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Operation Darkness

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GF Rating
5.5

1290 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
6

Above Average

A Unique Title With Some Glaring Faults

posted by Alymon (Mount Laurel, NJ) Jul 3, 2008

Member since May 2008

34 out of 34 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Operation Darkness got me excited. There are very few Turn Based Strategy games for the Xbox 360 and what's not to love about Zombies, Vampires and Skeletons in a WWII environment? Unfortunately, while the core gameplay is fun, there are many glaring faults and poor design decisions that make this title very frustrating and not for the feint of heart.

There is nothing impressive graphically about this title. It's not up to snuff with the current range of releases. The graphics look like they were ported from last generation or very early this generation and there is some minor slow-down at times (typically during the load into the battlefield). If graphics are your thing, you'll want to avoid this title.

The camera and controls are awkward. You will often select to attack and find yourself facing the wrong direction when you go to move across the field to select your target. The camera doesn't stay put and often buildings and other objects will obscure your view. It's not unbearable, but it certainly makes getting into the game harder. Actions and menus in the game require too many button presses to get anything done. Everytime you go to loot a corpse, you are prompted with a message reminding you that you can loot corpses for weapons and items. It's almost like they forgot to tell it to stop displaying the tutorial message after the first time. There's no ability to bulk sell/buy items which can be rough if you need to restock your supply of medkits or ditch all the spare ammunition you don't need.

However, even with these shortcomings, the battles are intense and very fun. There's a large variety of weapons and special attacks and it very rewarding watching that last tank explode after you hit it with a fireball or shot a bazooka at it. And there's nothing better than watching Jack the Ripper lay into a German Vampire with a broad sword.

Bottom Line:

If you love Turn-Based Strategy and are willing to put in the time, it's a good game.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Flawed titled that has great gameplay and plot.

posted by CyanideRus (ROYERSFORD, PA) Jun 27, 2008

Member since Jun 2008

36 out of 40 gamers (90%) found this review helpful

Please let me start by stating that I personally enjoy this genre of games, turn based tactical.
I also love Zombies and Vampires.

Operation Darkness is part of a very limited selection of turn based games available for the 360.

The game itself sees you equipping skills, weapons and items to your pool of characters, both plot important characters and random recruits. You'll have access to a wide variety of authentic WWII weapons, as well as items such as medkits. The equip screen is efficient and functional, though I would have liked to be able to bulk purchase items.

After this, you can select mission from the map, choosing between plot missions, which you can only play once, and AR missions, which can be played as many times as you like and serve the purpose of helping to level up.

The missions play out in turns. You can choose to move before or after you attack or use an item. You can also use 3 different cover modes, which allow you to fire automatically when certain conditions are met(ie: enemy moves).

It's important to know of some of the downfalls of this game going in.
Firstly, the camera is very hard to control/use. It will take a combat or two for you to fully grow accustomed to it. Thankfully there is a minimap which you can use to help offset the bad camera angles(press 'y' to switch to it).

Secondly, the graphics are not "top notch". Do not believe the slew of reviews out there that say they are "PS1 graphics", that's absurd, they aren't. They're 360 Launch title quality and they serve their purpose.

While not necessarily bad, the game doesn't allow you to save mid-mission and yet you must keep most of your party alive to win. You do have a doctor, who can revive fallen party members AND an auto heal skill, but this does up the difficulty.

Despite all of this, the game has lots of fun. The V/Os and plot are awesome and the game play is unexpectedly fun, which is really the most important part of any game.

Definitely a pickup for genre fans.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Not as bad as people think

posted by Sundowner (SAN RAMON, CA) Feb 23, 2009

Member since Aug 2007

3 out of 3 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I usually don't write reviews but this game got alot of bad press at launch and after just having finished it I thought it was decent. Nothing outstanding but if you like the SRPG genre then you will find something here. The 2 big issues with this game are:

1) The camera. It takes some getting used to. After a few levels you'll have the hang of it though and it won't be as much of a problem. However, You MUST use the "Y" button to switch the minimap between character turns and enemy positions. Some people don't know this. If you don't do it you will have a miserable time navigating.

2) The steep learning curve. Most characters will die with only a few hits, even at max levels. The enemy will have 2-3 reinforcement groups at the worst times and you only get 1 real healer. Plus if a character dies at level end they are gone forever. Use the auto-restore skill given at lvl 2 on all characters which will help. You will get the hang of it and though you might repeat some levels, once you get used to the fact that you can't just rush the enemy each time it becomes easier.

