Unreal Tournament: Tactical Ops
Rogue Spear eat your heart out.
Note: This is a review for an Unreal Tournament mod called Tactical Ops, not Unreal Tournament.
For those of us who long for a realistic shooter in the tradition of Rogue Spear, only with a better engine, better game mechanics and better multiplayer, our prayers are answered. It comes as a reasonably sized download from any Unreal Tournament fan site, and provides one of the most fun mods for one of the best games around.
The Unreal Tournament engine might be an ageing one, but it can still hold its own. Graphics are on par with the normal Unreal Tournament game, but since the guns aren't futuristic, they seem to be rendered a bit more realistically than in the main game. Sound is much the same also, though IMHO the voices sound a bit more life-like.
Where this mod really shines is the gameplay. It is team-only play, and like the main game, all the fun is to be had online or over a LAN. There are two sides players can choose from, Special Forces or Terrorists. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but the main ones are that Special Forces have access to better equipment, while Terrorists always have the advantage of defending. The Special Force objective is, simply, to stop the Terrorists and recover the hostages. The Terrorists on the other hand, must defend these hostages and eliminate the Special Forces. For the Special Forces victory is achieved either by eliminating the Terrorists or rescuing all the hostages.
This mod has really gone for realism, and its achieved it well. If you throw yourself off a ridiculous height, you will die. If you are shot in the face with a gun, regardless of what type, you will die. If you are not wearing body armour when you are shot, you will die. Other added effects of realism include very well done recoil, bobbing of the screen as your character runs around, and a few other nick-nacks you notice as you play the game. Beware - this game is not for the impatient. The biggest trump card for realism here is that you get one, and only one, life per round. If you decide to go in rambo style and get your head blown off in the process, you must sit and wait until the objective is achieved by a side and the next round commences.
Its quite obvious this game was engineered for LAN parties, because it plays perfectly for a LAN game. Players choose their sides, then they must purchase their weapons. Each player starts with a small amount of money, and they can therefore only afford handguns or a small Uzi. Those that opt for heavier firepower in the first round will be left with insufficient money for body armour, but this is where teamplay (and particularly face to face teamplay) comes into it. A team of players, each selecting different weapons to complement each other, is highly effective. As players kill enemies, they will find they drop money. At the end of the round, money for the next is calculated by enemies killed + money collected - allies killed. Later in the game, access to heavy rifles (such as AK-47s and M-60s) and sniper rifles (such as PSG-1s).
Overall, this game is very fun and is excellent for LAN parties. It is, however, rather slow paced; especially so for a newbie playing with experienced players. All the same, I reccommend this game to any realistic FPS fans, and definently to anyone who plays alot of LAN games (and has the patience).