When I first put the game in and the first mission came up, I was thinking I should just eject this sucker and bring it back to the store for a refund. The camera angles were frickin' confusing and the fact that there are no moving characters in the briefing sucks. I continued to play, and this game grows on you. You get used to the camera angles so you don't die as easily and the gameplay is very strategic. You need to actually think about your every move which is awesome. The story line is alright, I mean you're basically being educated about WWII but with fantasy. It would have been much better with cinematics instead of anime characters and dialogue bubbles, but if you can put that aside, the game ain't all that bad. The battle segments are long and fun, but it requires some brain power on where to move your team so they don't get killed and to put yourself in a position to annihilate the enemy. Overall, if you like strategic RPG's, this one is one you can play and enjoy.
WHOOO!!! RETURN TO FRONT MISSION 1!!!
This game is like the original front mission (that's right, the one for super famicom). I loved that game intensely, and played it through something like 20 times. Everyone complains about the camera, but i didn't have any trouble with it at all, the only real problem i found was gauging the distance you had to move, combined with the range of weapons, it's hard to keep all that in your head when you're trying to control 12 different little people, making sure 8 or 9 of them don't die. This game had everything i was looking for in front mission 3 and 4, and blew them out of the water. I've always been a FF tactics fan, i LOVE those games, but finding one that actually keeps your attention and is out for a next gen console is very rare. Anyone who played the original front mission should love this game.
A definite challenge
For those of us who love strategy, Operation Darkness is the game to buy. Taking place during WW II, you find yourself in the middle of combat only to be seriously wounded. When you come to, you join the ranks of a special group of soldiers called the Wolf pack. Everything seems like regular war until you learn that the Germans have recruited a deadly army themselves. As you battle against nazis, zombies, vampires, and powerful bosses, you begin to learn that your group has something special as well. Your team consists of werewolves, accurate snipers, a necromancer, a fire witch and more. You must lead your team to victory and bring peace to a warring world. I must say, this is the most difficult game I have ever played. Its not a regular strategy and requires looking ahead to determine the consequences of your actions. A wrong move could lead to failure. As others have noted, the camera is pretty frustrating, but for the sake of the story and gameplay it can be ignored. The opponent AI is very tough. In several campaigns the odds of your team willing is slim. You must make the opportunities and overcome the darkness. Levels worsen as your team fights against an army of tanks or magician nazis who can attack from afar. The cut scenes are pretty good graphically, but when you lose you cannot skip the briefing, which can be a bit annoying. The sound is pretty good. It doesn't really stick out, but provides good background music while your thinking of your next move. There are several ways to customize your characters and even more ways to win the war. Again, this is a very difficult game. I've given up a few times, but picked it up again every so often to get a bit further each time, but still haven't beaten it even after a year. For those who love a monster challenge, this is your game. Great game even greater price. The darkness awaits...will you lead your team to victory?
WHY ALL THE HATE?
Ok yes, Operation Darkness is UGLY. It's one of the UGLIEST if not THE UGLIEST game on the Xbox 360. But then you know what I always remember? GRAPHICS DONT MAKE THE GAME, GAMEPLAY DOES, and I personally think that this game is very fun. I won't go into a huge summary of what the story is as I'm sure most everyone already knows what it's about, but I will say that I think the story of Hitler being an occultist and using zombies and vampires during the war is incredibly cool and original. You'll need to lead your team through 27 campaign missions so you can get to Hitler and rub him out. PROS: Strategy gameplay is very fun, nice variety of weapons and equipment, team members have magic skills and transformation skills (werewolves) to help you get the upper hand in battle, you can search the bodies of fallen soldiers for more items/weapons/equipment. CONS: MANY of the levels are/can be INSANELY DIFFICULT. This is due to the fact that when you begin the battle there are a good amount of enemies to take out, but once you've taken out a portion or all enemies then a HUGE amount of more enemies appear that you have to take out. If you don't have any medkits and/or are low on ammo you better start praying for a miracle. That happens A LOT, so you really have to know EXACTLY what to equip on each character before the battle starts or you'll find yourself trying to pass that same level dozens of times. Also the fact that if a certain character dies or if any of your characters die (depending on the mission) it's automatic game over, and to top that off, the mission's where certain character are allowed to die..if you dont revive them DURING the mission they're gone FOREVER. So all that time you used to level up that character is wasted. OUCH. There's only 1 character that has the ability to revive a fallen comrade and if he dies...well...then you're completely out of luck. Like I said, this game is HARD. But even with the difficulty as high as it is I still find this game highly enjoyable.
