If there is one game of which you should read a review, then it is “Rogue Ops”, because although I think this game is the end, I cannot deny that there are a few disturbing elements. If you cannot put them into perspective, you will not be able to enjoy this action-stealth game, but if you are prepared to ignore a few details, hours of enjoyment are guaranteed.
It is said to be a “Tombraider”/“Splinter Cell” clone, but as a loyal “Tombraider” fanatic – at least what concerns the games because I rather do not talk about the books, comics or movies – I can tell you that there is only one and in addition irrelevant thing that these two games have in common: you are playing with one tough lady. The resemblance with “Splinter Cell” is of course noticeable as it are two games of the same genre, but “Rogue Ops” manages to add a few innovations and changes.
You are put in Nikki Connors’ shoes, an ex-military who, after her child and husband died in an explosion claimed by terrorist group “Omega 19” , is recruited by “Phoenix”, where she is, after two years of training, still waiting for her promised opportunity to revenge her family. You will have to prove yourself in 8 different, long missions that offer just enough variation to crave for a little more after completing them.
According to my believes the gameplay is very good, but when I first played the tutorial level, I thought I would never be able to control Nikki’s movement. One hour later I learned that this was completely absurd, since everything felt so natural I did not even think about it anymore. Also the rest of the gameplay contains good elements: normally you play in third person, but when crawling through a pipe, that view will change to first person. The system to use gadgets or to take certain actions like climbing up a drainpipe is not as bad either, but I can imagine that it can be quite hard to manoeuvre Nikki in the correct position and you will sometimes also have to search for the icons that allow you to take the action. This at itself is not so bad, but if you do not know what you are looking for, you could get stuck. Once you find the icon however, it can still be difficult to make it light up green, what finally allows you to use it. I like to think of this as an extra charm, because now you still have to put in some extra weight to complete a mission.
Graphics are not innovative, but the environments are large enough and quite detailed yet a little dark, even with the brightness all the way open. I am satisfied with the achieved result on the characters, but we have all seen it a dozen times. You won’t stop and look at the landscape, but there is nothing awfully bad either.
I can not be as mild for the sound though, because I think that it is of inferior quality. There are no smooth transitions. For example, you will here a clock ticking when you stand in front of it but one decimeter further the sound is suddenly all gone and that is not the only example that I could mention. The effects by itself remind me of samples free of charge since 1983 which you can find in every “Easy Computing” software package that requires it. I even get a more realistic sound when I record a shot from a plastic toy gun with and old microphone or so to speak.
The good thing is that to accomplish your missions you will dispose over a wide variety of equipment and a nice weapons arsenal but be careful not to waste your bullets as they are rare. Important item are your goggles which allow you to see heat transmitting beings or machines, but once again you will have to go easy on it, since everything runs on batteries and they don’t last as long as you would expect.
Like I said in the beginning, there are a few disturbing elements like the sound that is bad. The gameplay has its good and bad things and the graphics offer nothing more than the average but if you can find your way through the introduction and you know what you can expect then “Rogue Ops” will definitely be something for you, it got me convinced of its qualities anyway. So unless you already played too many games in this genre or you don’t want an average game in between then you should perhaps wait for the new Splinter Cell, but if you can’t get enough of action-stealth or you have had an opportunity to convince yourself that the disturbing element can be ignored, I can only say: “Run to the nearest shop and buy it”.