Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
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Over Recent Months Commanding and conquering into the wee small hours became something of an international past time for pc users across the globe. A sales figure of 500.000 copies of the game throughout Europe alone isn't bad for a start, but now there's another assault on our desktops in the form of a brand new mission disc: The Covert Operations. And to continue in the tradition of mission discs, it's absolutely rock hard.
Mission discs are a very strange breed of software indeed... I mean, what are they exactly? Where do they actually come from? And why are they always so incredibly difficult? Taking a quick look back through the pc's chequered history, a few titles spring to mind that leave me with the lasting impression that mission discs are released for one of only three reasons:
1) They act as an appetiser before the actual sequel arrives, keeping game junkies happy in the interim period.
2) They are an attempt to cash in on the success of the original by slapping a few extra levels on a CD. although the same game engine has been used and there are no new features.
3) A sick joke created by programmers for game-testers and people who work at the developers who are now bored with playing the original for 16 hours a day. and need a new challenge.
Does anyone remember The American Revolt, the mission disk for Syndicate? If you are familiar with it. you'll understand exactly where I'm coming from.
All the new missions and network levels are listed (eight gdi, seven nod ten network), and simply clicking on one launches the mission intro animation; there are no new ones. I'm afraid. This initial menu system annoyed me. There isn't any campaign or plot to follow with the new levels, it's just a case of fighting through them one at a time. This is all very well and does mean you get to the see all the new levels without having to play them. but. one of the reasons I enjoyed the original so much was because of the immense sense of atmosphere and realism that built as you battled towards your final goal.
Another irritation is that glaring errors in the artificial intelligence are still in evidence; network play still suffers in this respect too. And then there are the harvesters that wander aimlessly, despite being next to the largest crop of Tiberium in the known galaxy, and spending pots of cash on satellite strikes which then do about as much damage as an angry spider with a head-ache. It's still best to save your money and build an enormous battalion of tanks and steam in from two sides. Ho-hum!
Niggling criticisms aside. C&C stands as one of the finest games of last year, and the addition of new levels can only be a good thing. The Covert Operations is an excellent addition to any Command & Conquer General's software collection, and if you are an avid fan I'd strongly recommend you dip into your war fund and purchase it immediately. If you're a casual C&C dabbler then be warned - it's harder than eight hard things all fighting it out to find out who's the hardest; and all getting hammered by something even harder with its arm tied behind its back. Nuff said!