Spec Ops Preview

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Spec Ops: Rangers Lead the Way and the Spec Ops add-on, Ranger Team Bravo came out on the PC more than a year ago from Seattle-based Zombie Interactive. Talk of a PlayStation version of the game has been circulating since the original game's development, however no one's talked until now. UK-based Rune Craft (responsible for the PlayStation version of Risk) is well into Spec Ops development for the PlayStation, and Take Two Interactive will publish the title upon its release.

The game will basically follow the storyline and gameplay of the PC titles: You select from a team of five US Airborne Rangers and embark on a mission-based adventure with strategy elements. Each Ranger has a weapon expertise. For example, you may pick a sniper or find that, given a particular objective, you're better suited to the grenadier.

Spec Ops (special operations, get it?) features five missions total, with three or four of what Rune Craft is calling "phases" within each. You must complete all phases of the respective mission before the mission can be considered complete - apparently, in the PlayStation version, you won't be able to skip objectives, as you could in the original the PC. The missions are based on actual global locations in the midst of some sort of political upheaval. For example, your Rangers may find they've been sent in to Bosnia, Iraq, North Korea, or even Vietnam, on a historical assignment.

The PC Spec Ops was an action game, but it was still probably heavier in the strategy department than the PlayStation version will be. Rune Craft plans to make the console experience more suited to the console gamer. Developers have completely revamped the interface, scrapping the old entirely and introducing a console-friendly face that's more intuitive and graphics-based. Perhaps following suit of other PC-to-PlayStation ports, developers have also sped the game up quite a bit, likening it to more arcade-style play. In this process, Rune Craft says, it has not sacrificed tactical depth.

Your mission information is passed along via satellite downloads and animated sequences that function as your briefings. These, too, have been redesigned from the PC versions of the title. Rune Craft is also working on beefing up the AI to make opponents a bit more savvy than before. The PC game's AI was not remarkably solid.

Rune Craft hasn't set a targeted release date yet, but we expect to learn (and share) much more before the game comes out. In the meantime, check out all the screenshots.

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