Windows - 2002
Description of Global Operations Windows
When it comes to Global Operations, we're as guilty as everyone else around of taking the easy approach and consistently comparing it to Counter Strike. Yes, there are clear and obvious similarities, most notable the team-based terrorist versus anti-terrorist theme, but frankly the game is far more a step away from that genre into new territories than something that necessitates a direct comparison. In fairness, you'd be better off wheeling out Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer or, say, Unreal Fortress as a direct comparison, if it wasn't for the fact that Global Ops could well outclass them hugely.
Global Ops has had a lot less press than it deserves of late - it's among a new wave of 'professionally' produced multiplayer-specific games, crafted to attempt to lure players away from their modded favourites. It draws on the popular team dynamic, but seems to want to add a more frantic edge to the action, along with a healthy dose of strategic planning. Players can choose from one of six classes for each side, each with its own natural advantages and disadvantages. True strategic gameplay will come from clever use of the right classes, as players of Return to Castle Wolfenstein will know. But, unless you plan to get organised, most public games right now seems to be almost totally dominated by commandos and heavy gunners - having as they do the best selection of weapons and the most powerful guns respectively.
The classes include medics, for your obligatory patch-ups and resurrections of unconscious comrades, should they elect to lie there bleeding rather than respawning without their weapons, recon units, who get a natty radar and light weaponry, demolition units - vital for some missions, which require heavy duty destruction of opposition property, and your bog-standard sniper, with their range of high-velocity long-range weaponry. The utility of the sniper class is reduced by requiring total immobility before the scope can be activated. Try to move whilst zoomed-in, and you'll drop to normal vision - an effective foil for those deadly folks with rock steady aiming hands. A player can also adopt the non-playing role of commander, directing the troops by voice commands and waypoints - a definite draw for the more strategic minded gamer.
Each class can equip themselves from an equipment menu at the beginning of each round, and every time they elect to respawn upon death. You find yourselves in a troop transport or helicopter, with access to the purchase screen with all the goodies. Depending on your success to date in the mission, you'll have a sum of cash on hand to spend, with a number of weapons available for your primary and secondary weapon slots, as well as tertiary (pistol) slot, several grenade slots, and other equipment pockets. You can also purchase add-ons for the weapons you've already bought - from flashlights to clip-on night vision - but you'd better be quick in choosing, since you get the option to respawn every 30 seconds, and if you miss it, you have to wait until next time.
Your time in the 'sin-bin' can also be used to spectate the action, either from the viewpoint of your team mates, or from cameras spread around. Should a member of the opposition team grab control of any camera by using its control panel in the area, however, you'll lose your access to that view, and be unable upon respawn to tell your comrades exactly where that sniper was hiding.
With the respawn available, the action is on the whole a fair bit more frantic than your average team-based online game - more on a par with vanilla Quake III, with people simply caring less about loss of life. There's no long wait while a camping toe-rag hides behind a crate until the end of the turn for the extra survival cash, instead you're pretty much straight back in to the action - your only decision is whether to abandon the l33t weapon you've just managed to afford. As it is, so long as no-one's half-inched it, you can go and pick it up again, and any other weapon you might find lying around.
The frantic pace of action is thankfully not accompanied by the usual bouncing carnage you'll find in most online FPSs - while you can jump, it's a more realistic leap than the springs on your feet in, say, Quake or Unreal. It might make the difference if you manage it once, but try and boing around like Zebedee on a bad day and you'll soon suffer. This 'realism' is also carried over into your weapon accuracy. As you move around, your accuracy decreases, as indicated by the increasing size of your weapon sights, which narrow to a pinprick when motionless and crouching. You'll also find your weapons moving upwards as you fire bursts of gunfire, another nice touch. Fortunately, should you value precision over quantity, you can adjust weapons to fire single or minimal bursts per key-press, hopefully cutting down on your randomness in aiming.
The range of weapons available is impressive to say the least, and a good job seems to have been made of balancing their power. It's not realistic to the power of Counter Strike or, say Ghost Recon, where if you're shot, you're effectively dead. In fact, you can take quite a few bullets before it's time to give up the ghost. Perhaps in respect of the wide price-range of weaponry, the lower-end weapons whilst still managing to be at least vaguely effective, are nothing compared to the high-calibre beasts that successful killing-sprees can net you.
The missions are also pleasantly varied, making a break from the traditional. In homage to its 'global' title they're spread around the world, from Argentina to Chechyna, with multiple goals for each team from taking out enemy commanders and rescuing artefacts, to the more standard hostage-taking. They're remarkably well structured, the only problem being with multiple goals required for mission success, large-scale team games usually end up with a series of drawn rounds, as neither team can quite complete their goals. The maps are well-designed, and again massively varied, some allowing clear advantages to snipers, and others to the more close-range advantaged troops.
Should playing them against real people be too much for your brain to comprehend, you can also play through missions in a linear progression as part of an NPC team. Don't expect too much from the AI though, while they support each other fairly well, responding to and issuing voice commands, healing comrades and so on, when it comes to firefights, their brains seem to eject out of the window, preferring to stand still and shoot until the enemy or themselves are dead. They're a good way of learning the maps, though, and the different nuances of the game. There's also the presence of a couple of NPC guards in a couple of the online maps - usually in the 'good guys' home area. Unfortunate, should you be a 'bad guy' who wanders in, as it usually results in instant death - annoying to say the least.
The game is based on the Lithtech2 engine, and although not astoundingly good looking, is definitely at least on a par with the current online favourites. In particular, the character models are great to look at, as are weapon effects - we're particular fans of what happens to you when you catch a gas grenade - at least from an aesthetic point of view.
Global Operations deserves success in the online world, but as ever, it's down to the fickle online community to see if it gets the reception it deserves. There's a lot of strategy and tactics to be picked up, should interest be provoked, and organised teams could have a field-day with the class-based action on hand. It's a toss-up, however whether the game's frantic pace actually sits comfortably with the strategic wealth waiting to be uncovered. A frag-happy punter could find a pleasant home in the fast movement and powerful weapons, possibly making it extremely difficult to manage effectively as a strategic team. On the whole though, it's been a blast to get involved in some decent modern-day team-based online action. With versatile server options allowing operators with a dedicated machine to run a variety of servers, the potential is there for massive success over the net. We're more than happy to recommend it to you heartily.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
Militant Nod 2019-10-14 1 point
When someone decided to make realistic CS X)
I really want to like this game, I even got fond memories of it from my childhood. But now it's just extremely frustrating to play, and this is coming from a guy that actively looks for old games to play and with a giant capacity of suspension of disbelief and willingness to cope with clunkiness. But it can be fun, and strives to be realistic with mechanics and weapons especially are charming.
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