Welcome to the world… of twenty-first century conflict ! We’re unlucky enough to live in a world where groups of people don’t really get along with each other and feel the urge to settle their conflicts with weapons. But hey, look on the bright side, the boys at Barking Dog made a game based on that kind of misery for our macho-enjoyment
Let’s start of with the single player mode: you receive a small briefing on what part of the world and what kind of mess you’re going to get dropped in. The cool thing is: they don’t drop you ‘somewhere’ in South America or ‘somewhere’ in a non-existing country. No, the developers chose up-to-date hot-spots like Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Columbia and even some possible European terrorist hideouts. This is new –according to my limited knowledge
Next you have to choose the character you think will be best to fulfil your mission out of 6 possible ‘specialities’: Demolition expert, Sniper, Reconnaissance, Commando, Medic & Heavy Gunner. And then the shit hits the fan during 13 missions
Missions completed ? Just start over again, same part of the world, same conflict but on the opposite side this time. Always fun shooting your old team-mates, now isn’t it ?
At the start of every round, you recieve a certain amount of money with which you’re able to buy a gun, a secondary gun, a handgun, some necessary equipment and a pair of grenades. Unfortunately for you, you seldom have enough money to buy everything your little heart desires . In saying this, we’ve arrived at one of the strongest assets of this game: the weapon-arsenal. A lot of research and work has probably gone into modelling the weapons as realistic as possible… and the art-designers succeeded very well! You even see the options (e.g. extra large magazine-clip, scope…) in your HUD once bought !!!
Once you’ve bought your weapons, you and your computer-bot team-mates (all different classes) get heli-dropped into the hot-zone. Up to you to find and complete your objective. Alas, one major flaw has to be pointed out here: the briefing at the beginning of each mission is completely insufficient. As a result you’ll often find yourself in the pitch-dark without your nightvision set. After a while, you start buying it right off, just to find yourself in clear daylight on a sunny day in Antartica (ouch my eyes !!!).
So what do you see with your eyes ? Well, the graphics are adequate, but not avant-garde or state-of-the-art. Because most of the missions are played at night, you’ll be wearing thermal vision goggles most of the time anyway. I rather get the feeling that it wasn’t Barking Dogs mission to revolutionize on the graphics. Which I could fully understand if your main focus point is gameplay.
Alas, the single player gameplay is a bit silly. Your teammates get in your way more then they are useful. I admit I even killed my medic a couple of times because he plainly denied me medical assistance when I urgently needed it, the s.o.b. ! Luckily, once killed, you can either wait for your medic (grrrr, not only do you have to radio him, you have to see if it suits his agenda !) or choose to respawn after a couple of seconds at your home base. No worries though, you can pull off the missions solo if you’re smart enough to buy the right guns.
With single player gameplay being what it is, our focus turned to multi-player mode. Now I couldn’t find a decent online server, so I had to wait until a major Lan-party to try Global Operations out. Boys and girls, it was worth the wait ! Now almost everybody who helped me in testing this baby multiplayer-wise is a CS or a DoD-junkie (tnx again guys . The multi-play experience of Global Operations is in my opinion- a breakthrough. It takes playing online with others, to the ‘next level’ of multi-playing. Every player has a small camera mounted on his shoulder and with the introduction of a seventh character -the intelligence officer- multi-player gaming is oh so sweet. Only thing is… you and your real-life teammates really need to cooperate here, solo-actions are possible, but aren’t really rewarding, if not plain stupid. Is the online world ready for this kind of cooperation ? I honestly don’t know.
So, all in all, the up-to-date set-up of every mission earns respect, though the briefing is quite sloppy. The graphics are adequate, no more, no less. The reason I gave a reasonable good score for gameplay is because of the multi-player possibilities, they’re gooood ! I encountered no irritating sounds, nor did any sounds give me goose-bumps in anticipation of the action; they fit their purpose. A game for either the “amateur” / “week-end” gamer or the hard-core LAN multi-player gamers. I got the feeling that Global Operations was some sort of a general rehearsal for an upcoming project the guys are working on, a kind of ‘test case’ to see how the public would react. Perhaps they are gathering some ‘intel’ for their next project ???
By the way, I’ve just got to mention this: for those of you who think of game developers as complete and utter nerds (you’re right of course, but let me make this point) they sure do have a fashion sense ! With every mission you and your team can dress up in suitable ‘designed-for-the-occasion’ fatigues
“Come on girls, lets kick some tush”.