Tactical Ops: SWAT
|a game by||Kamehan Studios|
|Rate this game:|
Leaping into the fray with all guns blazing, Tactical Ops modestly bills itself as "The ultimate counterterrorist mod for Unreal Tournament' and is another attempt to bring Half-Life variant Counter-Strike to the UTplatform.
At a manageable 44Mb, Tactical Ops is a mod that will neither min your phone bill nor tempt the gods of download-interruption into action. Installation is a breeze as the game slots itself neatly onto the standard UT interface and presents its own options screen as a bonus. Tactical Ops doesn't play with your UT start-up like Strike Force and hence doesn't mess it up either. What a relief.
With this easy installation completed, it was a pleasure to see that although servers are thin on the ground, the game connected almost every time with a minimum of fuss. Skins were downloaded when needed and the fun began...
The immediate impression on starting Tactical Ops was very favourable. The screen is well laid out with information clearly visible. Selecting the optional widescreen view was weird at first (unless you have a wildly expensive telly or very big monitor) but quite easy to use in practice.
The weapons are the predictable armoury of Desert Eagle, AK47, M4A1, MP5and Mossberg Shotgun, but there is also a full complement of other goodies including grenades, flashbangs, body armour and more. All are available to both teams too, which is nice when you favour a particular type of firepower to do your dirty work.
The maps are well thought out, fun, and designed to keep both teams on their toes. They're sometimes a bit on the small side but at least this means you're never far away from plenty of close-quarter action. It's a shame there isn't a greater variety of maps but that will improve over time and with the die already cast in terms of game quality, designers will have a high standard to follow.
Sound effects are also of the highest order with distinctive weapon blasts and wincingly realistic (and frequent) bullet impacts. It's unnerving when the hostages huddling miserably in the corners can be heard bemoaning their poor luck and dubious fate.
Everything in this beta indicates a classic mod is in the offing. Tactical Ops is clearly more advanced than Strike Force and its user-friendliness is head and shoulders above its rival. Where Strike Force has more maps and textures, the developers behind Tactical Ops have concentrated on the quality of the gameplay to make it far more approachable. Big maps can come later when all the Strike Force players have defected! Counter-Strike tor Unreal Tournament? Very nearly.