Operation Winback 2: Project Poseidon PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by Simon Wigham  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

Rather than running and gunning your way through the game, Operation Winback required a more considered approach if you were to make any progress. But this was not a stealth game, but rather an action game, where taking cover in the many intense firefights was of the utmost importance. It was a refreshing experience at the time of its release and since Kill Switch and the forthcoming Gears of War have a similar emphasis on cover, is also a more influential game than you might think.

The games sequel Operation Winback 2: Project Poseidon is unsurprisingly more of the same and consequently less refreshing. However some neat and original ideas do accompany the well executed mechanics from the first game, although unfortunately there’s more problems present than there was in the first game.

Although, like its prequel it has been compared to Metal Gear Solid and branded as a stealth game by many, Winback 2 is neither. As both games share the duck-and-shoot mechanic as well as a tight time limit, it actually has more in relation with Time Crisis.

Winback 2 is split in to bite-sized segments, which is a good thing as on occasion the game can get rather hard and in this way the smaller levels certainly do work to the games advantage. Cleverly every level must be played through twice, with your performance on your first outing of any given level affecting proceedings for your partner’s route through the level. For instance one character may be tasked with unlocking doors to open up a route for his partner through the stage, whilst another may be required to lay down covering fire for his/her comrade. It’s a fairly inventive idea, but the lack of any form of coop is a a real missed opportunity to say the least and the serviceable competitive multiplayer modes do little to compensate for what is a bizarre omission.

The game unfortunately begins to feel a bit repetitive after so long, but it’s not the fact that levels must be played through twice that causes this familiarity but rather that the level design, whilst already appearing to be overly familiar for us gamers to traipse up on, begins to eventually feel samey in its entirety. It remains an enjoyable enough game at this point, albeit a tired one, but not quite fatigued enough to put to bed.

Winback 2, whilst a perfectly enjoyable game in itself is an inferior game to its ageing predecessor. Better level design would have perhaps bumped the score up significantly of what turns out to be a little more than average, though thoroughly intense action title.

6/10

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