previews\ May 15, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Rogue Ops - XB - Preview

E3 2003 - First Look


I was lucky enough to sit down with the director of the next blockbuster title Rogue Ops, Dylan Beale. He ran through a few levels of the game for me, explaining the game along the way, and Rogue Ops looks to be an excellent tile.


Rogue Ops is an action adventure title that takes place in 3rd person. You play as agent Nicola Conners, an operative for the organization Phoenix. Nicola has been chosen to investigate and eliminate a terrorist threat, but she has a mission of her own: to find out who killed her parents. Even though Rogue Ops has an intense plot with twists and turns, it shines exceptionally bright in its gameplay as well.


Rogue Ops is set in a very futuristic, sci-fi environment including some fantasy elements as well. The game starts out with Nicola infiltrating the enemy headquarters. Start with only a few guns and a pair of glasses that allow you to see the heat source of enemies through walls, you must make your way through level and complete your missions along the way. Throughout the game, you will get more and more gadgets that run off battery power; the glasses are an example of a battery run device.


Your health and battery life are both displayed in the upper right corner of the screen, where you will also receive video feeds from your boss. Stealth is a huge part of the game, and abilities like pick pocketing, stealth kill combos, and searching and moving bodies are very useful. Guards will even notice things like blood from a guard you might have killed, so sometimes avoiding them or finding other ways to get rid of them are more useful. A great way to take guards out without leaving evidence is utilizing the stealth kills. Stealth kills leave no mess, and treat you to a cool little cinematic of Nicola taking the guard out with her bare hands.


Players that explore Nicola’s abilities will be rewarded by finding an easier way to get through a certain level. For example, right outside of the first building is a guard. Then, later on inside the building you’ll run into a room equipped with a laser defense system. If you picked the guard’s pocket, you would have found a key card that can turn off the lasers. Otherwise, you’ll have to find other ways of moving through the room. There are a lot of scenarios like this in Rogue Ops, giving you multiple paths and options through a level.


One feature I particularly liked is how interactive the environments are. Like I mentioned before, a lot of the levels have multiple ways of taking care of guards or obstacles. Interacting with the environment can really turn the tables. One mission takes place in a museum swarming with guards, and instead of running in with guns blazing, Dylan shot the wires holding up some of the dinosaur bone displays causing a giant dinosaur skeleton to come crashing down on a group of enemies. This is just one example of the many things possible in Rogue Ops. Keep an eye out for this great title in Q4 of 2003.         

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