You are in charge of an Anti-Terrorist Division (ATD) in Deadline. It's up to you and your team to free the hostages without any loss of life. While playing in real-time, you'll have to decide what to do. Research the situation and then pick your team members and arm them. Enter the mission and, when it's over, go through a debriefing session. There's even a videophone for negotiating with the terrorists and reporting back to headquarters.
There are over 17 levels in Deadline. The graphics include full-motion video, and the computer-controlled players can be fully controlled by AI, partially controlled by it, or completely controlled by you.
There are five different units - Rapid Reaction Force, Government Security Unit, Transport Protection Group, International Protection Corps, and Elite Military Operations - you can join during the course of the game, and you have to make it into all of them to complete Deadline. Sucessfully completing a mission and mastering the skills necessary will gain you access to the various units.
Deadline is a much overlooked precusor to Rainbow Six with very similar anti-terrorist themes and combined strategic planning / real-time action.
It uses a third-person over-the top perspective much like the original X-COM, except in real-time.
Deadline pits you against everything from fanatical cultists (some of whom you're supposed to save from themselves), drug dealers, escaped prisoners, and even a disgruntled MIT professor with a high powered rifle. But terrorists will be your primary opponents in the later missions.
Your goal is to rescue the hostages and neutralize the bad guys, but you're also suppose to avoid blood and death on ALL sides. This means that you're not allowed to drown your enemies in their own blood, and the majority of them must be captured alive for you to successfully complete the mission.
Deadline also allows you to communicate with the terrorists (to a limited extent) through use of a vid-phone and negotiation mode. You can also dedicate time to research in order to get more information about the terrorists, hostages, location, etc. The game is very well fleshed out with an extensive history behind each mission. But as the name of the game suggests there's a time limit and if you spend too much time twiddling your thumbs the hostages get executed and you're fired.
Deadline is a real-time SWAT strategy game that brings much enjoyment. Everything from the story and gameplay to the music and sounds is extremely entertaining.
Basically, you are the leader of a Special Weapons and Tactics team. Your job is to plan the best way to execute the assignments given to you. You divide your team into squads and then devise a game plan to capture the terrorists, or achieve whatever your current objective is. Once the plan is set, your men (and women) head into the line of fire. The main goal of each mission: make sure no-one gets hurt, and if someone has to be put into a body bag, make sure they aren't one of your men or a civilian.
The gameplay is quite interesting. Imagine a football coach showing his player a chalkboard full of X's, O's, and arrows telling him who goes where and what should happen. This is basically your job. You click on a little minimap of the area before you send your men into the fray. You can look at the files on your team to learn about their specialties (marksmanship, intelligence, etc.) to help you assign tasks to each squad. Once you have plotted the paths of each squad, you press "begin mission" and watch their little dots move around while listening to the cute little gunshot noises. If you planned correctly, all should go smoothly. However, if things become dicey and you must save a member of your squad, you may press the "live action" button to see what is going on close up.
When in this mode, you have control of the units you click on, telling them where to go, to walk, run, or crouch, who to shoot, etc. You can also click this mode if you just want to watch your team kick the behinds of the bad guys. While this mode is much more entertaining than watching dots move around, keep in mind that you won't be able to see the whole map and you may not notice if your other squads are in trouble. At the end of each mission, you are informed about who was killed or captured and how costly the damage was, and then you select a new mission and continue playing. Oh yes, the game is called Deadline because that's what you are racing against. You must have planned your strategy and accomplished the assignment before the clock runs out.
The graphics in this game are superb. I found them very enjoyable. The music was decent too, especially when you enter "live action" mode. The sound effects are cool, involving gunshots, doors crashing open, squad members yelling orders, etc.
Overall, Deadline is an extremely entertaining game. Although the controls are a little difficult to get used to, once mastered, Deadline becomes a game one could become lost in for hours and hours. If you are a fan of real time strategy games, you should not pass this game up. Enjoy!
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