You know you're coming up on the limits of a game console's lifespan when something like Classified – The Sentinel Crisis is released. This is a disaster of game design on every possible level, filled with oddball design choices, miserable AI, and what has to be a first for the genre, a single gun available to the player.
It should immediately be apparent things are headed in the wrong direction when only three pages of the manual contain any information on the game itself. Actually, that's all the player really needs. Classified is simplistic enough that the need for any type of training is negated by the gameplay itself.
The player's weapon is a gun. One. Single. Gun. To be fair, it's a transforming gun, able to turn into a grenade launcher, assault rifle, sniper rifle, and in a classic case of video game logic, a rocket launcher. While it eliminates the need to run around picking up different guns from dead enemies, it's hard to avoid the feeling of repetition when you're always holding the same gun.
Controlling your character is a chore. Aiming is completely inaccurate, and landing a quick kill is entirely based on luck, not skill. It's not particularly important since the game contains no multi-player at all, but it makes the short five or so hours you'll spend beating this mess that much harder.
Even walking is a challenge. For a reason we'll likely never know, strafing sideways causes your character to move at about half the speed he usually does. It's illogical, disorienting, and is the reason for countless bullets being on target from the enemy's camp. The recharging suit worn by the player's character (stolen shamelessly right out of Halo) means taking a hit isn't a major penalty, though.
Foes have two types of attacks on their mind. Standing and shooting is their most prevalent, while running sideways and charging forward is their second. They rarely mix things up, and once they've begun their charge, they'll keep doing it until they're dead or you die from laughter.
Classified is that rare game that's so completely awful, no one will find it entertaining. It's frustrating that strafing is apparently a problem for futuristic soldiers, and the complete lack of challenge from the enemies is a disgrace. At least publisher Global Star is wise enough to keep these games at a budget price. Charging a full $50 would turn even the hardest of the hardcore gamer away from gaming forever.
Classified – The Sentinel Crisis is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood and Violence. This game can also be found on: PS2.Powered by Sidelines