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Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma PlayStation 2

Published by Atari
Developed by Paradigm Entertainment
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99

It's rather unusual to see a game based on a movie franchise that's not actually based on a movie. Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma is a completely new story for fans of the Mission Impossible movies to enjoy. I for one actually find this a nice change as games that are based on movies usually either stick to the movie plot and offer few surprises or are very loosely based on the movie and only have their titles in common. Either way the resulting games usually end up being major disappointments.

Operation Surma puts you in the role of Ethan Hunt. As you would expect Operation Surma is a stealth action based game which appears to be influenced by the excellent Splinter Cell. Like Sam Fisher, Ethan Hunt doesn't simply sneak around though and there are times when enemies have to be taken out. The game is the usual Mission Impossible scenario with an evil corporation about to threaten life as we know it. Ethan travels the globe as he bids to thwart the Surma Corporation in their attempt to unleash their newly developed virus, the Ice Worm. Ethan Hunt is loaded to the gills with all kinds of gadgetry such as the sonic imager, the ELP (electronic lock pick) and the laser cutter. Thankfully Ethan has a good range of stealthy attacks and an impressive amount of weapons to use throughout the game such as pistols, dart guns and even a gun that can disable security cameras called the EWG (electronic warfare gun). Ethan also has a back up team to assist him from time to time. Characters such as Luther Stickell and Jasmine Curry for instance.

Graphically Operation Surma is OK. The character models are the games strong point in that they look good and animate surprisingly well. There are a lot of manoeuvres that can be carried out in the game and they all seem fluid enough. The different environments throughout the game can look a little basic at times though and the lighting effects are not up to the standard of other stealth heavy games such as Splinter Cell. Still there are good motion blurring effects in the game and overall there is little to complain about with the graphical elements of the game. The camera can be controlled by the right analogue stick, which is rather useful as at times it does need a lot of nursing. Dips in the framerate are also a common occurrence although they never harm the gameplay.

You'll be pleased to learn that Operation Surma is deaf gamer friendly. Subtitles (or Text Captions as they are known here) are enabled by default and the cutscenes and in game dialogue are all shown in text, which is great to see. The text is quite large and very easy to read even when a good distance from the screen. The tutorial tips are also shown in text so you'll have no problem learning to master the games controls. You also have a stealth meter which indicates how well hidden you are, which is an impressive addition (although Splinter Cell had one too if I remember correctly).

Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma was actually a pleasant surprise to me. I thought it was going to be the usual drivel that we so often see with games that are based on franchises but in actual fact it's a good game. As a stealth game it's not in the same category as Splinter Cell but when played on the easy difficulty setting it proves to be less punishing and if you're the kind of gamer who got frustrated a lot with the difficulty of Splinter Cell then you might appreciate the fact that Operation Surma is easier to get into. The range of gadgets and moves you can do are also good and fans of the movies will certainly be happy with what's on offer. The camera can be a little awkward at times though and aiming with a gun can be frustrating and makes shootouts more awkward than they ought to be.

Overall Game Rating: 7.5/10
Surprisingly Operation Surma is a good game. Whilst the gameplay doesn't seem to have as much depth as Splinter Cell it's still a good addition to the stealth genre.

Deaf Gamers comment:
Fine for deaf gamers. Subtitles are enabled by default.