PC Game Review: Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising
Novalogic slips into Battlefield 1942 territory with Joint Operations ó but is Joint Ops a contender?
Battlefield 1942 Meets Indonesian Rebels
I have spent hours upon hours with Battlefield 1942, both of the expansions, and the fantastic mod Desert Combat. Iím still a lightweight compared to friends I know who play online, particularly a friend from Florida who constantly castigates me for riding the bottom of the team ladder time after time. I defend myself by saying itís a team effort; my stealthy sniping and defending did indeed contribute to the win, but thatís just my own rationalization. Not to mention heís an addict and should be locked up for a week or so in order to attempt to break the habit. Recently, however, Iíve felt myself drifting away from Battlefield 1942 in search of another online FPS to keep me at the bottom of the team ladder.
Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising (see our earlier preview), a shooter in the same vein as Battlefield 1942, looked like it might fit the bill. Set in a fictional uprising in Indonesia after the rise of rebel insurgents, Joint Operations pits Joint Ops nations, including the U.S., France and others, against a well-equipped rebel militia. After the somewhat disappointing Battlefield Vietnam, I wasnít wholly ready to step into another jungle setting, giving up the varied terrain of Battlefield 1942, but the official site promised servers with huge numbers of players, massive maps and many vehicles, so I quickly installed Joint Ops and fired it up.
Packing my Bag
Joint Operations ships on a single CD. After installation, it took up only 800 MB of space on my hard drive. Initially, Joint Operations was a grumpy piece of software that liked to hang-up or crash on occasion; however, several patches over the couple of months since its release have brought many fixes and stability to Joint Ops, and my gaming was unmolested by any of the gameís earlier problems.
Joint Ops 101
The first thing I did, after firing up the game, was hop onto a server and play. I figured, ďThis is a shooter, after all, not much to know.Ē However, I discovered that this isnít wholly true, and although the required skill level for Joint Operations doesnít manage to be as exclusive as the Rainbow Six series online, it does offer more of a learning curve than most shooters. The manual offers a glimpse at whatís going on, and the in-game tutorials take over from there and manage to make the curve somewhat more gentle, although a few of the tutorial maps are difficult to overcome without a restart or two because they get ugly quick.