Date Played Nov 2010

Dumb AIs with very smart guns. That about sums up this game. Just as you're thinking how stupid is that, you can find your head being shot off in no time flat. So, although Chrome is labelled as a first person shooter, in order to avoid this outcome, there's more stealth involved than anything else.

You play the character Bolt Logan, a mercenary who is betrayed by his partner during the first mission. The other main character, Carrie, rather mysteriously shows up at the end of this chapter and teams up with Logan for the rest of the game. They play mercenaries for hire, scouting the planetary system for paying jobs. Their relationship is never really spelled out beyond being partners, but their conversations are playfully antagonistic with elements of jealousy thrown in to suggest a romantic attachment. Carrie looks after all the practical matters of running a business while Logan does the fighting.

The acceptance of their first job for a small mining company named Spacon leads to the furtherance of the storyline for the rest of the game. A simple mission starts to become more complicated as two major corporations, Coretech and Zetrox, battle to control a rare resource known as Chrome. At first, Logan accepts more missions simply for the money, but soon things become more personal; especially when he finds out Pointer, his former partner, is involved.


As far as the environments go, you can't fault them by much. The maps are huge and the natural surroundings pretty realistic. You end up traversing vast spaces and even though destinations are marked on a map, there are times when you wonder if you're heading in the right direction at all. You don't get any indication on the HUD until you're fairly close to the target, so it's easy to feel lost - not the best navigation system I've seen. On normal and easy you also have a proximity detector that shows the approximate positions of the enemy. It's really not much of a give-away as it only gives you a general idea of enemy location. On the harder difficulties, you don't have this help.

This game seems to come from an era of mixed bag graphics. Although the outdoor visuals are done well, the characters are somewhat blocky and short. Since I've run across a few games like this, I'm going to make the educated guess that rendering realistic looking humans is a trickier prospect than rendering realistic natural elements. But aside from the limitations of technology, the game design has you entering lots of empty buildings with very sparse interiors. The purpose is to accomplish some specific part of the mission and there is little else to find in these areas.

Gameplay is also a mixed bag. Some missions require strictly stealth to complete, including silenced weapons, but even in the other missions, I found myself using crouch and prone often and adopting the strategy of entering buildings and opening doors on my belly. Remember those smart guns; it's easy to get killed very quickly in this game. Not just quickly, but in my opinion, unfairly. Health is plentiful though, but not instantaneous. It takes time to replenish, even though you can take several shots of it before a fight. Almost all of your pick-ups will come from the corpses of the enemy. They carry weapons, ammo and health and you will rarely come up short. Logan also has several biological implants available on a temporary basis. These are powered by OCS and once activated can become depleted fairly quickly. It also requires you to turn them off manually as alarms will start to sound, signifying your imminent demise from overload. You can combine these powers, but this will shorten the time they are in effect.

There are a variety of vehicles, which are easy to use and fun. Unfortunately, they don't appear to serve a lot of purpose as they never seem to be available when they would prove most useful. There is an inventory system and weapons are chosen prior to the mission.

In summary, I found Chrome to be a very unbalanced game. It was frustrating to the point that by the last few levels I was considering enrolling in anger management class. For instance, you will come to loathe the snipers who can spot and ping you regardless of whether you're on your belly, behind a rock, a tree, a crate or a building. However, once you do manage to kill them and then look through the rifle scope yourself, you discover that you can't see any of these same locations. Although this game has a lot of the right elements to it, they never seem to mesh properly. I persevered with this uneven gameplay long enough to play one of the 3 possible endings, but couldn't stomach the thought of trying the other two. All I wanted to do was push the uninstall button and make it disappear.

I don't think I have ever played another game that made me feel so adversely against it by the time all was said and done, so try it at your own risk - or at least mentally prepare yourself for the frustration first. It also has the very great misfortune of having the same name as a popular browser thus making searching for information on the game another unpleasant experience.

Game Issues Experienced
  • End of dialogues slightly cut-off
  • Throwing grenades not always working
Development Note
Chrome utilizes the first version of the Chrome Engine specifically developed for this game. It's written entirely in Java with the source code freely available and shipped with the game. The most current version is Chrome Engine 6.

It was the first Polish action game to have an international release and was praised for its high quality of visuals, vast open areas, and good plot. It was also criticized for its bad AI and design decisions that impeded a tactical approach by the player.

A deluxe edition was released in Dec 2014 in North America under a new name, Advanced Battlegrounds: The Future of Combat, but published in other territories as Chrome:Gold. This created a lot of confusion.

A stand-alone expansion called Chrome:SpecForce was released in 2005, which is basically identical to Chrome game mechanics but streamlined and with the difficultly lowered.

Other games by the developer, Techland, include some well known titles such as Dead Island, Call of Juarez and most recently, Dying Light.
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Chrome was also re-released in North America in 2004 under the new name Advanced Battlegrounds: The Future of Combat
Other games in series:  Chrome:SpecForce
  • Genre: First-person Shooter
  • Developer(s): Techland
  • Publisher(s): Strategy First, Meridian4
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows
  • Release: Oct 2003
  • Mode(s): Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Media: Download, CD
  • DLC Available: No.
  • OS: Windows 98/2000/ME/XP
  • CPU: Pentium 3 800MHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 256 MB
  • Hard Drive: 1.7 GB free space
  • Video: 32 MB vram DirectX 8.1 compatible
  • Sound: DirectX 8.1 compatible
  • Shader Model:
  • Input for PC: Keyboard & Mouse
  • DRM: None. Steam
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  • Version: Steam 1.1.3
  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • CPU: Athlon 64x2 4200+ 2200MHz
  • Ram: 4GB
  • Disk Drive: DVD/CD
  • Video: ATI Radeon 4830
  • Shader Model: 4.1
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Input: Keyboard & Mouse
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