Review by Tyr_na_nog

"Derivative and passable"

Rebel Raiders: Operation Nighthawk is a derivative modern-jet fighter game with no soul, no flair and no compelling reason to be played. It is an arcade shooter and, as such, the controls are easy to pick up and the damage meter is very forgiving. You lose 1% damage for slamming into the ground at full speed and 10% for a direct missile strike. Also, your ammo is unlimited and weak and there are a ton of enemies, so you will be shooting a lot. That may sound fun, but the weapon types are very limited and not very inventive. There is a machine gun, shotgun, lock-on missiles and guided missiles and special weapons consisting of slightly stronger and faster lock-on missiles, back missiles and a remote detonation bomb and that is all. Most are no better than your plane in the training mission. There are only a couple of different fighters and one bomber. The box states that there are "23 futuristic fighters" which only is achieved by counting the different weapon load-outs on the same plane! Also, the "34 unique" missions includes only 16 real missions plus the training mission and an un-interactive prologue. The remaining 16 "unique" missions are the challenges, which are the original missions with time limits and target goals. And these challenges are not optional, as you must complete some of them just to progress in the story. Weak. All the missions are basically the same with the same enemies and the same objectives in different orders. The rest of the challenges serve only to unlock useless planes which are no better than your original one.

For an arcade shooter, the repetitive level design and lack of story could have easily been overlooked with variety in planes and fun weapons, however this game has none of that. The graphics are passable for this day and age, even though the explosions are lackluster, to say the least. The sound effects are decent and the soundtrack is run-of-the-mill ambient synthesizers. The most lacking area for this game is the lack of any sense of speed. This is supposed to be a jet fighter game and you can't fly above 2,000 ft. That is an estimate, as there is no altimeter. Neither is there an airspeed indicator, so you have no idea how fast you are supposedly going. There are three gears: normal, fast and fastest. The bomber is noticeably slower than the fighters, but there is no noticeable difference between the fighters themselves.

The best that can be said for this game is that it is cheap and it is easy to pickup and play. It can be beaten in a night and there is really no reason to pick it up again once you are done.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 03/28/07

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