Operation Winback 2: Project Poseidon ReviewCain Dornan
In a nutshell, Operation Winback 2: Project Poseidon is a perfect game for those who enjoy tactical shooters that is, if you enjoy ones that feel as though they were developed back in the mind 1990s. While some of the games ideas may have been a great feature for a game released in the Nintendo 64 era, the considerable advancement that games have made since this time period has seen WinBack looking and running severely aged. The bland and overly repetitive nature of the game leaves much to be desired, with the lack of innovation resulting in a game that only offers features that have been done many times beforehand, and considerably better.
Winback 2 pits you into a world where you are neither a sole fighter nor part of a four-member squad. Instead, there are two of you; two highly trained special operatives who have what it takes to deal with some of the worlds most dangerous and daring terrorists. As such, for each mission youll find yourself controlling both characters at different points, with each character being assigned routes that see them performing either the supportive or leading roles. The character who is taking on the supportive role usually finds themselves ridding of excess enemies and unlocking doors, while the leading character does more killing and focuses more so on the mission at hand, which ranges from rescuing hostages through to locating evidence.
But while the game tries its hardest to introduce a range of different missions to keep the gameplay feeling fresh, it often fails to do so successfully. Many missions simply feel too familiar to past missions, resulting in an experience that quickly begins to feel repetitive and unexciting. The games drab level design also fails to draw you in and provide a level of variation, as the internal environments are often filled with boring browns and greys with little scenery to cast your eyes upon. Given that there is often a lack of intense action to be found, youll often find yourself taking in the boring atmosphere, making it difficult to continue playing the game from start to finish.
Another of the problems that the game suffers from is the dated gameplay style and presentation on hand, which sees some aged visuals, ordinary voice acting and severely outdated gameplay that offers neither anything new nor effective in todays standards. The games controls are clunky and ineffective: you cannot move while aiming or shooting, effectively rendering much of the gameplay as a start-and-stop affair. In an attempt to make up for this downfall, or the act of the developer forcing players into using a feature that has not been considered innovative since used in the very first game, is the ability to hide against a wall or a box. From here, you can aim on an enemy whilst concealed behind an object, and then pop-out quickly to fire at the enemy. Given the aged feeling of the games controls, and the frustrating inability to move whilst firing a weapon, this feature quickly becomes over-used and, when crucial during some of the more difficult stages, slows down the gameplay too often.
There are 30 missions on-hand in the single player story mode, with the majority of these spanning 10-20 minutes in gameplay length. As previously mentioned, it can be somewhat of a battle to actually play through all of the missions, as almost all of the missions involve virtually identical objectives. Most involve simply making your way through a few rooms killing enemies along the way, followed by the pushing of a few wall buttons, locating a specific easy-to-find item and then, if applicable, defeating a boss at the end of the stage which usually involves little more than pumping him with a few rounds from your gun.
While there is a multiplayer mode on-hand, the lackluster gameplay that the multiplayer modes offer fail to garner any worthwhile interest in any of the confusing multiplayer modes available. The modes are not described or explained in neither the games user manual nor the actual game itself, often leaving gamers to trial-and-error the mode to try and figure out the objective of each one. The multiplayer mode offers the same clunky and dated controls that are used in the single player mode, resulting in an experience that can be easily bettered in most shooters currently available on the market.
Operation Winback 2: Project Poseidon has simply failed to advance from the era of the franchises original game back on the Nintendo 64. The storyline fails to captivate; the missions offer little variation; characters often feel overly cheesy and fake; and the boring visuals and sounds fail to keep you interested from start to finish. Given the popularity of tactical shooters on todays market, theres certainly space for another quality franchise on retailer shelves. Unfortunately, given the number of excellent titles that are currently available, we simply cant recommend gamers wasting their cash on a game that could have been so much more.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.