Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror
With the commercial release of Counter-Strike as a seperate game, the game industry saw that wizz-kids that created mods might actually bring some money to their pockets.
Hence came Microprose who took a look at the modcommunity and decided that Tactical Ops was a mod with possibilities as it resembled alot the over-popular Counter-Strike but with the graphics of Epic’s Unreal Tournament engine.
So here’s Tactical Operations, a fully commercial product with a couple of extra features (skins, maps) but still compatible with the original mod which is available for free on the net. Although… Infogrames claims that both versions are fully compatible but already several reports of problems and version conflicts between the mod and the game have already surfaced.
Let’s first talk about the game : It’s intended to be multiplayer so don’t expect storylines or anything. If you really want to play on your own, the possibility is there but the bots are a bit too clever and most of the time have great weapons. Not to mention that while you try to play tactical, the gameplay is so fast that staying alive is already quite an achievement as bots tend to charge at full speed at you while shooting bullets faster than Superman can fly. Sniping is not really an option if you catch my drift. Also they’re programmed in such a way that they keep going to the same points in the maps so that you can expect a small meatfeast at always the same locations.
There’s a choice between 2 teams, Terrorists and Special Forces (what a surprise), with each team having several objectives to accomplish. Special force will for instance have to liberate hostages while terrorists have to make sure they don’t. Other missions can be like Special Forces defending a weapon or area or stuff like that. Each time the opposite team of course has to do exactly the opposite of the other team.
Every game is played in 2 rounds and each round you’ve got only 1 life. If you die, you stay floating around as an observer until the round is finished.
Every time you achieve a goal, you get to buy new stuff like weapons, armor, ammunition etc.
Amongst these are helmets, bulletproof vests, grenades, flash bangs, night googles and over 20 weapons going from pistols to the almighty M60 which is very handy to make dogfood out of your opponents.
As said before, the gameplay is extremely fast and I sometimes even wonder what the “Tactical” in Tactical Operations stands for. Players run around like chickens without a head at speeds even Ben Johnson couldn’t handle without a fair dose of steroids. This focus on speed is nice of course for fast-paced fun but defenitely looses the tactical and realistic part of the game.
Graphically everything is nice and shiny although both teams look alot like each other, resulting in teamkills. Light effects are good and overall Tactical Ops defenitely looks better than Counter-Strike. That’s of course the Unreal engine doing its work.
The sound is nothing special but adequate.
Overall I would say that Tactical Operations is a good mod for Unreal Tournament, but to pay for it is a bit much of the goodness if you ask me.