reviews\ May 12, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror - PC - Review

Yet another FPS shooter game has hit the shelves at your local store, is it worth your time? That will depend on what you want from an FPS game. Lets dive into this one and see if it measures up.

The very first thing I noticed, even before I installed the game, was that it is powered by the fantastic UNREAL engine. The UNREAL series of games have been top sellers and some of the most played games, on both the Internet and in single player mode, since they came out. Part of the reason for their popularity is the fact that the game engine works so well, and is easily modified. So needless to say this struck a good chord with me. I did the install and there were the familiar UNREAL options and setup screens. Beyond that, map selection and game type select just like UNREAL, in fact the game plays very much like UNREAL.

Tactical Ops basically pits two teams against each other, one a Special Forces team, and the other a team of Terrorists. At the beginning of each game you are given the option to play on either side, thus the good versus evil, do you wear a white hat or a black hat? Then you are given several different player skins to choose from, different types of camouflage and male or female.

Once in the game you are given a quick mission briefing, describing your objectives, a short count down and the game begins. Immediately upon start up, before moving away from the starting point, hit the B key to open up your weapons screen, select your weapons and body armor (depending on your cash available), then hit BUY to obtain you new weapons and start the mission. Be aware that the game has already started behind the weapons screen, so be quick, you don't want to jump into the game with enemy soldiers in the area.

After killing an enemy soldier, he may drop his weapon, cash, or other items that you may be able to pick up. At the end of the mission, accumulated cash, weapons, and other items are totaled and added to your weapons screen so that at the beginning of the next mission you will find you have much more cash and many more weapons available to you, just remember that your load out is limited, you can only carry so much.

Tactical Ops was designed to be an online multiplayer game, single player mode (practice mode in the game) is available, however, you have little control over the other bots in the game who play more as freelance soldiers than as a team. That being the case, single player mode can be a little tough at times, especially if you get into a tight spot and need some help, or if you want members of your team to do specialized task such as circle behind the enemy or provide cover fire, it ain't gonna happen. So when in this mode you need to make sure you stick close to another team member for support, you rarely last long on your own.

Multiplayer mode (online) is where this game shines, the games are intense and fast paced. Teamwork and communication is a must if you want to survive and complete the mission. I was amazed by the number of servers that are already up and running for this game, new maps and player skins are already showing up out there as well. Links to sites with update patches is provided within the Multiplayer setup screen. There are also hundreds of UNREAL sites on the web that will have tons of skins and maps available in a very short time if they aren't already there.

This Game is so very easy on your computer resources, almost any comp should be able to play this one with little problem. It also has a very small HD space requirement (650MG) when compared to some of the new FPS games that can take up over 1Gig. The graphics are very good for an UNREAL game though they are in the semi-realistic realm.

I was really pleased with the way this game played, the way it looked, and the compact size of the HD space requirement. So as far as I am concerned, Tactical Ops does measure up, it is a wonderfully fun FPS to play both online and off. The addition of custom skins and maps will only add to this game.

Gameplay: 7.8
Gameplay is very intense and fast paced. Buying new weapons can only be done at the starting point, however you may cycle through weapons you already have in your possession at any time during play. Single player (practice mode) may be a little difficult at times due to the lack of control over the computer bots who play freelance, so stick close to them for added fire support.

You have the option to play on either side, as male or female, and even which uniform you wear. Mission briefings are short and to the point, giving you your mission objectives before play starts.

Those who have played any of the UNREAL series of games or any of the mods will find the setups and options screens as well as the basic controls very familiar. And yes, Tactical Ops does support Joystick control for those of you who opt to use one.

Graphics: 7
Graphics are semi-realistic (blood splatter and sharp edges to the terrain are probably the most notable semi-realistic graphics) but contain great detail and are all very well done. Again they are very familiar to any UNREAL player. Lighting is well done, there are dark corners and sewers, as well as well lit landscapes.

Weapon detail is high and even includes good muzzleflash.

Sound: 7.5
All of the sounds for this game are pretty good and well matched to the action. Reloading sounds are crisp, as are the firing sounds. The real bonus to this games sound is the ability to use taunts, hit a single key and your player will tell the guy you just blew away how lame he was. This ability is found in the other UNREAL games but rarely found in other games. Some of the taunts are pretty humorous, while some can be rather adult in nature.

Difficulty: Easy

Concept: 7
While nothing new was brought to the table in this games offering, what they did do was build a good FPS on a proven game engine that is easy to use and familiar to a huge audience.

Multiplayer: 8.5
This is where this game will really shine. UNREAL games have been a favorite of online gamers for quite some time. New maps and skins are already showing up which adds to the game. There are already many servers online ready for you to come and play, Guys are forming strike teams as I write. If this is half as popular as the rest of the UNREAL series of games then it is already a hit!

Multiplayer gameplay is very intense and extremely fast paced, communication with your team mates is a must. And everything you need to set up LAN or online games is included in the Multiplayer setup screens.

Overall: 8
This game is going to be big, despite its' small HD space requirement, it doesn't need to be a big game to start. Being built on the UNREAL engine will give this game a huge boost because of the ease of map and skin modifications. The possibilities are endless, take a great game engine, give the buyers enough maps and skins to play, and then let the modifiers take over by adding new maps and skins to the game, most of which are free for the downloading at various UNREAL websites. That's how to make a game a huge hit. I don't know anyone who has an UNREAL game that hasn't downloaded dozens of new maps and skins, just mix and match until you have a game custom designed to fit your personal preferences.

Good Job Guys! Ovaldog gives Tactical Ops, Assault on Terror Two thumbs up!


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