We're guessing the reason the big name war games like Rainbow Six and Call of Duty haven't touched on the subject of suicide bombing yet is because it's all a bit of a raw topic, what with British soldiers fighting terrorists and young Muslims filled with enough hatred they're willing to blow themselves and a bunch of people into pieces.

RAW however makes no such concessions, featuring as it does a whole section devoted to spotting suicide bombers among civilians and gunning them down before they blow you up.

Whether you think that's in poor taste aside, though, RAW is a very accomplished game, reminiscent of a 2D Rainbow Six.

Playing as a Special Forces operative called Gary, you're led through a series of levels that take place in scenarios ranging from Tel Aviv to a US embassy and gives you numerous objectives - from freeing hostages to finding top secret information to reaching a plane full of terrorists before it takes off.

Just like games in the Tom Clancy series, tactics are everything. And a large proportion of those tactics are carried out while hovering around doors.

Clearly doors are pretty dangerous things when you're in a building full of armed terrorists. They can be booby trapped, or they can be the one thing standing between you and a roomful of enemies. So RAW gives you plenty of different ways to deal with them.

Stand close to a door and you can listen for the footsteps of patrolling enemies on the other side. Then you have a vast choice of ways to enter - by kicking it in and opening fire, throwing in a flash grenade or blowing it up for instance. Of course, if there are hostages on the other side, some of these methods are best withheld. You score more points for scaring bad guys into surrendering than just clearing out rooms of them.

Choose the wrong method, and you'll very quickly be reduced to a crumpled body on the floor. Unlike your typical run and gun game, RAW is very much about using these tactics wisely and standing in the open returning fire isn't a technique that works very often.

Despite the fact that you have a group of up to three soldiers (which you can switch between to make the most of their individual equipment), they're still no competition for a couple of terrorists who've seen you coming.

For this reason, RAW is a tough game. Fortunately, checkpoints are quite generously placed throughout levels, but one sticking point is that, after being killed, your men remain on the amount of health they had when passing through the checkpoint.

This means that if it was low and there's a group of four enemies ahead, it's very hard to get past them. You can also be left with no explosives or grenades at points when you really need them.

It's quite relentless, but most will prefer that to being too easy. The difficulty level does fit with the fact the game is made to be tough - it's presumably not meant to be a pleasurable stroll through the streets of Baghdad.

What RAW does get totally spot on is its missions and how diverse they are. No two are the same - and both the locations and what you're doing within them changes throughout, while the basic combat rules remain the same. The strategy elements work perfectly on mobile, offering plenty of depth while not overwhelming the player with buttons to press. All that, and it looks great too.

Strategic combat doesn't come much better on mobile. Just as long as you can cope with the steep difficulty level in places.


Nifty and varied shooting game that puts you in the shoes of a Special Forces squad tasked with rescuing hostages, retrieving secret documents and taking on factions of terrorists. Its action packed and deep combat situations will keep happy any gun nut
Kath Brice
Kath Brice
Kath gave up a job working with animals five years ago to join the world of video game journalism, which now sees her running our DS section. With so many male work colleagues, many have asked if she notices any difference.