Spec Ops II: Green Berets

Spec Ops 2: US Green Berets is the sequel to the original action-sim, Spec Ops: Rangers Lead The Way. The original game introduced a pleasing balance between the realism of a diehard infantry warfare simulation and the arcade-action of more accessible 3D shooters. Spec Ops 2 puts you in the first-person perspective and allows you to direct and control a squad of up to four Green Berets in multiple missions set in six different countries.

6_1As with the first game the player assumes the central role in the action. Buddy soldiers are there mostly for supplementary support, though often they do act decisively and save your butt when you may not have been able. Such instances are really predicated on the soldier’s locations, something admirably dictated by the player Squadmate controls (simple and reasonable function-key commands) and by a brand new Squad Control graphic user interface. With this interface you can quickly direct soldiers to assume critical positions.

Each soldier can gain experience as reflected by his rank. Higher ranks impart better autonomous performance (greater accuracy, greater awareness, faster reactions) and rankings carry over from mission set to mission set as long as the soldier remains alive. Soldiers in your squad are also assigned a behavioral template that helps determine their autonomous activities, everything from close quarter combatant to grenadier to sniper roles. These can be changed between missions as the player sees fit with no penalty incurred (you keep the experience).

There are also some low points. To put it mildly, the game is not finished. It suffers from bugs and certain crucial design omissions — your buddies will try to shoot through you despite their Beret training, and they often can’t navigate 20 feet across flat terrain without getting stuck. Enemies are little better, and often seem intent on running through insurmountable hillsides. You can only save between missions, in spite of missions being very complex and take hours to complete. With its bugs, poor save system and bad AI, Spec Ops 2 is in desperate need of a patch.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win98

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