Review by p1r4t8r

Reviewed: 05/19/03 | Updated: 05/19/03

Counter-Strike killer?

If you’ve never heard of the PC phenomenon that is ‘Counter-Strike,’ then you must have been living under a rock for the past couple of years. It is a multi-player game that still manages to top the online gaming charts, years after its release. ‘Global Operations’ is cut from same cloth; it’s an online first person shooter that aims to beat ‘Counter-Strike’ at its own game. Personally, I have never played ‘Counter-Strike,’ so with that fact aside you can be sure of a review on this games merits alone, and not what it should live up to when compared to a much bigger, more popular title.

There isn’t an ongoing story behind ‘Global Operations,’ it’s simply a number of missions that you undertake across the world for various causes as either the terrorists, or counter-terrorists. There is a little back-story to each mission, but this merely outlines the basic objectives, and sometimes the motives for each side. Hardly involving stuff, but a story isn’t needed at all in a title such as this, so as such, a rating for this section isn’t really required.
Story: N/A

‘Global Operations’ runs on a highly modified version of the LithTech 2.x engine. This engine has been used in a variety of different games, the most notable of these being the ‘No-One Lives Forever’ series. The engine is solid enough, perhaps not as fast as games such as ‘Unreal Tournament,’ but overall, extremely good.
The character models and animation are of a high standard, and with maximum details set, look very nice indeed. There is the odd problem with animation however, such as the characters who seem to bob up and down on the spot, and move forward at the same time, or the animations where a player is moving up a ladder by running on the spot. These never become serious concerns though, and rarely interrupted the flow of the game.
The weapon models in this game are great, and easily the highlight of the games graphics. Each model is chunky and feels powerful, and each one has plenty of detail on it. The reloading animations are fantastic, and you can see the character slapping in a new clip, or discarding a used one. There are a total of thirty-two weapons, not counting grenades and the two rocket launchers, and each one is realistically skinned, and true to it’s real world counter-part. Perhaps the coolest part of it all though, is that extra mods can be added onto almost all of the guns. The mods include scopes, laser sights, flashlights and clip extenders. The mods you place on your weapons have an effect on the gun models, so all told there are quite a number of various weapon models.
There are also a heap of character skins, a total of 156. However, you can’t choose your characters model as such. The game has specialty classes, and the one you chose affects how your character actually looks. While some may be disappointed, it works well, and you’ll be able to spot the various classes in the heat of battle without too much trouble.
The graphics aren’t perfect though, they do look somewhat dated, and often objects in the game look simple or poorly textured. There were also a few problems with the decals, which would often just disappear.
Perhaps the biggest problem was that of characters who would just disappear for a second or two, or enemies who would just appear in front of you. These are problems normally associated with lag, but strangely they occurred even in offline bot matches.
The map design is brilliant though, and all of the thirteen maps have a nice flow to them, which cater for many different play styles. Each map is set in a different country, spanning the globe. From the streets of North Africa, to a Jungle in Sri Lanka there’s a great deal of variety. Some of the other setting include; Columbia, Canada, America, Peru, Mexico and many more. The various maps all use different textures, creating an obvious contrast between the different locales.
There is some great attention to detail within the games world, such as the palm trees that sway in the wind, the steam that shoots out from a pipe when hit, or the amazing weapon flashlight halo.
Graphics: 8

The sound in ‘Global Operations’ isn’t the best, but it is informative, and offers a quick way of getting near instant feedback from your team-mates.
Through the use of a simple numbered menu, you and your team mates can easily shout out acknowledgements, orders, and reports to each other. The voice commands mean that you don’t have to sit there reading the text at the bottom of the screen, only to get shot for your troubles. They allow you to focus more on the game, and get a better understanding of what is happening around you. The voices are sharp and clear, so no complaints there.
I can’t say I really noticed the music while playing that much, so at least it wasn’t too obtrusive.
The guns sound excellent though, and each sounds just as powerful as it looks. The shotguns had a nice resonating BOOM to them, as did the heavy machine guns. I found myself firing off rounds into the air just to hear the gun blast. You can even hear the gun casings bounce along the ground.
There is attention to detail even in ‘Global Operations’ sound. For example, when a grenade is thrown in your close proximity it will create a ringing noise that dulls all other sounds for a couple of seconds. A very cool little detail.
Sound: 8

