Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising Review by Scorpion101
Ok, I’ve been playing this for about a week now, and of course there are some good and bad things about the game.
The game is a resource hog, and lower end machines will have problems running it. I have a P4 1600Mhz, 512MB Ram and an ATI Radeon 128Mb graphics card. If I turn down the water detail and the shadow detail in the settings, the game is perfectly playable for me. People with a faster CPU, and more ram, can probably play it with a 64Mb graphics card (and I think many do). On the box, Novalogic state that it will run on a 32Mb card (I guess as a server), but recommend a 128Mb card. They are right.
There are four main types of game play. Cooperative (CO-OP), Advance and Secure
(AS), Team Deathmatch (TDM) and Team King of the Hill (TKOTH).
One thing is that there are no single player maps, unless you ‘host’ a COOP map and play it yourself.
You get a screen that comes up showing all the different servers, and details such as their ping times, players etc etc.
In this game, you have a choice of being either a Joint Operations soldier, or a Rebel Soldier (except in COOP, in which you are always JO). In a standard setup server, you will switch from one to the other every map change. You can choose the ‘dress’ of the player in the options.
Setup is quite simple, with a standard remapping for the keys available. However, for those of you that use the CTRL keys for anything, then you have a small problem, as Novalogic have assigned them to be used with other keys, i.e. you would press CTRL+2 to switch to the gunner position in a jeep from the driver position (CTRL+1). There is however a fix for this. There is a small application available called Keytweak (http://webpages.charter.net/krumsick/) that will allow you to remap the keyboard in Windows. You can then remap the CTRL keys as you wish.
First off, don’t go into the game and expect to ‘rule’…it won’t happen. The game play and maps are so different to other games, especially the Delta Force series, that you will need a bit of practice before you get up there with the best of them. For instance, if a sniper in a ghillie suit is laying down sniping at you, kills you, and when you respawn you run around trying to find him/her, then you won’t see them in the grass until you are literally on top of them. I have run around loads of times looking for snipers, and it’s only through patience waiting for him/her to fire and tracking the sound that I have been able to find them.
The weapons you get are dependant on which side you are playing (and too many to mention here). They are also as realistic as Novalogic could make them at this time. A lot of people were complaining about recoil, especially on the ‘heavier’ guns, until others pointed out that it is what happens with a real one. These guns have kick, no matter what one you use, and it affects your aim. If you are sniping, you will have to relocate the sight on the target every time you fire, as it is thrown off. If you are using a rapid fire gun, then you will need to ‘hold it down’ as you fire, because as sure as I’m writing this article, that barrel is gonna reach for the sky.
Ground Vehicles and Water craft.
These again are quite good, and behave pretty much like the real thing as far as controlling them goes. You have low, medium and high gears, depending on the speed you want to move at. The ‘STRYKER’ and ‘BTR’ vehicles (heavy armored vehicles) are amphibious, but they move slower in the water of course. There is also a small amphibious ATV that can do the same. There are also Zodiacs, Indonesian watercraft, Hovercraft (LCAC), Assault boats and Patrol boats (armed) to get you across those large stretches of water.
The jeep type attack vehicles and the ‘dune buggy’ (weirdly enough not mentioned in the manual) are excellent for traveling fast, all are armed with machine guns/grenade launchers, and will almost go anywhere. However, don’t try to take them in the water…it won’t work! You can skirt along the edge of water fine, but try to go too deep and it will stall, and you’ll need to bail out. They will also, like all vehicles in the game, suffer damage from gunfire, and from impacts with trees, walls, and other objects. Take enough damage, and you get a small warning tone, and a few seconds later it will explode. You barely have time to get out.
There is also a 5.5 ton truck, which is slow and cumbersome, but great for moving a lot of people at one time.
The aircraft (helicopters) are pretty good, going up in size from the ‘Little Bird’, all the way to the ‘Halo’, the largest and most powerful chopper in the world. The small ones are great for zipping around the sky attacking, and the big ones are good for carrying troops or vehicles, but of course move slower. When you get in a chopper, you have to wait for it to ‘start’ and get the engine up to flying speed. A nice touch. The smaller choppers can be armed with either rockets or guns, which you can aim with the moving aimpoint. The larger choppers may have miniguns attached, or be unarmed.
All aircraft behave like they would in real life. You cannot be heading in one direction and expect to do a 180 and go that way immediately….it wont work, and you’ll end up flying backwards until the original motion is overcome. It the same for turning….they go into a ‘slide’ until they overcome the original inertia.
They can be ‘killed’ by any gunfire or ‘stinger’ missiles, which home in. You get a warning tone for ‘lock-on’, and you have flares to fire off to confuse the missiles and give you a chance to escape.
This is a TEAM game, and only through working that way will your side overcome the enemy and win the day. I have been in a map that was running in excess of 2 hours, and still no team won convincingly! Organization is the name of the game, and teams that have been playing together in other games will have no trouble.
Some of the maps are huge, covering over 50 square kilometers (bring out the choppers!), while others are quite small, enabling you to run to the objective. The stock maps I have played are well made, with no apparent glitches. The scenery looks very nice, and you can even climb certain trees, which is great for sniping. Also, some maps will ‘cycle’ through day and night. So as you are playing, you will see the sun rise and set, and then the moon comes out, followed by dawn breaking. It’s another nice touch.
All in all, this game follows on quite nicely from the other Novalogic games
(Delta Force series), but will also be very playable for a first timer. It is
well put together, and the gameplay rolls along smoothly.
Personally, I love it, and would recommend it to anyone. Just make sure your system can handle it before you buy, otherwise you’ll be upgrading.
Oh, one other thing, and a good one. Once you have installed and registered with Novalogic, you don’t need to put the CD in every time you want to play. It just checks your registration key with their database and logs you in. No more Cd hacks needed!
There will be a Map Editor released soon, so all you mapmakers can have a ball creating great maps for the rest of us.