I’m sure everyone knows who Tom Cruise is and most have watched his two Mission Impossible movies. This new title doesn’t leverage on his and the movie’s popularity, but instead has a new cast of characters and new storyline. This may have been a good idea, considering what fate have befallen games from movies. The game shows plenty signs of promise but can that promise be turned into a great gaming experience? Not quite.
One of the biggest ’requirements’ when creating a game under the Mission Impossible franchise is to have an intriguing storyline. Like the movies, it would be quite difficult to enjoy a game of M:I without some twists and turns. Luckily for us this is one thing Paradigm does right. You play as Ethan Hunt, skillful in all categories and who is equipped with almost every gadget you could imagine. You get support from other characters you will meet throughout the game and this is really where the story comes into play. The story of Operation Surma is pretty standard for M:I and stealth titles alike, the international conglomerate SURMA possesses a highly advanced virus known as the Ice Worm. So basically your mission is to get back the Ice Worm to save the world from chaos.
If you haven’t noticed, over the last few years or so, stealth action titles are becoming more and more popular and we are starting to see exactly how much this genre can push out. With Splinter Cell a year ago, we truly saw some of the best stealth action ever created. Does M:I Operation Surma even compare to Splinter Cell, well in many ways they are quite similar, but Operation Surma does do a few things differently to mix it up.
The gameplay of M:I Operation Surma is pretty straightforward and standard for stealth action titles. Shadows of course play a key role in the game and are needed to stay hidden from enemies. The system is actually a lot like Rockstar’s Manhunt, in that you have a meter which shows how hidden you are in the shadow. The one thing that M:I Operation Surma does have that most stealth games don’t is a huge assortment of weapons and gadgets. Each gadget has a specific use, and there are so many it’s easy to get them confused.
The one thing that did strike me as quite odd was that the game wasn’t a full-on stealth title. When I say this I am referring to that the game doesn’t totally stay stealth like the whole time. Ethan is equipped with some good moves and at many points in the game I got in full out firefights with out the alarms being set off. Sometimes the alarms can go off at the oddest times and when you expect them to start blazing off the game stays silent. This does give you a little breath of fresh air from time to time though to be able to punch out enemies is always a fun task, but in the same instance it does take away from the true stealth feeling.
Operation Surma has its upsides being a pretty standard yet solid playing stealth title there are a few things though holding the game back. The main issue is that the game is very linear yet there is going to be plenty of times where you just don’t know where in the heck you are going. On your map it does show where you need to go but getting there can be one heck of a challenge. The map doesn’t depict the surroundings all that well. I know of several times where things were going well in a level and I would just get stuck because I couldn’t figure out how to get to the next part of the objective.
Like most stealth titles, Operation Surma consists of quite a few times of trial and error. You will very rarely get through a level on the first try and therefore you will have to replay the missions until you get them down to a science. The game at times can seem pretty bland, mostly because we have seen most of this done before and in many cases done with more precision and better outcomes. The game does everything right on the line of average and never strives to be anything more then that.
When you have a game like Ubi Soft’s Splinter Cell that truly shows the capabilities of the Xbox it must be really hard to be developers of other stealth titles to try and match the level of detail and precision of Splinter Cell.
M:I Operation Surma’s graphics lie along the same lines of the gameplay, average. The character models in the game have a decent amount of detail and they look pretty good. Ethan himself has plenty of character in him, and you can tell there has been plenty of detail placed on him. As for the environments, well they’re a mixed bag if you ask me. Some of the environments I was very impressed with, and others looked as though they were thrown together very quickly.
Overall the graphics of M:I Operation Surma are pretty average and don’t do much to hurt or help the game, but basically keep the same feeling of an average stealth title.
M:I Operation Surma is one of those games you have to be a fan of to enjoy. I am not saying you have to be a fan of Mission Impossible but more so of the stealth genre, because if you like the genre you will find the fun in the game, even with the faults. For those M:I fans you will probably find even more a reason to like the game because it does flow with the normal M:I themes.
It seems as though my favorite word throughout this review has been "average", and that’s because that’s exactly what this game is. It has its ups and downs, which come out to be a very "average" stealth title for your Xbox. Fans of the stealth genre or Mission Impossible should definitely give this one a rent.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.