Wednesday, July 16, 2008

REVIEW: Operation Darkness

Alrighty then. What to post. what to post. Might as well put something "of content" in here already. OH! I'll do my specialty, games nobody really knows or cares about maybe because it either sucks/got bad reviews/or wasn't really advertised. Ho hooo. Here's a gem. Yup... Alright, how do those review sites do it now. Where's that easy "condescending voice" button? Guess they didn't make that. Oh well.

Ahh Dubya dubya too (That's WW2 for those that didn't get it). How many games have been made about you. Granted about 80% of them are FPSs of variable quality. Then there's the handful of RTSs which have often been pretty good. Now we got this... game...

Published by Atlus, the whole Japanese anime lawl art theme shouldn't surprised you very much. This being my first review, I'll try to break things down so you can skip to the part that you give a crap about first.


Basically... You're in WW2. It all takes place in the European theater of war. Far away from Japan. Where this game was made. So you know this is gonna get weird. You play as "Edward"(Default main char name), a front line british soldier in the African campaign. You get wounded, but get a blood transfusion from this captain and you get super powers. SO you join his squad and go and fight the germans with this elite squad that is comprised of unique soldiers with unique abilities that's all unique with a unique bathroom and unique shower curtains. You get the idea. BUT WAIT! What if I told you this squad captain was a werewolf! And you got a blood transfusion from him so you're now part werewolf! No, it's not a spoiler. This happens SUPER EARLY in the game. I was like. WTF. I'm a part werewolf british soldier. Riiight. BUT WAIT! The germans have vampires! And Hitler has some kind of weird devil power crap thing! ZOMFG! Werewolves!? Vampires!? BRITISH!? Yes... It's a bit crazy.

- Gameplay

Ohh gameplay. Let ME tell YOU about the gameplay. For anyone who has ever played a top down tactics type game, this game is one of those. BUT! as with all games, "it's different because... "

Lets start with the BAD things. Ohh everyone loves to look at all the BAD things the game has. First off, the one thing. THE ONLY THING. That you will notice... About the gameplay... IS THE CAMERA SUCKS. Now, here here. We've all played lots of games. And EVERYONE and their mother will ALWAYS bring up issues about "Ohhh this camera sucks, it's blah blah blah I need to take my insulin." I'm usually pretty tolerant about these kinds of things. I've played through many a game with sub-par cameras, i understand how sometimes it can be frustrating. But this game. Takes dumbass cameras to a new level. Number one, the camera is always in rotation around the cursor. Which means, you can zoom all the way in and look all around you character, assuming the character isn't next to any kind of object. In which it will zoom right in and you can count the nose hairs if the model had any. Letter B, there is no camera preset view that lets you get a good top/far distance view of the battlefield. Instead, you have to flick around the right joystick and try to get the damn thing to position way high up and even then it's not a very good view. The best means of determining the distance of enemies is by actually taking the cursor and moving it all the way across the map and seeing what's over there. then you kinda sorta have an idea of maybe how far away the enemy is.

Ok, lets put the whole "camera" thing aside for now. Lets just focus on other aspects that make up this... game. Actual gameplay, that's the "title" of this section right. yeah it is. ALright, so lets pretend you're not struggling with the camera. The game plays like a traditional top down RPG tactics game. Turns are based on individual speed of each unit. So basically, fast guys go first. the go. they run. they shoot. they stand. next person. And that's the majority of the game. targeting in the game is basically choose attack and target enemy. Which is kind of nice that they make the right and left triggers cycle through enemy targets. The problem with attacks is that you are never sure what the range is on your character. Sure the gun information gives you the range. But when the range goes from 3-41 squares. It's kinda friggen hard to determine just how far things are. You tend to just kind of position where it FEELS about right. Then try to shoot them. Of course the farther away they are the lower chance to hit.
Granted, you need some brain power to figure out you can't shoot people through obstacles, but if you lack brain power, you shouldn't be playing these kinds of games in the first place.

Now then, lets get into the units of the game. Because these are what makes up the interesting factor. I will admit, tactics games are pretty boring, unless you got some kick ass units. SO, we're in WW2. You got main characters and you got recruited soldiers. There are also male and female units. Females tend to have a higher Hit rate and make better snipers. Your main character sniper is actually this Irish chick with a huge freakin rack. Guess she rests her gun on them. Which makes them a gun rack, OH! I went there. And while i'm at it! (Removed sexist rant about women and concentration). Anyways, main characters also get special abilities while the recruits are basically fodder for missions where you need more units than there are main characters. Also let it be known that if any of the characters dies. HE DEAD. Unless you got the sole main character that has the ability to revive units. BUT WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN HE'S DEAD!? Yeah, you can have main characters die. Usually the defeat conditions are always "If so and so dies you FAIL." Which sucks if they get nuked down without you even getting a chance to defend.

