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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

The Video Game Connoisseur

Operation Darkness-another World War II game where you control a British Special Forces Unit and fight against the Nazis. Except the British Special Forces consist of werewolves and psychics, and the Nazi SS Commander is a vampire. That’s the basic quick and dirty overview, and for many people that should be enough to decide whether or not they want to play this game. Nazis are timeless enemies, and no one complains about them being stereotyped in media. In fact, all Nazis seem to be the same no matter what book, movie, or game they’re in.

I have a thing for games, particularly RPGs, with historical settings. Three of my favorite games are the Shadow Hearts series, which takes place immediately following the Russo-Sino War, the outbreak of World War I, and during the Great Depression, respectively. Operation Darkness has now joined that list of favorites. The game follows the major events of World War II starting with the British-African Campaign and uses events in history as plot devices that you rarely hear about, such as the German effort to create a nuclear bomb.

The game plays a lot like the Final Fantasy Tactics series in that the game is centered on combat and the time between is spent preparing for the next fight. Before each battle is a scene with the characters talking which serves to advance the majority of the plot. Between each combat, you are given the opportunity to change weapons and items on your characters which you buy with “Kill points” earned by defeating enemies in combat, then you select a location on a map of the world that you want to go to. You then select the characters you want to take into battle. Finally, combat begins.

Combat consists of characters, both friends and enemies, taking turns moving around the field and acting. A character can move, then attack, use an item, or pick up weapons and items off of a fallen opponent. Every battle has conditions for victory and defeat. Defeat usually comes if a main character is killed or someone you’re trying to capture or protect is killed. Victory conditions are mainly killing all opponents.

As for werewolves, two of the main characters are werewolves and can transform in combat for a limited time. One character is capable of pyrokinesis, and the company’s medic has been experimenting with resurrecting the dead amongst other characters with abilities under your control. In fact, the medic is a reference to the author H.P. Lovecraft, father of horror stories. One of his stories is “Herbert West- Reanimator,” about a guy who discovers how to bring the dead to life through science. The medic in Operation Darkness is an American named Herbert East who fled the country after doing some frowned upon research involving resurrecting the dead. It took me a minute to realize the reference, but it’s the little things that make these games fascinating on multiple levels.

With most RPGs you have moments when you walk around and talk to people. Operation Darkness is just preparation, cut-scene, combat, rinse, and repeat. Combat can take quite a while; a battle can take up to an hour sometimes. The game would be better with a dungeon crawling aspect, but that would take away from the massive scale of the battlefields. I give the game an eight out of ten. The graphics aren’t the best I’ve seen, but the storyline and the way combat works is enough to keep me interested, entertained, and curious about what happens next to keep playing.