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Global Operations

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs


GAME DEVELOPER:Barking Dog Studios

GAME PUBLISHER:Crave Entertainment

Copyright 2001, Barking Dog Studios

Global Operations is a superb tactical first-person shooter that is hugely underrated – most probably because it was overshadowed by Counter Strike, a similar – and much more popular – game which was released around the same time. As Steve Hildrew explains in his lengthy review at Games Domain, this underdog more than holds its own even compared to the blockbuster:

“When it comes to Global Operations, we’re as guilty as everyone else around of taking the easy approach and consistently comparing it to Counter Strike. Yes, there are clear and obvious similarities, most notable the team-based terrorist versus anti-terrorist theme, but frankly the game is far more a step away from that genre into new territories than something that necessitates a direct comparison. In fairness, you’d be better off wheeling out Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer or, say, Unreal Fortress as a direct comparison, if it wasn’t for the fact that Global Ops could well outclass them hugely.

Global Ops has had a lot less press than it deserves of late – it’s among a new wave of ‘professionally’ produced multiplayer-specific games, crafted to attempt to lure players away from their modded favourites. Players can choose from one of six classes for each side, each with its own natural advantages and disadvantages. True strategic gameplay will come from clever use of the right classes, as players of Return to Castle Wolfenstein will know. But, unless you plan to get organised, most public games right now seems to be almost totally dominated by commandos and heavy gunners – having as they do the best selection of weapons and the most powerful guns respectively.

With the respawn available, the action is on the whole a fair bit more frantic than your average team-based online game – more on a par with vanilla Quake III, with people simply caring less about loss of life. There’s no long wait while a camping toe-rag hides behind a crate until the end of the turn for the extra survival cash, instead you’re pretty much straight back in to the action – your only decision is whether to abandon the l33t weapon you’ve just managed to afford. As it is, so long as no-one’s half-inched it, you can go and pick it up again, and any other weapon you might find lying around.

The range of weapons available is impressive to say the least, and a good job seems to have been made of balancing their power. It’s not realistic to the power of Counter Strike or, say Ghost Recon, where if you’re shot, you’re effectively dead. In fact, you can take quite a few bullets before it’s time to give up the ghost. Perhaps in respect of the wide price-range of weaponry, the lower-end weapons whilst still managing to be at least vaguely effective, are nothing compared to the high-calibre beasts that successful killing-sprees can net you.

The missions are also pleasantly varied, making a break from the traditional. In homage to its ‘global’ title they’re spread around the world, from Argentina to Chechyna, with multiple goals for each team from taking out enemy commanders and rescuing artefacts, to the more standard hostage-taking. They’re remarkably well structured, the only problem being with multiple goals required for mission success, large-scale team games usually end up with a series of drawn rounds, as neither team can quite complete their goals. The maps are well-designed, and again massively varied, some allowing clear advantages to snipers, and others to the more close-range advantaged troops.

Global Operations deserves success in the online world, but as ever, it’s down to the fickle online community to see if it gets the reception it deserves. There’s a lot of strategy and tactics to be picked up, should interest be provoked, and organised teams could have a field-day with the class-based action on hand. It’s a toss-up, however whether the game’s frantic pace actually sits comfortably with the strategic wealth waiting to be uncovered. A frag-happy punter could find a pleasant home in the fast movement and powerful weapons, possibly making it extremely difficult to manage effectively as a strategic team. On the whole though, it’s been a blast to get involved in some decent modern-day team-based online action. With versatile server options allowing operators with a dedicated machine to run a variety of servers, the potential is there for massive success over the net. We’re more than happy to recommend it to you heartily.”

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