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Tiny Troopers: Global Ops – Review

Having enjoyed the original Tiny Troopers greatly, I was keen to see what the latest instalment into the top down shooter series would deliver. Previous games had fun weapons, dynamic gameplay and an arcade sense of chaotic fun as you went in all guns blazing. Not all of this has quite made it over to Tiny Troopers: Global Ops though. This feels like a mobile game that’s been upscaled and not refined for console.

This game has mines everywhere. You’ll be dodge rolling for hours to get through them all.

I bought the PS5 version on release day, such was my excitement. I immediately got into the game and felt like I was trying to wrestle around a character who didn’t run but floated. They would get stuck on bunkers, houses, trees, invisible walls and generally feel very soapy to control. The aiming seemed to be on point initially but when firing it didn’t always look like my shots were hitting where they should be, or sometimes they didn’t but would still kill enemies. The whole experience felt like I was playing a mobile game on console – floaty and imprecise. It is exact opposite of what I look for in a top down or twin stick shooter and it made a viscerally poor first impression. You are asked to collect dog tags in the game but I found some were almost uncollectable due to invisible walls and getting stuck in the world itself. It was as if the game was flaunting its mobile stylings in my face. I was not impressed.

Whilst the locations look nice in cutscenes, all that scenery will get in your way when you move.

I’d like to say Tiny Troopers: Global Ops recovered from that but it never really did. Whilst the over 30 levels each had individual maps, they were full of the exact same mission. Shoot waves of enemies, who also get stuck on the same things you do, rig bombs and blow them up and occasionally you’ll need to escort or protect an NPC. There are some standout maps that feel well designed but most of them are tiny forest corridors leading to small town or camp square arenas for a wave shoot out and then onward. You can do this with up to 4 players locally or online and online has cross platform play which is a great addition. If you play solo, you can buy troops to follow you around and they are helpful at times but equally quite lemming like too. It’s as if everything’s collision detection is slightly too fuzzy and so everything gets stuck too often. To make matters worse, each level if full of environmental furniture which would make for some great level design if it didn’t just get in the way. It’s a shame.

As you play, your trooper will collect XP to spend on more health, damage, new weapons, sub weapons and other helpful skills. You can also upgrade your CPU controlled friends too, which I advise to do only if you plan to keep them alive as otherwise when they die you’ll start again. Death is strangely underwhelming in this game though. You can revive teammates if you catch them quick enough, which is useful for your AI friends. They’ll never revive you though, so beware. The other deaths that are underwhelming are bosses. Much time is spent in painfully unfunny cartoon slapstick cutscenes setting up each villain, but they die so quickly. They have no more health than you do and can be killed in a couple of hits. Very little strategy is involved and on a few occasions I didn’t even realise the battle had really begun and it was over. Anti-climactic was a word that crossed my mind often. Difficulty in this game also seems to mean “throw mines everywhere” rather than have AI enemies think better, which is a shame too.

Some levels, like the chopper and boat levels, offer a different perspective and break up the monotony.

Yet despite all that negativity there are the odd moments where the DNA of the original shines. A couple of levels switch things up with bar fights or chopper battles and things feel fresher and interesting. There are occasional flashes of satisfaction and fun on the hardest difficulties when you lob a grenade or missile at a tower and it explodes gloriously. These moments feel far too brief and do not happen often enough. It feels strange to say it but I’d recommend seeking out the original Tiny Troopers 1 and 2 from 2014 and 2017 over this. Yes, they have some issues too but the joy of chaos and carnage is present and correct with those. This feels like a luke warm imitation, no matter how many chickens you can blow up.

Tiny Troopers: Global Ops
Final Thoughts
Some decent twin stick styled shooting ideas are dragged down by woolly precision, movement, collision detection and a sense of repetition.
Moments of genuine pleasure and fun to be had when it takes a chance and mixes things up in mission structure and goals.
Co-op can be local, online or cross-platform.
Lots to collect and upgrade if you want to, with multiple difficulty levels to challenge you if the game really scratches your itch.
Movement feels very floaty and you are constantly clipping on invisible walls or world furniture and getting stuck.
Not much primary weapon variety.
Whilst every level is uniquely laid out, the mission structure rarely changes and so it feels repetitive earlier than it should.

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