Tango Strike is a superb freeware gem from Fallen Angel Industries, makers of such "klik" classics as Douglas Circumstance and Streambolt (of which you can read my reviews elsewhere on the site). The game's plot goes as follows: "An evil Tango army has risen to power, and it is up to your small team of secret agent operatives to shut them down. Johnson, the weapons expert; Vasquez, the firesupport; and Miles, the infiltration specialist, work together, each bringing a unique component to the team, insuring success."
Similar to Metal Gear 2 or more recently Commandos, there are often multiple ways to finish a mission. The very well made tutorial makes this clear: faced with a room full of enemy soldiers, you can choose to go in with guns blazing, or blast a fence with C4 to sneak past them without a fight. There are 16 huge missions in the game, with varying terrain, objectives, and secrets taht will keep you glued to the screen for hours on end. After you beat each mission, you earn cash to buy better weapons and special items for the team. You can even get bonus cash for exceptional performance; for instance, for completing a mission without killing anyone, with the fastest speed, or with all enemies killed.
The control scheme in Tango Strike takes some getting used to at first, but will become second nature by the end of the first mission. Movement is handled via the keyboard: the A,W,S,D instead of the more usual keypad numbers. Other commands are issued with a single keystroke, while the mouse is used to aim and fire your currently equipped weapon. You can switch between each of the 3 operatives easily by pressing 1, 2, and 3. In some missions, you have to rescue a hostage and lead him or her to the safe "exit zone." While the hostage's pathfinding AI leaves a lot to be desired (and is the main cause for failure for my team on many occasions), luckily you can order them to stop following you by right-clicking the mouse.
The production value of Tango Strike is very high - much higher than most freeware action games I have seen. A lengthy mission briefing before each mission shows you your objectives, as well as required gear to use. Co-ordination among all the team members is crucial to your success in this game, and you will want to replay each mission at least once to find out all the secrets (usually by blowing up suspicious-looking walls with the C4).
If you love Rainbow Six or other "secret ops" games, you will love this wonderful game that lifts the bar for freeware games up a notch. It's fun, varied, and always interesting - although I wish it were a bit easier for reflex-impaired people like me, and hostages a bit less inclined to get themselves killed.
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