- slide 1 of 7
- slide 2 of 7
Time To Get Mental
"Yet another MMOFPS?" You ask. Yes, it's another online shooter game and this time there were a few liberties taken to add a more mature flaire to the typically ho-hum approach of the multiplayer fragging genre. Netgame’s violent online shooter, Operation 7, is a mean-spirited son of a gun that isn't afraid to put players "in the s**t", to quote one of the game's many lurid slogans. It’s not like the other friendly, competitive shooters out there that take it easy with a lot of frag-for-frag events. If you have the gall to try out this no-holds-barred, camp-fest, then you’ll get exactly what was described.
- slide 3 of 7
Operation 7 doesn’t aim to do anything particularly new in the genre with the exception of the weapons and character customization. Heck, once you start playing in the actual game an obnoxious announcer comes on yelling about not having a mission and just going out there to blow up some heads. Yeah, it’s one of those kind of games.
What Operation 7 lacks in gameplay originality (and possibly integrity) it makes up for with WMS: the Weapon Modification System. This is an extremely detailed system that allows players to customize, or in some cases, build their own weapon from an expansive list of light machine guns, sub machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles. To ensure that newbies don’t come running out of the gates with a big ‘ole gun, the parts for the weapons are broken down by level. So even if a player can afford to buy a certain gun at a low level, it doesn’t mean that players will have access to all the available or changeable parts. This nice little feature actually maintains a certain level of balance for starting players.
Outfitting one’s character with gear is also pretty cool because certain kinds of gear actually help affect the performance of the player. Night vision goggles enables night vision, sun glasses lessens the effects of flash-bang grenades or certain belts or leg guards afford players to hold or equip additional accessories. It’s a nifty system that not only helps individualize a character’s look but it also helps inculcate enhanced player performance.
- slide 4 of 7
- slide 5 of 7
This here is a difficult subject to measure because there are actually two parts to the gameplay worth discussing. In the beginning parts of Operation 7 it all plays out perfectly; the balance of the game and the weapons for new players is fairly faultless. There is even an option to turn on “Rookie” mode that limits the maps to training-style stages and helps newbies get acquainted with the game. These features are excellent for getting new players into the shooting spirit and, at the same time, without intimidating them with a lot of quick deaths and uneven match-ups.
The downside, however, is that once players graduate from the newbie beginner channel things start going downhill. Players who just come out of the newb channel are absolutely no match for the standard players. Unlike Combat Arms or Mercenary Wars, there is no in-between channel for players who are too good for the newb channel and players who aren’t high enough in level to use some of the more advanced weapons in the game. This creates a disproportionate imbalance that will see newb-graduates getting owned pretty bad in the standard channel, where most of the average players use level 15 and above weapons. And just so you know, after level 5 players are thrust out of the beginner channel and into the standard channels.
Nevertheless, some aspects of the gameplay are still highly noteworthy, such as the effects of the grenade which can leave players discombobulated when standing too close when they go off, or the weapons jamming if too much wear and tear are put on them. The leaning left and right is a great feature that work nicely and every stage except for the small Industry Town map provides excellent cover points.
- slide 6 of 7
Graphics And Audio
Operation 7 leaves little to be desired in the visual department and almost rivals the Modern Warfare-esque, Alliance of Valiant Arms. The game looks amazingly detailed; the weapons, character models and map designs are a visual force to be reckoned with. Each weapon and weapon modification set actually shows up in the game and an option to preview the customized weapon in-game makes it that much more awesome.
The audio for Operation 7 is literally on par with the graphics. Each weapon has its own distinct sound, and the in-game ambiance provides superb immersion for the intense battles. It’s also pretty cool that when listening closely, enemy footsteps and movements can be heard. This feature gives the game an extra measure of strategy for the tactics. Heck, even the music in the game sounds pretty awesome, featuring one of the best grunge-style soundtracks for an online shooter.
My only complaint about the audio is that the announcer is really obnoxious and actually detracts from the overall experience. His foul mouth about "getting mental" and always diving in feces is probably the most worthless voiceover trash I've heard in a very long time.
- slide 7 of 7
Operation 7 starts off great; the beginner channel and weapon leveling setup is pretty good. However, the game takes a drastic turn once players upgrade into the standard game channels where the level gap makes it horribly uneven for newbie-graduates. If players hunker down some real-life cash to even the playing fields with higher grade weapons then it’s not so bad, but for free-to-play gamers the experience just gets more and more tainted. A few more game channels with ranking limits could have easily solved this problem in Operation 7.
If gamers can manage to deal with the skill gap from beginner to veteran, the game isn’t half bad by a long shot. I’m tempted to recommend Operation 7 for the simple fact that the weapon customization system alone is almost completely worth the experience. The large maps and hefty cover points also ensure a lot of team-based play. However, if one-shot kills, highly aggressive competition and a lot of senseless blood isn’t your idea of competitive online fun, then Netgame’s hardcore FPS may not be for you.