Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising

August 31, 2004

[floatleft][/floatleft]EA owns the world of multiplayer FPS with its Battlefield franchise. Although something is missing for the gamer that craves a more tactical approach to the ensuing chaos of war. With Joint Operations the gamer is dropped into a battle with a multitude of gamers much like Battlefield, but unlike Battlefield the multiplayer is massive, as in 150 people massive. The maps span 50 kilometers of vast jungle environments. In essence this game is huge.

Playing online much like most PC games puts you at the whim of most PC gamers, however since the objective of the games is to take points, spawn camping then really becomes the whole point of online play. So feel free to lodge in an area and snipe away when the opposition pops up till that point belongs to your team.

Teams are broken up into Indonesian militia and the Joint Operations of various countries. To say the least both teams have great looking skins to choose from. If you are familiar with the class lists in Battlefield then Joint Operations has more of the same, each class bringing a set of weapons and skills. Unlike Battlefield however, medic classes can revive fallen soldiers making them a must have for any squad.

Games are better served when playing co-operative missions as opposed to the endless battle of point taking against a massive army. One person can not really make a difference minus kill a few soldiers from point A to point B. Co-operative missions pit a strike team vs. the computer Indonesian militia with objectives from secure and protect to seek and destroy. A team leader can set way points and go commands for maximum squad support. When this game is played as a cohesive unit, shines of what Ghost Recon should have been come to mind. Unfortunately the maps are the same again and again, and the A.I. of the militia varies sometimes leading to the enemy running right in front of you in panic never noticing your presence.

Since the game maps are massive, vehicles are positioned to take you from one way point to the next in a hurry. The vehicles control wonderfully, even the helicopters are easy to use to ensure you and the whole squad do not get wiped out because the pilot cannot fly. Boats, ATVs, choppers and various transport vehicles are all fun to use and control.

The game looks great, character models leave little to complain about, and sound of bullets flying by your heads really bring you into the battle. This game is very fun, although for a limited time once you play the co-operative missions over and over. The major online games are almost too big, and you can do little to sway the battle with that many people playing. King of the hill and of course death matches but are much of the same old multiplayer clichA