If your looking to play an SRPG the choices are limited and while this game isn't a blockbuster its a decent game. Definately a rental though.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Very good

posted by Jellysan (TAUNTON, MA) Oct 5, 2008

Member since Mar 2008

2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

if you like any turn based military startagy like advanced wars you'll love this. it has all authentic WWII weapons, history, and video documents which the storyline is tied into and put into those "blank spots" of the war where no official accounts exist. This makes the game all the more better with werewolves, vampires, zombies, and dragons. Highly recommend for any TBS fan and a recommendation play it through twice and play "Death Magnetic" from Metallica while playing. It makes it all the more awesome. Only gripe is that it leaves you wanting more, hope for a sequel or maybe modern upgrade.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Wonderful, Reminded me of X-Com

posted by Patchwork (Loveland, CO) Sep 8, 2008

Member since Aug 2007

2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Aside from a few annoying gameplay dynamics, this game is fantastic. A must rent for anyone who liked the old X-COM PC games.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Better than the demo

posted by Gamegod199 (FEDERAL WAY, WA) Jul 15, 2008

Member since Jul 2008

2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I played the demo for Operation Darkness and I got to say I can't get enough of this.I was disappointed about the camera control but you get use to it after a while.I liked how some of the characters could change into a Werewolf for fast attacks and more damage.The thing I also liked was the other characters you encounter and other enemy's like other Werewolf's, Vampires and many others and this game brings WWII to the next level.So rent or buy this game if you like WWII and RPG games.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Totally Surpassed My Expectations

posted by conzone (JACKSONVILLE, FL) Jul 5, 2008

Member since May 2008

27 out of 31 gamers (87%) found this review helpful

I have to say that the reviews I read about the game had some influence over my initial view of the game. At one point, after reading a prominent gaming site review, I wanted to take Operation Darkness off my list, but it was too late as it was already being shipped to my house. I'm glad that it did ship here because it completely blew my expectations out of the water. While the camera is a bit of an issue, you quickly get used to it, and what you've got left is a great game. A brilliant strategy rpg that mixes fantasy and sci-fi elements with the real history of World War II. If you like strategy rpgs like Fire Emblem, Operation Darkness is definitely for you. It's a more mature srpg with an engaging tactics system. I can't get enough of this game.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Well made however needed tweaks

posted by the24thour (NORTH EAST, MD) Mar 17, 2010

Member since Mar 2010

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Break down:
Graphic's 6/10 (only saving grace is no glitch parts)
Game Play 10/10 (Remember front line's TBS? this is its cheap cousin)
Story,Plot 9/10 (Bombs? Zombies? Vampires? Heitler?)
Controls 7/10 (View point view point the no)
Replay 6/10 (Has points were replaying it wouldn't be to bad)

But or Rent = Rent

This was a very nice TBS with decent player customization and a very good story line as well as solid easy to understand game play...

However certain features such as a hard to control view point camera and the not up to par graphics compared to other game that come out now a days give this one a shaky score.

Over all the game is great with balanced weapons and AI units as well as a good story line, who wouldn't want to kill a Naze zombie? or a gestapo vampire? That is once you can find him with your camera... The game its self i found pretty easy only dieing accidentally if i forgot to bring enough Rocket propelled grenades or panzerfausts . If you are not a good strategist you may have a issue with dieing... all it takes is to loose 1 main member of your party to achieve disaster (game over) You will find yourself going ........ when you adjust your camera as well, but after a third of the game it will get much easier.

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GF Rating
7

Good

operation darkness.

posted by kedubyrag (ITHACA, MI) Feb 19, 2010

Member since Jan 2010

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

The story in this game will capture your attention. Once i got used to the camera controls during the battles, i thouroghly enjoyed this game. Save often, The AI is sometimes more inteligent than in other battles you will encounter in this game. I kept this one for 2 weeks, the replayablility is good on this one.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Decent game, its fun

posted by DredzNinja (LAKEWOOD, OH) Jul 6, 2008

Member since Oct 2007

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Any fan of a turn based rpg will like this one.
Its fun and original. The story is good, the characters and graphics are fun. The downside is the camera angle just never seems to be where you want it, and the game would benefit from a better mini map. But overall its a 6-7 rating. Fun game.

