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Video Game / Conflict: Desert Storm

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Conflict Desert Storm is a third person Tactical Shooter game developed by Pivotal Games and published by Gotham Games for North American countries, SCi Games for European countries and by Capcom for Japan and Asian countries as the first game of the Conflict Series. It was available for the Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2 and Windows. The game was released in September 2002 for all systems except for the GameCube, which had an April 2003 release. It was also released for mobile phones in August 2005. The game and its sequel is a Spiritual Successor to Commandos.

The game takes place during The Gulf War after Saddam Hussein orders the invasion of its southern neighbor, Kuwait. In response to this, the United Nations has called for a multinational force to help Kuwait military forces (and later resistance forces) to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwaiti soil. Players assume the role of either American Delta Force or British SAS commandos assigned to conduct special forces operations against Iraqi troops and military facilities, known as Alpha-Two. The unit was formed after Paul Foley was rescued from captivity after John Bradley was inserted to conduct a one man op. They later join up with Mick Connors during an op in Kuwait City to rescue Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah from being captured by Iraqi troops. David Jones is the last person to join Alpha-Two after the US started to participate in the war under Operation Desert Storm.

The game is followed by a sequel, Conflict Desert Storm II: Back To Baghdad.

The game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A.K.A.-47: Mostly averted in the series, though there are exceptions.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The game's North American cover shows an armed soldier in front with a helicopter and some soldiers manning a machine gun post. This is in contrast to the European cover, which shows British troops infiltrating the desert from a Chinook, and the Japanese cover, which also shows British troops with their SA80s already being used in combat.
  • America Saves the Day: While you have the option to play as Delta Force, the British SAS is available as an option. Also in the context of the actual Gulf War, multiple countries heeded the UN's call to help liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The game makes it very clear that to destroy the heavier tanks reliably, hit them with a rocket in the back. The smaller BMPs can be hit anywhere, however.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Alpha-Two has participated in many special forces missions that eventually led to the liberation of Kuwait.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Alpha-Two gets called in to assist American forces in fending off the Iraqi Republican Guard (IRG).
  • Boom, Headshot!: Killing enemies by shooting them in the head is a guaranteed move to use.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. You need to reload your weapons if they run out of ammo.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Several examples:
    • The game and its sequel's art style were much more cartoonish (or Anime), and the color palette is colorful compared to the other sequels, which had a more realistic art style as well as a gritty color palette (in fact Capcom published the game and its sequel for Japanese PS2 release).
    • You cannot move and shoot with a LMG or Sniper Rifle.
    • There are much fewer weapons compared to later games and even then there are a good few enemy-only weapons. This makes the pistol weapon skill less valuable, as outside of mods, there's exactly one player-usable Makarov handgun to find as an extra handgun mid-mission and it's out of bounds and only accessible via glitches outside of Multiplayer. (Compared to Desert Storm 2 which has Makarovs to find and Vietnam/Global Terror having a good few extra handguns to find.)
    • In the first game, Bradley, Foley, Connors, or Jones can die and the game continues. They will be replaced with a generic soldier with low stats. In the sequels, however, letting any team member die results in a Game Over.
    • While most PC versions of the series lacked Co-op until Global Terror, Desert Storm 1 had a competitive traditional Multiplayer mode on PC.
    • The game has a relatively more grounded tone compared to later games, while the later games stayed relatively realistic, there is a notable shift in mission design/music to be more "action-movie"-ish, such as Desert Storm 2's less subdued soundtrack or how Conflict Vietnam is almost entirely made up of Vietnam war movie references.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The player can choose either to play as Delta Force or British SAS commandos. Both forces have actually participated in said conflict.
  • Elite Mooks: Some stages have Alpha-Two fighting the IRG.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The increased draw distance setting in the PC version also increases AI sight ranges, this can signifficantly make missions harder, as enemy soldiers/tanks will spot the player before they can reach cover due to the further sightlines, it seems like a setting that was thrown in without too much consideration for gamplay.
  • Hold the Line: Alpha-Two is forced to defend themselves in a plateau against incoming Iraqi troops after their chopper was taken out by a SAM missile.
  • Hostage Situation:
    • At the start, Foley was held captive by Iraqi troops after a special forces op to blow up a bridge connecting Iraq to Kuwait was ambushed.
    • Alpha-Two was covertly inserted into Baghdad in order to rescue Americans held prisoners by the Saddam-era government.
  • Market-Based Title: The game is known in Japan and Asia as Conflict Delta: Wangan Senso 1991 (コンフリクト・デルタ 湾岸戦争 1991), which means Conflict Delta: The 1991 Gulf War.
  • Meaningful Name: The game's titles in English and Japanese should already give you an idea on the story's setting.
  • The Medic: For Delta Force, the Combat Engineer (Jones) starts out with a three-star boost for healing. The SAS Combat Engineer, as well as the other SAS soldiers, merely share one star.
  • New Meat: In the first game, commandos killed in action get replaced by fresh soldiers in the next mission. They start at private rank; Bradley starts out as a sergeant and everyone else starts out as a corporal. Averted in the sequels, where a teammate dying results in a Game Over.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: Exclusive to the PC version's multiplayer/mods is the Russian Spetznaz, they never appear in any other conflict game and essentially function as a re-skin of the Iraqi forces with new voice lines.
  • Oh, Crap!: In February 1991, Alpha-Two was ordered to disable a Russian-made ICBM after Coalition intelligence found out that it was seen in southern Baghdad. They are worried that it can be armed with a nuclear warhead as a last-ditch effort to win the Gulf War.
  • One Bullet Clips: Zigzagged. The UI only keeps track of magazines in one's pocket, but keeps track of bullets internally, meaning that you can often reload and your magazine count will remain the same until you've spent enough ammo to move on to the next one.
  • One-Man Army: While the game can let you play this way by going out guns blazing, you're fighting against Iraqi troops and armored vehicles. The player needs to utilize the squad with combat tactics to fight together and use allied artillery and air strikes.
    • Averted at the start when Bradley was deployed only to rescue Foley from the Iraqis.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Inverted then zig-zagged with Jones. Jones joins your team in mission 3 with no explanation as to why he didn't join earlier, unlike Foley (for obvious reasons) and Connors (who was doing recon in Kuwait City). Then in missions 12 and 13, he is replaced by Dr. Franklin (a civilian), and there is again no explanation for his absence other than the game not allowing more than four characters on the interface. He rejoins for good in mission 14 onward.