign is repetitive and a bit poor. And don't try the multiplayer-part...

The Bottom Line
IronStorm could be a good game - if there were experienced designers! The good story and intensive atmosphere are quite impressive, but the bad graphic, the repetitive gameplay and the crappy multiplayer-part leave a bad feeling about this game. IronStorm could be good - but isn't. But on the other side - it's not a crap game! People should try the demo and then decide to bye Ironstorm or not...

Windows · by Felix Knoke (149) · 2002

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Felix Knoke.

Macintosh added by Cavalary.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Alaka, DemonikD.

Game added October 24th, 2002. Last modified August 28th, 2023.