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GF Rating
7

Good

great story wacky camera

posted by darkside (SAINT MARYS, OH) Jul 10, 2008

Member since May 2007

4 out of 5 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

This game has an awesome story line set to world war II. Kind of super special ops unit with people with crazy powers. The old war clips and facts you learn about the war are very cool. The game play is fun nothing like blasting 4-6 guys up at once with a bazooka and watching them fly away from the blast point. The hardest part about this game is getting use to the designed for 3d / xbox 360 camera angles for a tactics style game. It makes half sense once you get use to it but still it could have been done better. A cycle through enemy targets to pick from might have helped people with less patients to learn how to work the camera. Still this is worth a rent just give yourself some time to adjust to the camera angle and style. Plenty of old school weapons to use the m-1 grand, sniper rifles, bazooka, bunch of different machine guns, many types of grenades, molitolv cocktails, c3, tank mines, booby trap bombs, bayonets, swords and special powers one most of your main characters. Gave it a seven because of the camera its the world war II rpg i have always wanted otherwise

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Great game so far!

posted by herostyle (MISSOULA, MT) Jul 2, 2008

Member since Feb 2008

4 out of 5 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

If you are a fan of turn-based strategy games then I would highly recommend this one. The setting is one of my favorites: a twisted history version of World War 2 in which supernatural forces are at work for both sides.

The combat is very easy to learn but there are definitely tricks that you will need to figure out early to succeed. I really enjoy the scavenging system, where you can move to a fallen enemy and take weapons, items, ammunition and the like. These items remain with the character even after the map is over, allowing you to keep a stockpile of weapons in reserve. Taking things like medical kits and ammunition is key. For example, I ran out of ammo with one of my machine gunners. Instead of the character being instantly useless, I ran him up to a group of fallen Nazis, grabbed an LMG off one of them and continued firing.

The support tactics system works very well, but I would recommend playing with it early on so you get a feel for how each support/cover maneuver works.

The biggest flaw I can find with the game is the character dialogue and voice acting. It's painfully dull most times and definitely seems to be written by someone that doesn't understand how real people talk.

All in all this is a fantastic turn-based strategy game that is keeping me very entertained. Give it a shot, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

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GF Rating
4

Weak

I should be fighting the bad guys, not the camera.

posted by whodunnit (GRAND PRAIRIE, TX) Jul 18, 2008

Member since Sep 2005

2 out of 4 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

To be fair, I didn't give this game a lot of time, mainly because I don't have a lot of free time. So a game gets 3 strikes and then it's gone.

Strike #1: The camera - it lets you reposition, but the second you let go of the stick the camera snaps back to where it "thinks" it should be meaning you have to constantly re-position it to get a good look at the battlefield.

Strike #2: The Inventory - not much to say here, it's just a bad interface, I don't want to have to buy ammo/health for each individual person after every fight..

Strike #3: BOOM - I was about 4 hours into the game, about 15 minutes into a new battle, I walked up to an enemy planning on stabbing him in the back, I walked up behind him and exploded... I"m not sure if he was booby trapped, or if there was a land-mine I just blew up, end of game (since all your characters have to survive every fight and there is no resurrection). If the game had explained what happened, or that it was even possible I'd be fine with it. But random unexplainable deaths that waste 30 minutes of my time are not acceptable, thus I packed up the game and sent it back.

The game has promise, and if you have more patience than me you might like it... but I just don't have the time to waste.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Great game by one of my favorite game companies.

posted by ninjah (RIVER FOREST, IL) Jul 18, 2008

Member since Jul 2006

2 out of 4 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

Atlus has always made quality games for PS2 and their transition to xbox 360 with Operation Darkness was a great way to start their first next gen console game. The graphics may be a bit mediocre but the game had a great control scheme and the story was awesome. If you like RPG games than i would definitely recommend getting this game.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Not as bad.

posted by jaguar7676 (TITUSVILLE, FL) Sep 17, 2009

Member since Nov 2004

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

By now you've read the reviews of the evil camera angles, the ps1 graphics and the poor AI. It's all true, but there are some good things about this game. The first is being the story and plot. Unusual turnbased rpg theme to be sure. It plays like all the FF game with the exception of having to use cover and reload your weapons. MY biggest beef is the the inventory management prior to each mission you have to load up your squad without the benefit of intelligence, so you may have forgotten to pack your tank busters, so now the mission is hosed. The other gripe i have is that you lose the mission if one of your team member dies, which they always will. There is no "unconscious" till the next round as in most RPGs, and because of that you will have to re-start and sit through the cinematics over and over again.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

So promising

posted by happythug (VANCOUVER, WA) Jul 24, 2008

Member since Oct 2007

2 out of 6 gamers (33%) found this review helpful

WOW, some of this game is so cool. Its like how I always wanted to play a strategy game in the vein of Fire-Emblem, or Shining-Force. The grid overlay on the non-blocky 3D world is really awesome, if only the game-setting wasn't some throw-away World War II, undead evil natzi garbage.

