G.I.JOE: Special Ops
- Release Date: September 1, 2012
- Publisher: Syfy
- Developer: Syfy
- Genre: strategy
G.I.JOE: Special Ops is an action real-time strategy Facebook game putting you in command of the most iconic super heroes in the TV series of the same name. The game is developed by the maker of Syfy Monster Island.
The game pits two teams of players against each other: G.I JOE and COBRA. Players on the G.I.JOE team are based at the east corner of the map, (which is the only available map during beta phase) and those on the COBRA are based on the opposite side. Each base is heavily guarded by auto-firing sentinel towers and waves of units which protect the main paths leading to their base that the opposing team must destroy to win the game.
What would G.I.JOE: Special Ops be without plenty of the franchise’s iconic heroes built up over the past 30 years? There are a ton of characters with which to practice, and each one of them has different strengths and weaknesses, making even your first move – choosing heroes or villains including Flint, Duke, Jinx, Snake Eyes as well as Cobra commander, Destro, Storm Shadow and more – as tactical as the rest of the game. Experimentation is the crucial point to the game experience.
Since the gameplay of G.I.JOE revolves around controlling your individual heroes, you don’t have to focus on infrastructure-building and economic-management, unlike in most traditional real-time strategy games. Killing AI-controlled enemy mobs earns you experience points; when enough experience is accumulated, the player gains a new level. Leveling up boosts the heroes’ toughness and the damage they can inflict, and allows players to upgrade heroes’ skills that are bound to hot keys. In addition to accumulating XPs, you also manage a single resource: gold – The traditional resource-gathering pattern of RTS is replaced by a combat-oriented money system, you accumulate economic by killing hostile units, buildings, and enemy heroes for more. Using gold, you can buy items to enhance your heroes and equip them with new abilities. Purchasing gears that suit individual heroes is a crucial tactical element in the game，item choice will also greatly affects the play style, as most items may increase one statistics while decreasing the another.
I personally don’t really see the genre of G.I.JOE as a RTS game, although I suppose that’s where it started off. To me, it has almost everything that a great RPG should have – drama, real-world rivalries, tension, super abilities, character progression and the most important thing – plot, during the space of a battle lasting only 30 to 45 minutes. But there is an awful lot to go through in that length of period. When I cleared the battle, I just leaned back and breathed out a sign of relief in a way inspired by both the high-tension game experiences and great storylines offered by the game.
I admit that I have a little bit experiences with this genre, and compared to the people who seldom play Warcraft 3 RPG mod maps like “3 corridors” or “DotA”, I’m hardly a beginner. However, I’ve played for hours but still have not learnt all the intricacies of gameplay, the best play style or the best sort of character for me. If I was starting from scratch, I’m not sure whether I would be overwhelmed in the game and I can’t help but feel that a specific beginner’s battle lounge might be a good idea.
Although the game is always the same, but it’s always changing. The same map and the same objective (by beta testing so far) even the same heroes sometimes, but the experience varies depending on how the players play with heroes they have chosen. When the game has matured after it’s open to the public, more people will find ways of choosing the favorite characters and following exactly their own play style each and every time, but for now each attempt to challenge feels new and fresh.
The game offers a variety of game modes, created by the game host at the start of the game, and among which the most famous one is the random ranked match, in which a bunch of strangers just join another stranger’s game and play together immediately.
G.I.JOE: Special Ops is an absolutely fantastic game. It’s fair to say it’s a core game, and certainly not everybody will enjoy the measured, pressured gameplay, but it’s probably the most accessible game I’ve ever played in the genre, since it’s free-to-play and runs right on the web-browser, nobody will doubt that it would become a massive hit anyway.
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