Hazard Ops Preview | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Hazard Ops Preview




Hazard Ops is a third person online shooter developed by Yingpei Games, The game is in the Beta test phase of development at the moment but I was lucky enough to get access and here’s my impressions so far.

First of all there is a back story to Hazard Ops that the game itself doesn’t really go into but you can read up on the story from the Hazard Ops website.

“It’s the early 21st century and nightmarish monsters are on a rampage throughout the world. It’s your job to stop all the mutants, zombies and even dinosaurs from destroying the planet as we know it. As a gun for hire, you’ve joined the ICF (International Coalition Forces) to claim your stake in saving the world… Fortune! Killing monsters for money is better than any day-job you can imagine!”

From what I have played in this closed Beta the story really doesn’t mean much at all, but who cares when you can have this much fun?

When you start the game the first thing you will need to do is create your Merc, pretty standard options apply here, you can pick gender, race, hairstyle, clothing options and so on. Hazard ops looks pretty good visually, I think it could probably do with a little more TLC before the game is released but with this being a Beta there’s still plenty of time for that to happen.

The controls are simple and easy to use with personalised key binding options available and normal WSAD controls set as the default. It’s a very simple game to get into, after a couple of training missions you will be pretty much prepared for what Hazard Ops will throw at you.

There are two main game types, you have your standard PvP play that includes the likes of team deathmatch. This, to me at least, felt kind of generic. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable enough but Hazard Ops comes into its own when played cooperatively. When you choose the Co-op servers you gain access to a plethora of mission types that range from Objective based missions against well-armed forces to holding ground in a hoard style of mode or of course, Zombie survival. Some maps will let you fight with a handful of players but there are also “Massive” game modes that open up to many more. I did find that while playing one of these “Massive Survival” missions there were so many players in with me that I hardly got a chance to kill any enemies, it would be nice if the enemy unit count scaled up alongside the player count.

The gameplay is fast and fun, there’s no other way to sum it up. There’s an amazingly satisfying feeling to running and gunning your way through a level with a bunch of friends or cutting down platoons of troops with gun emplacements or Mechs that look like they have come straight out of Robocop. If you aren’t a fan of run and gun then you can play a lot of these missions as a tactical shooter with a fairly solid cover system. Personally I prefer the tactical shooter experience but I was usually put into games with people who seemed to want to clear each level as quickly as possible and I found myself being left behind quite regularly. The great thing about Hazard Ops is that you can play it however you want it to be played, there’s no prerequisite from the developers to dictate how you clear each zone and I have to applaud the freedom of choice that they have given us.

I did find some of the longer objective missions frustrating because there didn’t seem to be any respawns and the game will auto kick you after a certain amount of time spectating. I didn’t like this element and found that falling in the later stages of a mission meant that I wouldn’t get the experience or rewards for the entire match. There were also some stability issues that interrupted gameplay. Once every three or four matches the system would freeze, lag out and then restore after about fifteen or twenty seconds. That might not sound like a lot of time but in the fast paced gameplay it can be the difference between life and death. I will state again that this is only a Beta test and the main point of a Beta is to find these problems so that they can be fixed so I fully expect these issues to be resolved by release.

Lastly, and just to round this off I will talk a little about the levelling system that Hazard Ops has in place. You gain experience by completing missions and can acquire extra gear such as weapons, mods and armour by completing challenges i.e. kill 100 enemies in one day. Once again this is a pretty standard element for online shooters and there’s nothing ground-breaking here but it’s entirely competent in this regard. My final concern about Hazard Ops is the loot system, when you get your shiny new armour or weapon mod you can use it but you only have it for a limited time. Usually these timescales are set to a few days so you can get plenty of use out of it but it is a pet peeve of mine, I don’t like working hard for something to have it taken away after a few days. This isn’t unique to Hazard Ops either, unfortunately it is something more and more games are doing these days, it is something that pushes my buttons and I’m sure not everyone will feel the same way but it bugs the hell out of me.

All and all I really enjoyed playing Hazard Ops, it is amazing fun to play with friends and is diverse enough to accommodate all play styles. There’s a wide selection of weapons you can chose from to blow your enemies away and enough game modes to keep it feeling fresh and engaging match after match.

This is definitely one to watch.