SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$9.99

DEVELOPER
Runecraft

PUBLISHER
Take 2

RELEASE DATE
05/00

Spec Ops: Stealth Patrol Review

By: John Doe


Remember when the PlayStation Yarouze came out a few years ago, which enabled the average Joe out there to program games for the PlayStation? Well, I imagine that this game was a lot like some of the efforts puked up on that thing by weekend code jockies who fancied themselves programmers. If you want a less frustrating experience than actually playing this game, find some international terrorists and take them on armed only with a fountain pen and a swizzle stick. You've been warned.


Highs:
Lows:

This game is in a word - ugly. The textures are just terrible, with big objects such as vehicles and generators recognizable only from a very far proximity. When you attempt to interact with the environment, it reacts with cheesy effects, and more problems. And the background looks just ridiculous, since the way it is drawn makes it look like its not even behind you, but part of the environment itself. And the battleground looks way, way too sparse to be a jungle, with a serious lack of vegetation. It looks like this war is taking place in a city park. The framerate stays solid, and the animation isn't half-bad, but this hardly makes up for the shoddy visuals that run rampant in this game.

It seems like for all these $10 "bargain games", the sound is always completely neglected, and Spec Ops is no exception. In this game, only when you are a foot or two from a generator will you be able to hear it hum and whir, which is totally inexcusable. The music is nearly non-existent, and the voices are quite possibly the worst I've ever heard in a video game. When you call to an ally on your team to command them to do something, you hear a terribly fake sample that just sounds like it was recorded by the janitor at your school. There's no fear in the voice or sense of urgency, just a slow, bored sounding speech that's completely out of place in the middle of a battle. I mean, I could do better voice samples than this game.

This game is so realistic that it takes away the fun. It is very, very challenging, but not in a fun, interesting way, just a frustrating, near-impossible way. Although you are given a compass and a GPS to guide your rangers to their goal, obstacles, check-points, and enemies often don't show up in the places they are supposed to. Discovering an enemy in the bush is pure chance, and they have just as likely a chance of seeing you as you do them. Though this is realistic, as this is how it would be in any guerilla combat-type situation (as if I would know), it doesn't make things very fun. This means that there's a 50/50 chance or less of making it out alive with every encounter. Add to the fact that you have limited resources and manpower, while the computer has literally thousands of available men, and it means that things are just stacked up way too much against you. The computer's AI switches back and forth from being impossibly cheap, to being laughably brainless, and when the AI is at its best, you'll find it nearly impossible to kill the enemy's men, making things seemingly impossible.

Another thing that's a major pain in the ass is that the AI of your computer-controlled buddy is usually too stupid for words, meaning that you'll have to do most of the work. Switching back and forth between controlling your character and your buddy is easy, but I would have expected much better computer assistance, especially with the maliciousness of the enemy forces.

Overall, this game means well, but utterly fails. I would strongly advise against renting or buying it, unless you like being toyed with and tortured. Not recommended at all. Send me your $10.

OVERALL
3.0

GRAPHICS
4.0

CONTROL
7.0

MUSIC/FX
2.0

FRUSTRATION
8.0

Back To PlayStation Index