Available on: PC; Publisher: Viva Media; Developer: Black Lion Studios; Players: 1; Released: April 5, 2011; ESRB: Mature; Official Website
When gamers think about a military shooter, they generally think about first rate games like the Call of Duty or Battlefield series. Gamers think about these games because they are the cream of the crop, the best of the best, the Brad Pitt of military shooters; unfortunately for Black Lion Studios, their take on the military shooter genre is barely B list quality. Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops is like the red headed step child of Splinter Cell and Call of Duty because it tries so hard to mimic the in-game cutscenes that Modern Warfare does so well, and also the third person stealth action that is reminiscent of Splinter Cell. Although the attempt to create a hybrid of two successful franchises was a very admirable pursuit, it simply fails to grasp any kind of shock and awe that was apparent in any Call of Duty game and does not even come close to the gameplay level of Splinter Cell.
The appeal of Crazy Machines is strange. The narrative goes that I am at the service of a vaguely professor-ish colleague of popularly referenced smart guys (Einstein, Curie, etc.) and that I often have perform menial chores using engineering elements. Personally, I have never had to consider the proper trajectory that a basketball would have to travel to activate a steam powered hot dog cooker. Turns out that it’s a lot of fun.