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Shadow Ops: Red Mercury
(hx) 07:45 PM CET - Oct,31 2004

Shadow Ops: Red Mercury is a military-themed first-person shooter in which you play a Delta Force operative recruited by the CIA to stop a new kind of nuclear weapon - "Red Mercury" (a secret substance that can be used as a nuclear accelerant) - from being sold by Russian scientists to terrorists and detonated in Tel Aviv.

Shadow Ops was originally released on the Xbox several months ago, and the new PC version is pretty much the same with the notable exception of a whole multiplayer component.

First off, let's talk about the single player. There's over 25 single-player levels set in meticulously recreated environments, including post-collapse Soviet republics, the Congo, the subways of Paris, and a number of Middle East hotspots like Syria and Iran. The landscapes are extremely different, so one level may have you in a jungle setting with limited sight capabilities to decimated cities which are usually the most dangerous affairs when entering at ground level. Missions range from hostage rescues to demolition attempts to guarding important people or items.

You'll usually have several realistic weapons like a pistol, a sniper rifle, an assault rifle and a few grenades. Occasionally you get a shotgun, a heavy machine gun, and a bazooka. However, the weapons really didn't impress me, since most of the weapons feel and work exactly the same. There really isn't any reason to switch weapons in the game unless you're prompted to use your sniper rifle or bazooka, or if you run out of ammo. You're aided by computer-controlled teammates which are completely indestructible (even grenades won't harm them). Sadly they are stupid and cannot be commanded. Enemies are sometimes stupid and sometimes shrewd. However, they're always the same flush-out tactics. Also, the level design is bland, restrictive and pretty linear...each room has only a single door...which leads to the room you're supposed to go through and there're ...of course...another door, etc. I thought such simplistic and outdated gameplay had been banished from this genre a years ago.

One last thing about gameplay I should mention before moving on. There's no saving anywhere in a mission, and worse, baddies are pretty accurate and often ambush you out of nowhere. So, if you die, you start back at the beginning of the level. The levels can take upwards of twenty minutes to complete, so should you die 19 minutes into a level, you're forced to go through the entire level again. Needless to say, it can be pretty frustraing element.

Multiplayer options include deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, and an escort mode. There are plenty of maps (over 44 maps in total) and some decent configurability. Sadly, I really wasn't able to evaluate it much, as there weren't many people playing.

With the lack of save games combined with some linear levels, an unimpressive arsenal, and simplistic shooter gameplay for both the single-player and multiplayer games, there isn't much to recommend Shadow Ops: Red Mercury over other games of its type.

related links: homepage, demo (292MB), cheats, savegames.

System requirements: Pentium III or AMD Athlon 1 GHz (Pentium III or AMD Athlon 1.5 GHz recommended), 256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended), 4 GB Free, CD/DVD-ROM Drive: 1X Speed (4X or faster recommended), Video: 64 MB Hardware T&L-compatible videocard, NVidia GeForce 3 or ATi Radeon 8500 or equivalent (128 MB recommended), DirectX 9.0 compatible sound card, 56 kbps or faster modem for online play.

snd: 4/5 - solid, cutscenes contain some pretty good voice acting, intense movie-like musical score
gfx: 3/5 - mediocre, poor special effects and weak texture work, faces and character models pretty average, poor collision detection
playability: 3/5 - simplistic, repetitive and pretty difficult (no in-game save - not even save points), you cannot very scripted and linear, predictable AI, multiplayer via LAN/Internet up to 32 players, no Xbox's split-screen mode, bugs
genre: military-themed first-person shooter
platform: PC DVD-ROM (also available on Xbox)
release: September 2004
developer: Zombie
publisher: Atari
Overall: 60%

last 10 comments:

FX5900(01:51 AM CET - Nov,01 2004 )
Thank you Atari for releasing yet another fine title to go alongside Enter the Matrix and all the other **** you sell.

slayer(05:30 PM CET - Nov,01 2004 )
oh lol FX5900 you made me laugh again :oops: . a bit, well put words though =D>

FX5900(03:58 AM CET - Nov,02 2004 )
What are you embarrassed about? It's not like I'm an ATi owner or something. :roll: ;)
Atari owned the game scene in the 1980's only to **** drop the ball and theyve been fumbling with their balls ever since. ;)

ambazador(06:20 AM CET - Nov,02 2004 )
yeah u can punish him,thats all, enter the matrix sux and shadow ops too, so agree..., why Ati sponsor sucked games?:)

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