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Game Profile
PlayStation 2
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1-4
March 01, 2001
Winback: Covert Operations

 Written by AJ LaSaracina  on May 25, 2001

Full Review: The Winback!! A little old place where we can?er?winback.

Winback is the story of Mr. Jean-Luc who is trying to thwart the plans of an evil terrorist who plans to annihilate the world though a large bomb that will go boom. Typical story. Within the story twists and turns in the plot come, and it does come down to an enjoyable experience, with a charming story (although it's been done?500 times before?)

What makes Winback stand out in my opinion is the fact that it is a hybrid of Syphon Filter, Metal Gear, and Die Hard Trilogy (the 1st part). You can run, duck, roll, hide against walls and all the other neat-o special agent moves. It's really got a Hollywood feel to it which is hard to find. The coolest move in the game is the NECESSITY to hide against walls, come out and shoot, then duck back behind the wall. Giving it a more realistic feeling. Lets face it, running around John McClain style would get you killed fast both in the real world, and in this game. Executing these moves is relatively easy, although I don't like the fact that while running, you have to hit the duck AND roll button at the same time, gets confusing sometimes, but it's okay. One thing that pisses me off, is the stupid flicker when you get hit?hello, welcome to the 8-bit age?

The graphics in Winback aren't a leap above the others. They are however clear, and sharp. The textures are pretty bland, and one box you hide behind in level 1 looks like the same box in level 18. The animation of changing magazines, to bullets flying is right on, and again adds that little Hollywood touch. I can't really remember another game that I played where the sky was fully animated, that's a cool little extra also. Bothersome to me though is the animation of Luc running, it looks horrible, and seems real sluggish kind of like Parasite Eve's animation of Aya.

The sound in Winback is mediocre. Know what the soundtrack reminds me of? Some really bad techno/bass beats, kind of like the one found in certain parts of Mission Impossible 2. The music does do one thing different; it changes as your heath raises and lowers. You can hear the bullets fly around you, and hit the ground, nice touch. The enemies do have the same 3 annoying grunts and ?taunts? if you would call them that, but that's okay. Oh yes, the voice acting makes me want to vomit.

I like the fact that they included a nice multiplayer mode. Nice modes of play, and a ton of characters to choose from. Anywhere from 2-4 players can duke it out between themselves, or with bots on teams. Only one thing gets to me and that's the little maps, and the fact that there are only like 5-8 of those little maps, we need variety!!! You would think if they make the levels so bland they could include some kind of map editor ala Timesplitters.

Bottom Line
The game is fun, and does last long. The single player consists of around 25-30 missions and the multiplayer will have you playing for quite awhile. There are many modes, Free play, practice, story, versus, multiplayer etc. All in all Winback is not a horrible rehashed N64 title. Winback is a game that will allow hours of playing, and after it's been beaten, it's one of those games you can pick up for a quick fix.

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