August 14, 2001
Operation Winback - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price

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And they're toast.
The success of Metal Gear Solid on the PSOne almost 5 years ago now has prompted a rush of tactical espionage games of late, and particulary on the new Playstation 2. Games such as Extermination and X-Squad have made admirable attempts at improving on Konami's masterpiece, but haven't managed to fully succeed. Operation Winback is yet another attempt at the genre, although it is a little more action based, and while the graphics look a little on the dull side the action and inclusion of a 4-player split screen mode make this game one to keep an eye on.

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Plenty of health and bullets. Easy.
The story surrounding this game is fairly standard fare, but here it is;
You are Jean Luc "no relation to the legendary Captain of the Enterprise" Cougar - member of the elite S.C.A.T. commando force. Your mission is to regain control of the GULF Strategic Weapons System, Mission Winback. This satellite is capable of destroying several square miles at a time and it's in dangerous hands! The satellite's destructive capabilities have earned it the nickname "Sword of Angels". The terrorists make no demands. They plan to attack the European country of Argent indiscriminately.

You are dropped by a helicopter gunship directly into the terrorist base, after you lose the rest of your team. The original mission must still be accomplished; the world's safety depends on it. You don't know where your lost comrades are or whether they are alive at all. It will take all your cunning, stealth and ingenuity to survive; your skill as a commando will determine the fate of the world.

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The 4-player mode should be a blast.
Operation Winback is played from the 3rd person perspective (ie above and behind the player) which has allowed the developers to accurately represent all of the motions, including the thrilling "swing-out" feature, which allows players to use walls and objects for cover; pop out to squeeze off a few rounds and then drop back under cover as the enemy retaliates. The game also includes a laser sight for targeting, which works best while in this 3rd person perspective. The game is set across 31 different stages in 4 large areas and should keep gamers going for some time. But it is the 4-player split screen mode that promises to hold a lot of interest with several different game modes including Sudden Death, Lethal Tag, Cube Hunt and Team Battles.

While Operation Winback is unlikely to be a must have game as Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is certain to be early next year, there is still plenty of potential in this game. The graphics look clean, the gameplay should be frantic and it will be yet another 4-player game to keep people laughing during a get together. Operation Winback is set for release in Australia on the 5th October.