Evil, vampire, undead, blah blah blah natzi is getting Cliché. What's worse is the story is accompanied by random file-footage of world war II video that may or may not have anything to do with the story.

So my major gripes about this game are the difficulty, the pacing, and the multi-multi part missions with no saving in between. First of all, there are cool functions to be had, cover options that alow you an extreme level of tactics. Unfortunately you have to painstakingly plan them all out one step at a time. Sometimes it can take up to 20 minutes before you are even within firing range of your enemies. This game is in dire need of group-orders and a faster, more informative user interface.

So now you have all your soldiers in range. You engage and beat the enemy. It took you over an hour, and then SURPRISE, a whole new wave of enemies come in right on top of your location and you already spent your good ammo, and you don't get to save. Of course, despite your best efforts one of your main characters gets shot down. That means game-over. Sometimes your whole party is comprised of these main characters, and only one of them have to die for you to have to start over. so then you memorize the map and spend another hour getting where you left offf, then you clearn the 2nd wave only to be surprised by yet a THIRD wave. Did I mention, no saving in between!

Too bad, the game is too hard and its too slow, otherwise some of it is super cool and fun.

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GF Rating
3

Bad

So, who's the enemy? The Nazis or the camera?

posted by StormyEyes (Harrisburg, PA) Nov 25, 2008

Member since Dec 2005

1 out of 3 gamers (33%) found this review helpful

I wanted to like this game. After all, it follows the adventures of a British SAS unit during World War II whose commanding officer is a werewolf. Vampires are working for the Nazis. It was translated by Atlus, the makers of the "Shin Megami Tensei" games.

The problem, unfortunately, was that it was not developed by Atlus, but by some outfit called Success, which is based in Tokyo. Unfortunately, the developers of "Operation Darkness" do not quite live up to their name. There is nothing wrong with the graphics. They are nothing fancy, but I would consider them competently rendered for what is probably a fairly low-budget Xbox 360 title. The music is appropriately stirring. Atlus, to their credit, appeared to at least try to get the characters' accents right; they sound like English or Scottish people, depending on the character. The weapons assigned to the player characters are, to my knowledge, appropriate to the setting and work in a fairly realistic manner.

Unfortunately, while the game sets up the Nazis as the player's enemy, it appears that the real enemy in "Operation Darkness" is the camera. This fatal flaw was noticeable in the Xbox 360 demo, but like I sucker I hoped that it would be fixed for the final release. The camera, unfortunately, is nearly uncontrollable. On a small map this might be tolerable, as is the case with the game's first mission. However, the map for the second mission is a sprawling mess better suited to a real-time strategy with an overhead viewpoint than to a tactical RPG.

This camera issue, unfortunately, ruined the game for me. I can't in good conscience recommend renting this title, let alone buying a used copy.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Greatest Game I've ever played.

posted by ZippyChan (STOCKTON, CA) Jun 26, 2008

Member since Apr 2008

8 out of 31 gamers (26%) found this review helpful

To be honest, when I played this game, I thought it was going to be disappointing, but in the end it turned out to be a great game, intense plot, filled action and game play, this is how a game is suppose to be made.

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GF Rating
4

Weak

Change the title to Operation SNORE

posted by lordkor (MANAHAWKIN, NJ) Aug 5, 2008

Top Reviewer

Member since Mar 2008

1 out of 5 gamers (20%) found this review helpful

This game had some fantastic potential. I rented it based on the reviews and the fact that Atlus published it, since they have a proven track record of making great games. Operation Darkness however fell very short and what had the potential to be a great military type RPG choked in the end. First off, it's nothing like a traditional RPG where you move about a field screen encountering monsters, or dungeon crawling, or wander about towns. The whole game is just an overview map with locations, you pick a location, fight Nazis, go back to the map, pick another location, fight Nazis. Very drab and dull. There is no exploratory value that makes an RPG an RPG. The battle system reminds me of Betrayal at Krondor (way back in the day). You have a group of soldiers, usually around 8 but it can be more. You then have to move each soldier around the battlefield looking for your enemy. The battlefields are rather large and you can spend a good 10 minutes just moving everyone into position. It's very tedious and boring, much like a chess game. If the fighting was more like Enchanted Arms or Lost Odyssey it'd be tolerable. Sooner or later you get to attack something, but the line of sight attack is messed up. I took cover behind a park bench, but couldn't attack ANYONE unless I stepped out from behind it and into the open where I get shot to pieces. I actually spent a good 70 minutes on one battle, which BTW are the missions. Every mission is a battle, remember no random encounters. To make matters worse, if even ONE of your party members gets killed it's GAME OVER. I mean seriously what kind of RPG is game over when one character gets killed, and I'm not talking the main character either. I played for two days hoping it would get better but alas it didn't.

