Rogue Ops


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4


Rogue Ops is one of those games that blatantly steals from far better software. It doesn't offer a single idea that's original, and it doesn't perform as well as the games it's trying to emulate. It's a lost budget title, and Splinter Cell has nothing to worry about.

rogueops_xbox1.jpg (48669 bytes)As the game opens, the obligatory forced training lets players in on everything. If you're wondering if a certain feature is included here, you'll know in 10-minutes. There are no surprises. Like so many in this current generation, stealth is the key, and it's hardly involving enough to make it entertaining.

Leading players through is Nikki Connor, a grossly oversized posterior facing the player for the duration of third-person stealth title. The game earns an "M" rating for some gore and hideously unfunny, unprofessional, and out of place adult language. The voice acting isn't up to par to make this realistic.

Part of the game's problem is the lack of any real guidance. You'll know where you need to be, but not how to get there. The map fails to point out pipes you need to climb that are just a single shade of red off from the wall it's hanging on. Stages are aggravating, setting up situations that make people wonder why the group of Russian terrorists is such a threat.

It's always something that's just "wrong." Security lasers will be blocked by a small box, and of course, there's just enough room to squeeze Nikki by. Hopelessly trapped, you'll magically find the keycard you need on a dead soldier. It's laid out in an impossible fashion, reminding everyone it's just a game with every task, something Splinter Cell avoided every chance it had.

rogueops_xbox2.jpg (49265 bytes)It's obvious through all of this that Rogue Ops isn't meant to contend against the massive budgets of Ubi Soft however. This Kemco title fails to provide any middle ground either. It feels tired, worn out, and there's not a single fresh aspect to it, other than a flaky voice activated gun-switching mechanic (through the Xbox Live headset).

Even when the game has a chance to pick up, it fails. Close quarters combat is achieved through a "press the buttons before the timer runs out" mini-game, and offers no opportunity to try anything different. The bland graphics fail to capture anything memorable except for Nikki, and that's the obvious selling point.

Rogue Ops might have worked as a kids game, replacing the characters and settings with something more family friendly. It works on a simplistic level (perfect for a young one to learn the genre), but in direct competition with some of the best the industry has to offer, it has neither the depth nor the tension required. Even as a budget title, it would have been better off becoming something else.


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Last updated: Sunday, September 18, 2005 12:11 AM