‘Global Operations’ is a multi-player shooter first and foremost. It uses a number of old concepts, mixes them together, and turns them into perhaps one of the most enjoyable shooters in recent memory. It doesn’t set out to break away from the norm, merely to pack as many features into the one game as possible, while still making it a fun experience to play.
Upon starting a level, you get the choice to play as a counter-terrorist or terrorist. The two different sides have different objectives, and are constantly working against each other. After you’ve chosen a level, you get to choose a character class. While character classes are hardly an original idea, they work well in ‘Global Operations.’ Each class has specific weapons from a category of three different types, as well as item slots. The first category includes primary weapons, typically machine guns, the second submachine guns or shotguns, and the third pistols. You can also buy grenades, night vision goggles and so forth.
The use of classes to separate these different weapons is great, allowing for a balanced and team-reliant game.
The classes include;
Demolitions; These guys can have a grenade launcher as a primary weapon, as well as shotguns and pistols.
Heavy Gunner; Has access to heavy machine guns, his weapons cost more but pack a huge punch. Can also carry shotguns, although is slow moving and not the most agile of the classes.
Commando; All round fighter, can use machine guns, submachine guns and pistols. Usually wears medium armour.
Recon; Can’t use primary weapons, but has a radar that can detect where enemies are.
Medic; Can’t use submachine guns, but can heal wounded and fallen players.
Sniper; Has access to some very cool sniper rifles.
Weapons must be bought with money at the start of each round, or when you wait to re-spawn into the game. You can earn money through numerous means, the most obvious being killing enemies, however you can also earn money by winning or losing a round, rescuing a hostage and so forth.
The weapons that can be bought include the G36, Desert Eagle, MP5, USP45, G11, AK47 and Glock 18C just to name a few. The better the weapon the more it costs, although there are some exceptions. For example, I found some of the weapons to be an utter waste of time, such as the first shotgun (M1), which takes way to long to reload, and is extremely weak even at close range. The Druganov sniper rifle is another waste rarely hitting its target and costing an absolute fortune. Still, these are only very minor concerns.
There are a few other downsides to ‘Global Operations,’ as the game often feels slightly unbalanced, with a mission being way too easy for a certain team or taking only a couple of minutes to complete. The VIP assassination on the North Africa map is a prime example of this, being way too easy for the terrorists, and taking under three minutes to complete.
There are some original concepts thrown into the ‘Global Operations’ mix. One of these is the use of the medic class on the battle field. While this class can simply heal wounded players, he can also revive fallen comrades. Say for example, you got shot and killed by the enemy (or your team mates, the bastards!), you can choose to re-spawn, losing your current inventory items and weapons, or wait for a medic to heal you. There is a time bar down the bottom of the screen that slowly ticks down, and if the medic does not come in time, you are forced to re-spawn. This is an original concept, and further emphasises the team play aspect of the game.
If people don’t work as a team, there is little chance they will win a level. Tactics and team-play are just as important if not more so, than mere skill or fire-power. This allows the game to be as deep and strategic as you like, while still being easier on the newbie players.
Another original concept is the intelligence officer, who can view the whole match through the use of cameras planted throughout the maps. He/she can co-ordinate attacks, issue warnings to your team and more, however he/she never actually participates on the battle field. An interesting concept that works well.
For those who are unwilling to join the online scene, ‘Global Operations’ also features a single player mode with bots. The AI is usually fairly good, and provide a decent challenge, perfect for those wanting to brush up their skills or practice before a big game.
The last great aspect of ‘Global Operations’ is the amazing fast stat feature. It tracks player kills, time on server and weapons of choice, and can be accessed outside the game. It tells you almost everything you could want to know about your stats, from kills with a certain weapon, to death and kill count. A very nifty feature.
Sadly though, with only thirteen maps, ‘Global Operations’ is easily knocked over in a day in single-player mode, and does grow somewhat repetitive online.
Game Play: 9
Life Span: 7

+ Over 32 weapons!
+ Character Classes
+ Fast stats
+ Excellent maps
+ Graphics
+ Voice Commands

- Sometimes unbalanced
- Not enough maps
- Too short
- Some glitches

‘Global Operations’ is a very good game in its own right, and is well worth a try for fans of ‘Counter-Strike’ and ‘Unreal Tournament.’ While it is hardly an original title, there is enough here to keep players amused for a couple of weeks at least.
If you’re looking for a ‘Counter-Strike’ killer however, look elsewhere, as ‘Global Operations’ is no such game.
‘Global Operations’ just made the EA classics range, and can be picked up for around AU$25 plus a free copy of Delta Force 4, truly good value for money. What are you waiting for?
Overall: 9

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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