All units are essentially identical. I didn't say they were ABSOLUTELY identical, there are differences. But basically, for almost all of them, you give them gun. They go bang bang. You win. There's a couple weird ones that like those swords and stuff. Units are able to equip almost any weapon you find in the game. Exceptions being things like women can't use bazookas. (removed sexist rant about men shooting big loads)Weapons are all taken from any WW2 weapons library. British sten sub-machine guns, german mauser rifles, Lugers, the works. each char can hold a max of 5(? not sure forgot might be 6) different weapons. Along with the weapons, they also have 5(? or maybe 6, it's the same number as the guns) items. Items are mostly restorative items, also pretty standard WW2 medic supplies(Pain killers, med kits, morphine, bandages). Items are also comprised of ammunition. Ammunition is only used after the first clip in the gun is used up. Ammunition is split into different stacks. As you progress through the game you'll get larger stacks, meaning you don't have to waste healing item space for ammo. Rockets tend to run out the fastest(hell, you only get one shot before reload). All items and equipment add weight to the character. Weight basically restricts movement on the battlefield. This is so you don't give every character a bazooka, Machinegun, sniper rifle, sub-machinegun, and sword all at the same time. I mean... You COULD. But it just won't be practical. Because they wouldn't move anywhere quickly. Yeah.... THINK.

Lastly, units are able to equip 5 different abilities. These abilities level up with the characters in set intervals. They are basically buffs that help you grow the character in the direction you want. For example, if I want a bazooka joe, I'm not going to give him something that helps his sword skills. I can give him abilities like, increased hit chance or chance for double damage. BOOM! Buwahahhaha. Anyways, you get the idea. However, some abilities are absolutely essential to surviving the game. You'd find it near impossible to play the game without these skills. Main case and point, auto-heal. Basically, if your char is gonna die or hits about 5% health, they use any healing item available to heal themselves out of the damage. Problem is, if a character gets picked on, they can be focus fired down and they burn all their healing items and die. Explosives are also massively OP, causing many a one shot to both your characters and enemy characters alike. So basically when you go up against tanks and other explosive wielding enemies, you're gonna see that auto-heal go off constantly.

One gameplay mechanic that I find amusing is the item acquisition mechanics. You do not acquire items after the map is over, nor do you find them lying randomly on the field. Items are mainly procured by LOOTING THE DEAD CORPSES OF YOUR ENEMIES. I dunno, I always thought it was bad luck to take the gun of a dead guy. Cuz I mean, come on. He's dead for a reason. Maybe that gun isn't so lucky... Or functional. But anyway, majority of your weapons and items will be found on dead bodies. Those crazy germans and their top of the line weaponry. Most of the quality weapons are found on the bodies. Also some cheap explosives are here too. You'll sometimes find Panzerfausts which are 1 shot bazookas. Those are great, they're portable and you don't have to worry about their weight. They have healing items and ammo. All sorts of phat lewts. There is a supply depot you gain access to, outside of battles. Combat points are accrued during battles and act as currency in the depot. You can buy british made weapons that are OK at best. Only things worth noting is you can buy a bazooka and the rockets for reloading them. That's about it. Oh you can also buy healing items and ammo. However, you can procure most of those in battle from looting corpses.

Alright, that's enough for gameplay. That's about all the major points I needed to cover.

Graphics and Sound-

Nothing special here. NOTHING. In battle graphics are... Bland. Some ambient effects every now and then. But really, there's nothing that'll hit you over the head and say "BOY THAT LOOKS AWESOME." No no, nothing like that here. I need to note that the busty women models in the game get the DOA boob physics action. It's not noticeable at first. But once you do notice it, you'll always notice it. Heh hehhhh bawwwwww.......

The "cut scene" graphics are anime drawings of the characters in different facial expressions. The drawings are nice. Some women have their proportions designed for different kinds of people. From big jubblies to iron board, they look nice. The characters are voice acted decently. So that way you don't have to read just text. Although at times, I'd rather read the text only. The actors do generic accents depending on where their character is from. Whoop de fricken doo.

Maps are nice and big. But they are forgetable, Cuz you're not paying attention to that. Aside from the, can i shoot him from here factor. The maps might be designed nicely, if it wasn't for the goddamn camera which i said I wasn't going to talk about ever again goddamnit I lose.

Holy Factor-

Alright, this is my first review so nobody knows WTF this is. The Holy factor is basically my personal preference on the game/genre/stuff. This sometimes determines if I like the game or not. It's SUPER RANDOM. I might like the dumbest game for no apparent reason. I might not like the greatest game for whatever dumbass reason.

This game. BIG Holy factor. I have often thought to myself, while fighting with the camera on this game, WHY AM I PLAYING THIS!? Clearly, the game is sub-par. But I keep on playing. I think it is because I haven't played a tactics RPG style game on a console in a while. Might be just a refreshing change of pace from regular RPGs or Shootan gaems or World of "god stop me from playing this damn game" Warcraft. Perhaps the game is actually good and I'm just missing the good points. Or maybe, JUST MAYBE, I'm going insane.

Results -

The game. It's got many glaring bad points. But there's something about it that keeps me playing it. Ass backwards camera, so-so graphics, flat voice acting. But I'm still playing it. Don't ask me why. Perhaps there's some hypnotic message built into the game that makes you keep playing it. Whatever the reason, I think i like it.
RATING: 2/5 (With Holy factor 4/5)

EDIT: Added shnazzy pikuchars


Post a Comment