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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Red Storm

Ups: Jungle map is challenging, no bugs

Downs:  Not really anything more than three missions and a test, for crying out loud.

field_screen3-01.jpg (9169 bytes)The Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear series has established a niche in the world of shooters.  There have been games, expansions, sequels, more expansions and for the most part gamers have snatched these up.  Unfortunately, in some cases (Tomb Raider, and now Rogue Spear), companies stop developing new ideas and just start repackaging the same game over and over and over again.

field_screen1-01.jpg (7189 bytes)That’s why Rogue Spear: Covert Ops Essentials is such a disappointment.  It’s a $30 stand-alone game that feels more like it should have been a free patch.  There has been no revamping of the Urban Ops engine. No new weapons, just nine new maps, and the pack does not even include the weapons that came with Urban Operations.  I simply fail to see how this could possibly be seen as a stand-alone game.  If you own Rogue Spear you could go download some player made maps (9 or more if you like) and have the equivalent of Covert Ops and save yourself $30.

The missions that come with it are short, taking around an hour to complete.  They are all available for use in multi-player mode, but the only map that makes for a truly challenging game is the “Jungle”, which quickly turns into a camping marathon. 

Also included with the game is a second CD, the “Training CD”, which has some interviews, photos, and video footage.  I almost forgot to mention the Covert Exam.  This “test” requires you to read a short blurb and answer a couple multiple-choice questions.  I’m sorry, but why should people pay for this again?

field_screen5-01.jpg (3610 bytes)On the up-side the game does seem to run just fine.  It installs quickly and easily, and allows players to get in and start shooting without any annoyances.  And the theme is the same winning one as in Rogue Spear; stop those pesky terrorists from all their wrong doing without getting your whole team killed.

Overall, Covert Ops was such a huge disappointment that I cannot recommend it.  If you are a big Rogue Spear fan then I suggest you look into the Urban Ops expansion for Rogue Spear.   If you already have it then, download some new maps for it and keep your money.  Let’s wait and see if Red Storm puts out a real sequel, one that’s not a stripped down version of a game.

--Ben Moore