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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
6.0
Visuals
6.5
Audio
6.5
Gameplay
6.0
Features
6.0
Replay
5.5
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Atari
DEVELOPER:
Paradigm Entertainment
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
December 02, 2003
ESRB RATING:
Teen
IN THE SERIES
Minority Report: Everybody Runs

Minority Report: Everybody Runs

Minority Report: Everybody Runs

Minority Report: Everybody Runs

 Written by Alex Fitzgerald  on January 16, 2004

Full Review: ?God, why do we always get the assignments that are impossible??


Ethan Hunt has had a rough outing within the last decade. Though there was the terrific first Mission: Impossible movie, the game that complimented the film really defined crappy video game licensing as we now know it. Years later, another Mission: Impossible movie would be made, which started out decent but eventually lost itself to the superficial fight scenes created by overzealous action director John Woo (why hath left Hong Kong cinema?). Everything else created in the name of MI2 wasn't much better, as items like Limp Bizkit's cover of the MI theme song threatened to melt your mind with the overwhelming stupidity. Recently, a new game under the title Mission: Impossible: Operation Surma has been put out by Atari. While the game by no means is as bad as the last MI game, it certainly isn't anything to get excited about.

The game's story is standard espionage fair. The evil SURMA corporation has created a program known as the Ice Worm virus that can get past all the best security systems there are, meaning that countless pages of private government information is up for grabs by anyone who knows how to harness the virus (not to mention that hidden porn collection of yours). Because of this, Ethan Hunt and his team must go in and stop the virus dead in its tracks.

Not a great plot but a decent one...so what's the problem? Operation Surma isn't very fun to play. While the game does a good job of ripping off elements from Splinter Cell and other stealth games in the genre, that's pretty much all that the game does. While this stealth formula, which consists of carefully moving about the level and staying in the shadows while doing so, would have been welcomed a few years ago, it's a different story in this day and age. This kind of gameplay has been used in everything from Spider-Man to Manhunt and it's gotten extremely old.

The things that Paradigm Entertainment attempt to use do little to broaden or further the gameplay experience. While you do get many Mission: Impossible gadgets, many are already staple gadgets of the stealth genre (thermal goggles, Retractable wires, etc.) and do little to heighten the situation. The game also allows Ethan to do a wide array of moves, but only in the places that the game instructs you to use them, thus cutting down on the scope that the wide arrangement of moves could of provided.

Enemy AI is another thing that this game is sorely lacking. Soldiers seem to miss you a lot, even when it seems like they should catch you. This is especially evident when you trip an alarm since there's little challenge in stopping the oncoming onslaught of enemies. You simply beat up the guy who caught you and, when you're done, run to the alarm to turn it off. There's no period of heightened alert, no increased guard duty...nothing. When the alarm turns off, everything's back to normal. It's like it never even happened.

Operation Surma looks okay, but is nothing astounding. Each character has a good amount of detail, athough the character models don't look that good once they enter their stilted animations. The environments feel all too familiar and the sheer amount of shadowy areas for you to hide in seems somewhat laughable. Despite the fact that nothing is remarkably pleasing to the eyes though, the game still runs into slowdown on a normal basis, which can be annoying as hell when you're in the middle of doing something difficult.

Audio in Operation Surma is also nothing to write home about. Sound effects are authentic sounding but nothing remarkable, and the lack of variety between them makes the game feel a little drier. The music works well within the game's setting, doing its job to heighten the mood and fit the situation. Voice acting is where the game really suffers, as the voice actor who plays Ethan Hunt and even the character played by Ving Rhames both under emote on many of their lines.

Bottom Line
Mission: Impossible: Operation Surma isn't a terrible game by any means, but it just presents absolutely nothing new to a genre already bursting at the seams with titles. Still though, if you're a Mission: Impossible or stealth game nut, then Operation Surma wouldn't be a bad rental option. Everybody else should steer clear and think about accepting missions of other stealth games instead of this one.


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