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     " The Dick and Jane books were probably more surprising. "

   Title: Covert Ops: Nuclear Dawn by Activision

   Format: Action/Adventure for Playstation

   Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

   The Hype: Action/Adventure goes high-speed!* Multiple decisions lead to multiple endings! Kill off terrorists using 10 different weapons! -- *Except for the "high-speed" part this statement is true…it actually is an action/adventure game. --

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Graphics: The graphics in this game are… well, not good. Maybe even poor. The resolution is really low and the background and character graphics are not only very jagged looking (even for PSX) but also are also rather bland. It seems as if the creators of this game were in a hurry to get the title out. So the game has a very rough look to it. But the worst graphics in the game are in the CG cutscenes. The people here don’t look human. Their faces are strangely lumpy, their hair is usually composed of either one or two solid pieces, and the glossy appearance of the skin makes them look like those creepy plastic people from those old Duracell commercials. This may have been done on purpose, but if so, whoever decided to do it that way should get a big fat pink slip pinned onto their forehead. 2 out of 5

   Sound: Pretty good. The sound is about what you would expect from a Playstation console. The gunfire and in-game voices sound good, and this is the first game I’ve played where you can hear your character’s pants rubbing together while he moves. This isn’t any major feat, but I like it when people put more detail into their games. The music is fitting. And different tracks are played depending on what your current goal is. The only problem with this is that, after playing for a while, you start to recognize what certain music tracks signify, and thus you don’t get surprised as often. The major problem with the sound, though, comes with the voice-overs. These are just absolutely horrible. Not only do the characters have cheesy lines; the lines aren’t even delivered well. It’s so bad its funny. 3 out of 5

   Game Play: If you’ve played Resident Evil or Fear Effect, you will have no trouble playing this game, as it plays pretty much the same way. There are cameras positioned in each room that follow your character, and you can do very little, or sometimes nothing, to change the camera angle. This has been a problem in other similar games, mainly when you are forced to fight a character that is off screen. To combat this problem though, the designers put in some character animations to tell you when an enemy is targeted whether or not you can see them. A good thing about the game play is that there are enough moves to dodge enemy fire to make it fun, but you are also limited in movement enough to make it somewhat challenging, and thus, more fun. But then the game also has to load every time you leave a car, and every time you use any stairs (remember each car has two levels). But just to make sure you don’t get too bored, there are numerous mini-games to play as you progress through the game. 3 out of 5

   Level and Environment Designs: Unless you happen to have unlocked the Secret scenario, you play through this entire game inside, or on top, of one of two trains. That being the case the level design fits the story, but after you’ve accessed the first five cars you’ve seen about everything the game will offer you. This is really too bad since it makes running through the train a real bore. And it gets even worse when you are forced; many times mind you, to run from one end of the train to the other. When forced to do this the third time I felt like the designers were getting a laugh out of wasting my time. 2 out of 5

   Multiplayer: No multiplayer! Shame! Whatever happened to the good old days where most games had two-player support? I think every game should have some sort of multiplayer function. It can’t be that hard to do. I say if Square was able to make a two player optional Final Fantasy game ( FFIII for those who weren’t aware) then every game can be at least a two player. No rating

   Replayability: You will replay this game for two reasons. First of all you will play to get the best of all seven different scenario/endings. There are so many ways to screw up in this that you probably won’t get the best ending right off. Although you probably will get the second best ending the first time through. But I personally think that having multiple endings is a lame way to acquire high replay value. A game should be replayed because it is fun, not because a person wants to get a different ending. The other reason you will play this game more is that we all get that craving to go around shooting terrorists, and this game provides an outlet for that. But that certainly won’t be enough reason for you to go through the whole game again. 2 out of 5

   Story/Dramatics: The story is probably the best part of the game. And it isn’t great. The story is pretty neat, but is supposed to have suspense and unexpected twists. The problem is that the big twist in the plot line wasn’t a surprise at all. You would have to be an imbecile to be surprised at the turn the game takes. The Dick and Jane books were probably more surprising. In fact the very first time I got a part of the story (other than the intro) I guessed what would later turn out to be the "big shocker." Forgive me for going off on a rant; I just want to let you know not to expect much. 3 out of 5

   Instructions and Learning Curve: This game has good clear instructions. They tell you how to play the game and operate your Playstation. And the learning curve is very slight. After playing for fifteen minutes you will know everything there is to know about how your character works. 3 out of 5

   Installation and Real System Requirements: Place disc with design facing up onto spindle in your Playstation. Close the lid. Press on button. –Simple. However, it barely uses any of what the PSX is capable of. 3 out of 5

   The Verdict:

       This game is OK…not good…Not horrible. If you’re a fan of this type of game then you should pick it up. There are definitely some crummy aspects to it, but if you can get through the first hour and a half, the game starts to become fun.

   The Good: Easy installation, relatively good gameplay, and voice-overs that are so bad they’re funny

   The Bad: Lame graphics, unimpressive story, no multiplayer, long and numerous loads.

   The Overall Ugly: This game can be fun some of the time but, overall, poor graphics, a lack luster story, and agonizingly frequent load times will have you wondering why you put up the five bucks to rent it.

   What it's Worth: I suppose that if this sold for Ten Bucks I might be willing to get it. But only if I really wanted a new game and nothing else was available. Otherwise just rent it, beat it, and return it.

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