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Video Game / Frontlines: Fuel of War

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Frontlines: Fuel Of War is a First-Person Shooter developed by the now-defunt Kaos Studios and published by THQ on February 2008 for the Xbox 360 and PC.

Set in the year 2024, after peak oil production. World War III is taking place. You are cast as a member of the Western Coalition 125th Strike Division, the "Stray Dogs". The game mostly takes place in the former Soviet Union, though the Chinese are present as hostiles. You start in Turkmenistan, where the Red Star Alliance stages an ambush of a routine guard duty rotation. By the end, Russian nuclear weapons have been used on their own soil. You succeed where Hitler had failed, taking control of Moscow, forcing the Russians out of the war... Officially. The Chinese are still fighting, and partisan fighters, coupled with the harsh Russian winter, have usually been able to beat back any invader. It's obvious that the war is still ongoing.

This game provides examples of the following:

  • Achievement Mockery: There's a zero-point achievement named "Noob" for suiciding 10 times in a multiplayer game.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Practically used word for word in the intro.
  • Bag of Spilling: Used to the point of frustration. Each mission comes in two halves, and everything you had before the loading screen is gone after it because weapons are provided on a per-map basis. The first noticeable case is the third mission Anvil, where your sniper rifle and shotgun are swapped for a standard assault rifle and your minigun tank drone is removed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Chinese are still fighting, partisan militias are coming out of the woodwork, and winter's yet to come. Good luck soldier, you'll need it.
  • Boom, Headshot!: An instant kill, plus you see the enemy's hat go flying.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Although applying realistic ammunition for infantry, some vehicles and emplacements have infinite ammo.
  • Dated History: Post-Peak Oil isn't happening anytime soon. Back in 2008 the doomsday scenario happening in that timeframe seemed more plausible, due to inaccurate scientific data at the time, and a failure to predict the full effect of the US shale boom.
  • Division Nickname: Your division is always referred to as the Stray Dogs. Its official designation is the 125th Strike Division.
  • Failed Future Forecast: Like many works , the game didn't predict the massive boom in US oil and gas production, driven by advancements in shale fracking. This boom made the US a net exporter of oil and natural gas by the end of the 2010s. As a result, the game's Post-Peak Oil scenario in 2024 winds up being very unrealistic.
    • 2022 saw a Russian invasion of Ukraine, creating the most tension between NATO and Russian since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Ukraine invasion, combined with "green energy"-motivated curbs on domestic oil production by the Biden administration and possible unspecified malfeasance by the Trump administration have resulted in oil shortages and skyrocketing prices for gas. While total oil collapse and World War III by 2024 are still (hopefully) unlikely, they're a whole lot less ridiculous seeming in 2022 than they were in 2021.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Standard use in the campaign - your allies don't flinch to your attacks.
  • Gang Up on the Human: Enemies tend to target the player even when it's less efficient to do so. Examples include using bullets on a tank (which do no damage), rockets on infantry (easily dodged and ignoring the nearby tank), and attacking a drone you're controlling (stopping the instant you exit drone control.)
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: In the game's backstory, natural disasters and resource shortage has forced every country to turn into an authoritarian police state just to avoid collapse. Also, the remaining fossil fuel in the world is only enough to sustain half of it. The Western Coalition is no better than the Red Star Alliance in any way, and the war is motivated solely by survival.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: One unit of Stray Dogs ends up pulling this, trapping themselves in a Russian ICBM base to prevent the missile from being launched.
  • Hold the Line: There are two instances. The first is within Anvil, where you hold out against enemies that try to reclaim the objective for 10 minutes. The second is in the final mission where you and a handful of Coalition soldiers, repel a massive Red Star force by killing them.
  • Hopeless War
  • It's Up to You: In the single player campaign, only the player can capture objectives (even if your allies are standing right next to them). In addition, the player is the only one that can inflict significant damage.
  • One Bullet Clips: Subverted - reloading a clip always works like it would in real life. Taking every opportunity to reload uses up much more ammo than it would in ordinary FPS games.
  • Post-Peak Oil: The cause of the war. The fact that the vehicles being used to fight it are fossil fuel-powered is lampshaded in the loading screens.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: In Graveyard, the final objective is to plant an explosive charge on the fuel line, with the timer set to five seconds. In the cutscene, it destroys the missile and the attached tower and implies the player survived due to a successful mission.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Averted; instead of trying to emulate the linear, roller coaster style Call of Duty experience, Frontlines' single-player campaign instead plays like a single-player, slightly more scripted and objective-based version of a Battlefield match, with capture points, more open levels with multiple approaches, etc. Kaos Studio's next game, Homefront, would go the opposite direction and attempt to emulate a Call of Duty single player campaign with only a fraction of the budget.
  • Regenerating Health: You can take multiple rounds to the chest and be inches from death, but as long as you don't get shot for five seconds, you'll dust yourself off and keep fighting. Vehicles also regenerate health, but much more slowly.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Russian Premier actually fights you in the final mission. He's no tougher than a regular soldier, though he does use an LMG. It is somewhat noticeable since the earlier enemy V.I.P., the General, kills himself off-screen rather than face you himself.
  • Sequel Hook: The ending has the Russians already setting up a government in exile, the Chinese massing on the Russian borders, partisan militias coming out to resist you and winter yet to come.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: At most, the two nukes only hit off-map targets, and they're only called small nukes. While they still inflict radiation, it wears off after you defeat three tank waves.
  • Sticky Bomb: C4 can be thrown on tanks.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The game takes place in the year 2024, "post peak oil, post Middle East, post... everything." The Western Coalition uses a heavily modified XM8 as their primary assault rifle, while the Red Star Alliance uses a heavily modified bullpup AK-series rifle, and military robotics are widespread.
  • Video-Game Lives: The single player campaign provides a set number of redeployments per mission. Multiplayer appears to use a respawn ticket system.
  • World Half Empty
  • World War III: The entire point of the game is that oil has run out, sparking it off.