Way to go Atlus
I have tried the demo and was completely amazed. The thought of a WWII TBS, was right up my alley. The graphics are not anything great, actually they look like they belong on the PS2, but when you have gameplay and story like this graphics are not important at all. The gameplay is great it act's like your old fashion clue board game roll the dice and move that number of spots. Here you have your characters that have different capabilities and who can move at different speeds and how far they can move; different weapons are different weight so of course if you are carrying a LAW weapon you are going to move slower than if you were carrying a Bren... This game is going to be great, I have it on my preorder right after GTA IV...Come on April 29th...Lol
Yes, the camera is indeed bad. But you can't allow that flaw to keep you from this seriously enjoyable game! It is a tactics game based during WW2 with fantasy thrown in to boot. True fans of atlus will see this for the gem it is and will become after the haters move on to another title! The camera isn't perfect, the storyline is a little off but come on folks atlus hasn't given out too many duds has it? Give this wonderful game a chance. I did despite the reviews I read and they do not do this game justice! It would be a shame to see such a wonderful game wind up in the bargain bin because people were too afraid to purchase it because of some reviews that really don't give the game credit for what it DOES do rather than what it does NOT do.
Doesn't look great but gameplay is fun
If you enjoyed the classics like Xcom UFO defense, Jagged Alliance, etc., then this game is for you. I highly recommend it. The graphics aren't great, but there is a real challenge to the game. The character development is good and the equipment is interesting. The critics really gave the camera a beating, but I didn't find it nearly as frustrating. Perhaps one's best bet is to wait for it to come down in price. I, however, could not wait and had to grab it as I was tired of playing the demo over and over again. The 360 is really hurting for solid turn-based strategy, but this is a good start. I hope Atlus makes a sequel to this game with a little more polish. For now it will have to suffice. Plus you can't go wrong with a WWII setting.
One of the Best Strategy games ever made
Operation Darkness suffers from little promotion and a niche category in Strategy Games. Atlas (who made Tactics Ogre) decided to bring a real strategy game into next gen consoles. There are a few setbacks with camera work during gameplay because this is their first venture. After that you will experience a difficult well written strategy. This Game seams to speak to all geeks with WW2 weapons, Zombies!!!, vampires, Werewolfs, and other occult themes. The strategy part of the game is still the forefront and is done pretty well. You will be annoyed by the camera for about 2 hours until you master it and if you don't train this game will make you pay. Still one of my favorite strategy games behind Final Fantasy tactics and Tactics Ogre.
A very bad SRPG
Where do I begin? For starters the camera. The camera is the worst item in this game. Since the maps are fairly large the camera only looks at the place on the map your moving too, so trying to see the map or what is around you becomes very frustrating. It also likes to hide in buildings, tanks, bunkers, and other objects making it hard for your strategy. The interface is slow. Example chose attack pick weapon then slowly move cursor over enemy fire. Wait turn. This doesn't sound bad but after a half an hour and only killing 4 enemies this becomes very slow. The graphics horrible everything looks the same enemies, good guys you can never tell were you at times, the only way you find enemies are they highlight the area on the field for you, but even then the camera makes it wonderful to find them. You have no map limited items and whats really bad is once a main character is dead that type of character is gone. Medic, Sniper, gone all the leveling finding the right weapons on dead bodies, all of it gone. Then you have to start over with a level one character and move on. This hurts after a good 2 hours of leveling. The last bad part of the game is you watch stills, and a video of WWII then fight. If your game is over you have to go through all the stills, and vids to get back to the game you can not skip these. As a strategy RPG I was hoping for a fun game, something like AT-43, but this game falls hard. If you manage to make it 20 hours you've pushed further then me. Good Luck.
Good turn-based strategy; rare for consoles
This game is pretty sweet IF you are a fan of isometric turn-based strategy games. I don't think this is the kind of game that would win people over to this genre of game like Bioshock did for FPSs or maybe XCOM did for this kind of game, but if you are already a fan of grid-based turn-based strategy there is quite a lot to like here.
Story is pretty cool.... I'll admit I'm still playing through so I haven't seen how things fully unfold, but it's a unique take: an alternate-history WWII which involves the occult, the undead, magic-ish stuff, etc. Graphics aren't great.... they don't detract horribly from the experience but they are definitely not a high-point. Sound is pretty good... gameplay is your basic turn-based strategy with both WWII weapons and some more super-natural combat techniques. You gain experience and level up your characters...... one complaint (and one that is easily fixed by playing a certain way) is that if certain characters die: the game ends. As long as you bring along enough "generic" troops, i.e. troops that don't play key plot roles: this game plays like a straight-up turn-based strategy game.
It's fun, there is a lot of content here, and it's one of the only chances on the 360 to play a game like this. Perhaps I would grade more harshly if I was stacking this game against the smorgasbord of similar titles on the PC or even the less-stout but still larger collection on the PS3, but as far as the 360 goes: this game could very well scratch that turn-based-strategy itch that some console owners may need scratched (definitely something I sore missed after switching from PC to console some years back). At least go into it with an open mind: I really found myself enjoying it despite having read a VERY wide range of review scores..... and it has the Atlus name on it.... that's usually a good sign in my past experience.