If you’re a fan of the Counter-Strike series or even the first person shooter genre then it’s likely you’ve heard about Tactical Intervention. It’s a FPS developed by a co-creator of Counter-Strike, Minh “Gooseman” Le on the Source engine.
This Free-to-Play shooter was officially released via Steam on October 8, 2013. It’s unmistakable after 1 round that this game is built on the Source engine. In fact it looks and feels as if I have been magically transported back in time to 1999. I immediately begin to feel the walls of my parents basement close in around me as I listen to the sound of my dial-up modem trying up to connect to CS 1.5 It doesn’t take me long to snap back to reality as I struggle to navigate the wonky menus and load out screens. Trying to configure your character is like trying to decipher hieroglyphics. After a few games I started to get the hang of selecting my weapons and configured my settings. I quickly started earning in game gold that I could use to purchase better weapons. This is where the twist comes in, you can purchase weapons and equipment using in-game gold or money from your Steam wallet. You can purchase these items as a 1 day and 7 day rental or for a large amount as a permanent item. This is useful for someone that doesn’t want to commit to a gun and merely wants to try it out first. While the option to purchase the guns with in-game currency does level the playing field of the pay-to-win scenario, it does make me wonder who would actually spend money on these items?
I would describe this game as dated but Minh Le does throw some innovation in with the inclusion of unique mechanics. Rappelling from ledges, using fire extinguishers to create a smoke screen, rolling to put out fires, and the ability to send in attack dogs are all fun twists on the classic Source experience. However, I can’t help but to compare this game to its competition where stale walls and objects coupled with poor lighting gradients make the environment feel emotionless at times. That’s not to say the maps were completely uninspired, in fact one game mode offered a Hollywood style car chase where I was able to strap into the passenger seat of a compact car and barrel down the cliff-side highway returning fire on enemy cars and hoping my driver knew what he was doing. It was a welcome change of pace from the regular online matches and one you’re sure to enjoy.
There were a few nice touches that I noticed in the screenshots I took, which weren’t as obvious during game play. The gun animations were spot on, as a round is fired on the pistol the slide moves back and the next round is seen sliding into the chamber while the spent casing is sent flying into the air. This level of detail adds a nice touch of authenticity that would serve to highlight the skill of the developers. Brilliance in one area seems to be overshadowed by flaws in others. The muzzle flashes from the guns block your view of your cross hairs temporarily and produce intense flashes of light on the screen and the character models could be better rendered. The good news is that the developers are still supporting TI a year after its release. They are adding new content and updating the servers as well as increasing compatability with the OSX version. It’s safe to say they will continue work on improving the game as time goes on.
My final rating for this game is a 3 out of 5. It was fast and fun but lacked polish. Comparing it to other options like CS:GO and the plethora of other FPS games out today it really doesn’t outshine any of them but the innovative mechanics make up for what it lacks in visuals. If you’re looking for a shooter that has a little bit of throwback and a dash of innovation then try it out. In closing , as a F2P title it’s a great find for some shoot’em’up fun.