Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising Review
Time for a joint operation as the typhoon rises in this massive shooter game.
Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 29th July 2004
Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising
- Developer: Novalogic
- Publisher: NovaLogic
- Release Date: 25th June 2004
With the success of Electronic Arts Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield Vietnam it’s no wonder that someone else decided to have a go at an online team based first person shooter and this is where Novalogic’s Joint Operation: Typhoon Rising steps up and not only does this offering share many similarities with EA’s Battlefield games it also brings a whole load of new ideas with it.
Joint Operations places you in an Indonesia thrown into chaos by a rebel military faction that has ousted the democratic government. To assist the Indonesians in regaining control the Coalition of Nations sends in the Joint Operations team, an elite squad made up of the worlds elite Special Forces from countries such as the United States, Britain, Australia, Russia and Germany. It’s their job to assist the remaining loyal Indonesian military and regain control of the region.
Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising is almost purely an online game with a number of training missions available to play in a single player mode. While these missions are fine to introduce you to the games controls and various vehicles they can feel a little unrewarding due to the games heavy online focus and it’s the online play where the game really shines.
As you would expect Typhoon Rising lets you play as a member of the joint operations team or as part of the rebel faction. Each side is made up of four classes of player, riflemen, snipers, medics and engineers. Riflemen are the core of the team and are usually involved in the thick of the action armed with various assault rifles and anti vehicle weapons. Medics can tend to team mates wounds or revive fallen soldiers while engineers can be used to rain down a mortar attack on an enemy location or take out an enemy aircraft with his Stinger. Snipers obviously have access to a number of sniper rifles and will pick off enemies at distance. Character classes in Joint Operations have been designed to compliment each other so it’s good to be part of a team with a good balance of each. For instance snipers that equip themselves with the target designation tool enable engineers to hit an enemy location with pin point accuracy to inflict maximum damage.
Just like in the Battlefield games Joint Operations lets you take control of a number of land, air and sea vehicles. These range from the humble rubber dinghy to the amphibious armoured personnel carrier, vehicles in Joint Operations are probably easier to control then in the Battlefield games and hopping behind the controls of a jeep or helicopter shouldn’t be a problem for inexperienced gamers as the controls used to operate them are practically the same as those used for on foot action.
Joint Operations offers four different game types these include several co-op missions, team death match, team king of the hill and advance and secure where you are required to take control of several key enemy bunkers while defending your own from the opposing team. Matches themselves can become pretty intense as some of the game servers available to play can support a whopping 150 players!
Joint Operations comes complete with 30 maps with some of them measuring over 50 kilometres, so even in matches where there are 150 players you can at times feel a little isolated, however NovaLogic have concentrated much of the action in a few key positions so unlike in similar games players aren’t running around randomly taking shots at anything that moves. However, the vast amount of space available in the maps can lead to some excellent sniper opportunities. The sheer size of the maps means it can be a little tiresome travelling to where the action is so catching a lift in a vehicle can on occasion be vital, especially when playing the larger maps. The maps also offer a fair amount of variation thanks to a day/night cycle which can offer a completely different playing experience on the same map. On the night setting things can get pretty dark especially in thick jungle where the moonlight fails to shine through however, you are equipped with night vision goggles and this effect has been done very nicely indeed.
When Joint Operations is in full flow the game offers a very impressive playing experience, with helicopters firing on enemy positions, mortar raining down on targets, team mates and enemies whizzing around land and water in a number of different vehicles it’s quite easy to get caught up at the amount of action going on.
Unfortunately, newcomers to online first person shooters may find the game a little daunting as it’s extremely easy to get killed, which in all honesty is very realistic however it can take a little bit of the fun element away when you constantly have to re-spawn. For example you can be on your way to an enemy location then all of a sudden you’ll be dead with no idea of where the gun shots came from. Having said that NovaLogic have included a mini-map that resides in the bottom corner of the screen and highlights the direction of gun shots when a member of the enemy team fires on you. It’s a good feature that comes in extremely useful when trying to locate snipers and other enemies that are taking pot shots at you. However, you must keep in mind that every other play has access to the same map so if you find a good position to fulfil your sniper ambitions its best not to stay there too long.
Lag on occasions can be some what of a problem in Joint Operations, especially when you first join a game your keyboard commands will seem as if they aren’t working when it gets really bad and then suddenly you’ll get a burst of accelerated movement before the game returns to normal. This unfortunately can put you in the occasional tricky situation and on a few occasion led to my untimely demise.
Graphically Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising is very impressive, with some excellent lighting and shadow effects. Character models are extremely realistic and the maps on the whole feature an excellent amount of detail with the lush jungle settings stealing the show with their dense vegetation and swamp like pools. Water in the game looks great and the transition of moving from underwater to the surface is amazing. As you rise to the surface trees on land and clouds in the sky become more and more visible with every forward movement. Explosions and smoke effects are pretty intense and add a real level of authenticity to the action going on in the game. Light trails from gun fire also add to the action as they fly past your field of vision from various different locations.
Sound in the game is ok, some of the guns sound a little under powered while explosions and voice commands have all been done pretty well. Engine sounds of the various vehicles are probably the most realistic sound effects in the game, everything from the boats, dinghies, hummers and helicopters all sound pretty much as they would in real life and this is complimented by some nice graphical touches such as dust kicking up behind a speeding buggy.
Overall Joint Operations offers a truly exhilarating playing experience, the sheer size of the game means that almost every experience of the game is unique. The amount of variation on offer means the game stays fresh for long periods of time and although is has its flaws they’re not problematic enough to spoil the experience it offers. To put it simply it’s a big first person shooter for big first person shooter fans, that is more then a worthy rival to EA’s Battlefield games.
Review Score: 8.6/10
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