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The graphics (a mixture of polygons and sprites) work very well indeed, but the sampled sounds, though functional, could not be honestly described as exciting. All in all, then, a fine release that US Gold and Creative Materials should be proud of. Be sure to sample its delights.
But Operation Harrier's main disadvantage is a direct side-effect of its appeal. You take it out of the box, have a lot of fun for a while - and then you put it back. That's no problem as long as you rate entertainment high over long-term lastability, but if you don't it might not be enough.
Although Rotoscape is indeed a novel and unique system, it can't save Operation Harrier from being a dull game. As shoot'em-ups go, it is very disappointing, and, despite a number of missions, there wasn't enough variation to keep me interested. A pity really, as it takes the Rotoscape system one logical step further with the addition of depth, but sadly it isn't enough.
Operation Harrier has its moments, but they're generally well spaced. The armaments aren't flexible enough to allow it to encroach on pseudo-sim territory, while your plane's not deadly enough to tread on shoot-em up toes. This leaves the Harrier wallowing in the turbulence of its own unique system. There's the sense that Op Harrier was designed around the Rotoscape system, rather than naturally fitting the style. This leaves the package strained, as good original concepts pull in different directions.
As aerial shoot'em-ups go, Operation Harrier is a disappointment - the scenario and gameplay are very unoriginal. Gameplay and graphics simply become monotonous the more you play the game. The Rotoscape which worked so well in Rotox, loses its novelty here, and perhaps should be kept to outer space. If US Gold want to cut it with aerial shoot'em-up fans, it will have to do better than this.
Hat man mal wieder einen Vogel in den Bach oder sonstwohin geschmissen, wird man von dem vorgesetzten Offizier mir ein paar warmen Worten bedacht, bevor man derart angespornt, sein Glück noch zweimal versuchen kann, bis das erlösende Game-Over auf dem Schirm erscheint. Kurzum: Ein durchschnittliches Flugzeugballerspiel, das auch für Fans dieser Art Spiele kein Muß darstellt.