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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

ValuSoft

 

Developer

Trainwreck

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2001

 

 

- No thinking required

- Short

- Good gun bobbing

- Cheap

- Simple zoom mode

- Low system requirements

 

 

- No thinking required

- Old graphics

- Too easy

- Only three weapons to choose from

- Unimaginative level design

- Dumb enemies

- Lacks any sense of fun

- Could have been shareware

 

 

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C.I.A. Operative: Solo Mission

Score: 3.9 / 10

 

Right from square one, C.I.A. Operative (CO) has a few strikes against in the eyes of hardcore gamers Ė even without ever installing it. The name of the developer is Trainwreck Studios. While CO kind of resembles a train wreck, it just barely manages to avoid the designation. Further examination of the jewel case reveals another fact that will make the hardcore crowd cringe Ė "this product contains software technology licensed from Id Software... 1996 Ė 1998." Okay, itís a budget title Ė not likely to attract the hardcore crowd Ė so using yesterdayís technology isnít a surprise. What really comes as a surprise is the game itself.

 

         

 

You take on the role of C.I.A. operative, Jack Noel, sent into the field to eliminate various bad guys in first-person perspective, in six different locations. It boils down to eliminating the "target" or planting a bomb or defusing some warheads, then running outside to await pick-up. The levels are very, very short and you can almost count the number of them on one hand. It seems like thereís been no effort made 

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to inject any fun into the game. In fact, the whole thing comes off as being very amateurish. The character models and skins are boring to look at, and their animations are way below those found in the Half-Life mod, Counter-Strike. Theyíre also fairly brain-dead since most of the them wonít respond to sniper fire hitting the ground at their feet! None of them shoot more than a few rounds before taking a breather Ė leaving them open to more than a few bullets.

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I could go on about the lackluster graphics or how quick it is to complete (about an hour from beginning to end) or the invisible walls that pen you in or the having to swallow that an undercover operative wears a big, flowing jacket or the idiotic civilians that wander into the middle of a firefight or that you get access to only three weapons but thereís no way I want to spend more time writing the review than it took me to finish the game. Instead Iíll mention what is good about CO. (Itíll knock you out... breathe in those fumes... so sleepy...)

 

The gun bob is the best Iíve see in a first-person shooter. CO runs on yesterdays hardware, which means you donít need a colossal gaming rig to run it. Itís a budget title for the casual gamer. The sound and music is all right Ė nothing too annoying. Best barrel explosions ever! Pop a barrel marked as explosive

and a shockwave (just like that of the Death Star blowing up in the Special Editions of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi) blasts out, crumpling any nearby bad guys. The zoom function of the sniper rifle is very easy to use. I didnít encounter any fatal bugs. After completing CO you get to enable a bigfoot option that turns all the bad guys into hairy beasts. They canít shoot at you so mowing them down is even easier. If killing virtually defenseless critters is your idea of fun youíll like it, but it adds nothing to the game.

Casual gamers who donít know better will like the fact CO is so easy to get into and will run without a hitch on their old computers. (And above all, is affordable.) But hardcore gamers Ė I doubt any of them will read down this far, but if they have Ė donít bother with C.I.A. Operative: Solo Missions.

- Omni

 

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