Special Ops adventure in need of miracle cure

CanWest News Service
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Somewhere during the production of Conflict: Special Ops it appears everyone gave up.

More than likely, anyone playing it will do the same.

Somewhere during the production of Conflict: Special Ops it appears everyone gave up.

More than likely, anyone playing it will do the same.

Conflict: Denied Ops is about the Special Activities Division (SAD), a fictional unit of the CIA responsible for covert paramilitary operations. Agents of SAD do not carry any identification to associate them with the United States government. If captured, their existence is officially denied.

The game is a first-person shooter that puts players in control of two operatives, Lincoln Graves and Reggie Lang. With the push of a button, players can switch control between the two men.

Graves is a 47-year-old veteran sniper fresh from picking off Taliban and al-Qaida militants in Afghanistan. Lang is a 28-year-old football star who gave up a sporting career to join the FBI following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Their SADmission is to prevent a Third World dictatorship from getting its hands on nuclear weapons. They are to do anything necessary, no matter how ruthless, to dissolve the threat.

It will take them across three continents and pit them against the sadistic men who control the nuclear arms smuggling trade.

But their most dangerous opponents may be each other. That's because you can shoot your partner. In many games, firing bullets into a teammate causes no effect. In Conflict: Denied Ops, your co-agent's only protest will be some bland comments like, "Hey, bro." Then he'll drop.

No biggie, though. The game is designed around the expectation that Lang and Graves will suffer some serious hurt. Each man is equipped with a magical hypodermic needle that instantly restores the other's health.

It's not difficult to guess why the miracle dose was included. There are so many possibilities for harm: Lang and Graves are bumbling idiots in charge of high-powered guns; the developers knew players would become bored and try shooting each other; and then there's the heavy fighting the men will face in their pursuit of American hero status.

But then you encounter the incompetent bad guys and realize they'll never hurt you. They stand in clear view even after a comrade beside them has been taken down.

No, the real reason for the health potion is to force the gamer to play through. The developers must have feared that no one would return to the game if they had to restart it after being killed.

It's too bad because the elements are here for something great. The environments are beautiful and highly destructible. Players can shoot through walls to create sniping holes or blast open new paths to catch the enemy by surprise.

The agents of SAD are supposedly taken from U.S. Army special forces like Delta Force or Navy SEALS, or from civilian organizations like the FBI and SWAT. As such, they are skilled in advanced weaponry, guerrilla warfare, the use of explosives and evasion techniques.

Organizations: Special Activities Division, FBI, CIA Taliban Al-Qaida U.S. Army Delta Force

Geographic location: United States, Afghanistan

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