Spec Ops: Rangers Lead the Way
Written by Shigamoto   
Tuesday, 22 February 2005
Now days there are more 3D war games than planktons in the Atlantic. Back in 1998 this wasn’t the case at all; Spec Ops were among the first 3D war games.


In Spec Ops Rangers Lead the Way you control two US Army Rangers through different missions. You and your buddy are sent where no one else dares to set foot, for example North Korea, Russia, Colombia and Afghanistan.

Usually the missions consist of blowing something up, often some sort of Anti Aircraft Gun or a column of trucks. I like the places where the missions are set, all situations and plots seems fairly realistic and challenging. However there are flaws when you get on the ground.

Most missions are set at nighttime, special ops missions usually takes place at night so that’s realistic. However the problem is that the game is far too dark for the player to navigate. Very often you find yourself standing on top of an enemy soldier. Using the night vision goggles does provide some guidance, but it’s still hard to make out persons and vehicles.

As you control two Rangers it is wise to have one with a heavy backup gun, such as a machine gun or a sniper rifle. The only problem is that once on the ground the other Ranger lives a life of its own. Sure he’s trying to help you but most of the time he is running in your line of fire and is acting slow.

The enemy AI is better though. A tactic that’s often used by the enemy is to charge a tank straight at you and to have infantry around you on your flank. When the computer commences this tactic you have to act very fast and swift (which isn’t easy with your no clue buddy Ranger).

Graphically the game is pretty neat, at least the environments. The Rangers are modelled poorly, and looks like some sort of doll made out of blocks. However the environments and explosions do get a major boost if you use a 3Dfx card.

You see the game in 3rd person behind the Rangers. This perspective can create some problems since the camera system isn’t exactly smooth. The camera instantly run into problems when you try to peer around corners, but the really big task for the camera is all the trees and forests you have to get through. Thankfully Zombie has added so that you can see the battles in first person to solve all the camera problems.

I really love the sound effects in the game. It’s a long time ago I heard something similar, the enemies shout at each other and when your big machine gun clears a path you really get that big powerful feeling thanks to the Sound FX.

Spec Ops do get better the longer you play it. The first campaign in Russia is a test in boredom and dark forests. However the North Korean and Afghanistan campaign is actually quite good at times.

I would recommend Spec Ops Rangers Lead the Way if you want to see how it all started and to play some good mission plot. But the entertainment value within the game itself is pretty low.

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Developer: Zombie
Website for game: N/A
Publisher: Ripcord Games
O/S: Win 95/98/ME/XP
Cost of Full Game:N/A.
Year of Release: 1998

Pentium 166 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 8x CD-ROM drive
Tested on:
Pentium III Mobile 850 MHz, 384 MB RAM, Windows XP


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