THE GOOD
Graphics
WW II footage
WW II weapons

THE BAD
Battles take WAY too long.
No exploratory value.
Tedious character placement.

THE UGLY
One party member dies and it's GAME OVER??

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Operation dont get this game

posted by AlaskanGmr (Nikiski, AK) Nov 16, 2008

Member since Jul 2008

1 out of 8 gamers (12%) found this review helpful

this is the worst game ever made. dont waste your time with this game... its turn based play is the worst iv'e ever seen... beware

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Worst RPG game

posted by lawday (LAKE ALFRED, FL) Jul 8, 2008

Member since Jan 2008

1 out of 17 gamers (6%) found this review helpful

This game was a very Big Let Down for me i was very Happy that Gamefly got it to me very quickly but once i got it opened and poped in to my Hungry Xbox 360 i enjoyed the nice Long opining Cut sceen and then came the let down a Trun Based RPG like Blue Dragon or Enturnal Sonada I just Hate Games like that But Love The PSU RPG types of games so Please stay away from this and look for a better game it plays very slow and the in Game Display is very poor and low quality so for you Hard Core Rpg Gammers stay away from this fair warning lol.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

if this was my game i would break it.

posted by Deadlykeeper71 (WEST MILFORD, NJ) Aug 30, 2012

Member since Dec 2011

i thought it was a good game after playing the first mission, though it was still very hard. The second mission was ridiculous and unless you have patience do not get this game. This game takes fire emblem or any turn based rts and barfs on it.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Horrible Camera Great Game

posted by ShotgunShawn (FORT VALLEY, GA) Jun 9, 2012

Member since Mar 2012

I wish the made more games like this. I loved Vandal Hearts and Brigandine. I loved Operation Darkness almost as much. Though I would have changed a few things.

Number 1 the camera controls and angles are the worst I have seen in any game ever! I beared it because the game is worth bearing it for, but it frustrated me throughout.

Another thing (and this is just me) I hate the fact that I had to move my team in a pre determined order. I liked the way Vandal Hearts was, I move and attack with my people in any order I choose then the AI does the same. Moving the team in a predetermined order used to be a deal breaker for me in a SRPG, But This one wasn't as bad as the others I have played like that. I actually got used to it.

Now as with most 'anime' style RPG's the graphics are last gen. The voice acting is bad, and I'm the kind of person who could give a hoot about the story. But the gameplay is great.

I have a couple of friends who love strategy games. They have watched me play the Assassins Creed games, Gears of War, Skyrim and Fable 3, they were unimpressed. When they saw me playing this they ran out and bought 360's and a copy of it.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Great idea, poorly executed

posted by Markus1142 (SOMERVILLE, NJ) Jan 12, 2012

Top Reviewer

Member since Oct 2010

Operation Darkness gives you turn-based combat on a huge, tiled battlefield. Not entirely unlike the old Front Mission games or Final Fantasy Tactics, you'll assemble a group, build them up through leveling up and equipping weapons and items, and send them into battle.

There are some great, original ideas at play here, like some characters' ability to turn into a werewolf, and the alternate reality WWII setting. But there are a lot of flaws that make enjoying it all hard.

There is A LOT of dialogue that you can't skip outright; even mashing (A) to get through conversations can be timeconsuming. The large battles and turn based combat mean that missions can play out for a very long time.

Unfortunately, there's no way to loot enemies and revive comrades once combat ends. So long battles become longer as you run around scavenging dead bodies for weapons or health items, and reviving any fallen teammates - otherwise they are gone for good once the last enemy is killed.

Enemies also spawn out of nowhere. This isn't too problematic when you're dealing with infantry, but having one or two tanks show up and immediately kill some of your squadmates is needlessly frustrating, and feels incredibly cheap compared to the emphasis on strategy the game normally brings.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Diamond in the Rough

posted by iceman0912 (FORT GEORGE G MEADE, MD) Sep 3, 2011

Member since May 2007

I thoroughly enjpyed this game. Yes, the graphics are outdated, the controls are simple, the whole game in fact resembles a last generation game. Does that mean its bad? No. Because it is a strategy game, most of those things don't matter.
Everything necessary to create a good strategy game is present here.
I was pleasantly surprised by this title. I think it is definitely for that niche audience. This title will probably became valuable years from now when those few strategy gamers that enjoyed this start looking for it again.
A game like this will last forever because clearly graphics and sound don't matter. The strategy and gameplay do.

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