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Review by: Gavin Carter
Published: May 3, 2002
In the feverish race by development companies to strike gaming gold, often tried and true ideas are the quickest route to success. The rage in online gaming for the last couple of years has undeniably been Counter-Strike, a team-based title that allows groups of terrorists and counter-terrorists to go head to head. Counter-Strike still manages to stay at the top of online gaming despite its age and, by today’s standards, its sub-par graphics. Trying to emulate such success is Barking Dog, the Canada-based developer of Homeworld: Cataclysm, with their own team-based online shooter, Global Operations. Global Operations takes the venerable Counter-Strike formula, tosses in a bit of innovation, and ends up with a product hoping to find success in a genre fast becoming crowded with new releases.
There’s no overarching plot tying the individual missions of Global Operations together. Instead, each mission plays out as a match between two organizations, with one cast in the “Bad Guys” role and the other in the “Good Guys” role. The groups are all based on real-life Special Forces groups and their enemies. Military forces like the SAS or the Australian Special Operations Forces are pitted against terrorist and criminal organizations like the South China Sea Pirates and the Caspian Freedom Force. Each group has their own set of player model skins that change from mission to mission, featuring similar color schemes for each team.
Global Operations offers multiple gameplay modes. You’ll probably want to begin with the very short tutorial missions. The title features tutorial missions for each of the six player classes as well as four general tutorials for things like recon and firefights. Although Global Operations is marketed as primarily an online multiplayer game, it also includes a single-player component that allows you to play through each of the maps with bots. You start off with Mexico as the only available scenario and unlock others as you go along. The heart of the game is the multiplayer component however, which can be set to cycle through maps or stick to a single one if the server operator desires.
Before each mission begins, you’ll be given a short text briefing on where it is you’re going and some background information on the conflict. Missions take place all over the world, from Australia to Chechnya and everywhere in between. The individual levels take place in a wide variety of environs from dams to cities to warehouses, and are all mission-based like Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Tasks range from destroying targets to assassinating enemy leaders to defusing bombs. Each group is given their collective objectives at the beginning of the mission, and often the objectives oppose one another. For instance, if the terrorists’ objective is to plant a bomb, the military must prevent it.
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