Co-op games are starting to thrive, especially ones that bring two players together on a couch. Not that online doesn’t have its benefits though – we can’t tell you how many fun sessions we’ve had with It Takes Two lately. But the key to making a co-op game thrive is giving players a reason to continue on for hours at a time. Nothing beats making teamwork last longer than expected.
That’s the big thing holding back Operation: Tango, a flawed but still slightly enjoyable co-op adventure that has its moments of fun. With just a little more focus on gameplay – and a lot more replay value – it could’ve easily taken off. As it stands, it’s more of a unique curiosity, but one that’s still a look to fans of the genre.
The game pits you against a mischievous cyber-terrorist who wants nothing more than to unleash a heinous scheme. It’s up to a secret agent and her partner to stop them, if possible, by solving a series of puzzles and getting through each mission in one piece.
It sounds great, and Operation: Tango actually scores point with its stylish design. The visuals pop onto the screen very nicely, and give you a fantasy world worth indulging in. Not to mention the fact that the music is well worth a listen, sounding like something out of an old-school spy caper. The developers really did their homework here.
But the gameplay feels imbalanced. While each player has a certain role to fulfill, it almost seems like the Agent has all the more fun, while the Hacker is pretty much the play-caller. Again, important roles, but it would’ve been nice to provide them with some more balance.
Also, the puzzles are all over the place. Some are fun to solve and really make you feel like you’re a crack team working together. But others borderline on frustration, with the kind of design that makes you gnash your teeth. Some better development work would’ve gone a long way here.
And that leads to Tango’s biggest failure – its length. The game only features six missions in all, meaning you can probably breeze through all of it within a matter of hours. And there’s no replay value to speak of. Nothing that flips the roles, no new enemies to face, and no word on any sort of DLC for the game. That means it’s practically a “one and done” affair, which is more than we could say for the superior It Takes Two.
Operation: Tango has its moments, and its spy theme is one that could use more exploration in the gaming world as of late. It’s also very well done in terms of presentation, too. But the gameplay needs more oomph (not to mention balance), and the lack of anything to do once it’s finished make the dance end all too soon. This game could’ve used a little more cha-cha-cha.