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Bits Studios
November 7, 2003

Rogue Ops

Most people pay attention to all of the hyped goodness of SSX 3 and Mario Kart while ignoring less visible games that might have some potential. Kemco’s Rogue Ops delivers a magnificent blend of Tomb Raider, Splinter Cell, and Metal Gear Solid while still showing us that it can do it's own thing.

What’s this game about, anyway? Nikki Conners, the main character, has joined the Phoenix organization in order to seek truth ever since she watched her family’s murder. After training for two years, she’s become a cold-blooded killer. From what we’ve seen so far, that’s a complete understatement. Some of the stealth oriented play mechanics are stuff we’ve seen before, but there are also plenty of fresh ideas here as well, not to mention the well-polished visuals and cinematic score. We took a look at this interesting title to see what’s under its skin.



In Rogue Ops, the player controls Nikki through several stealth and action oriented levels in which you must complete certain missions. In order to complete each mission, Nikki must sneak, kill, pick pocket, or otherwise make her way to her final objective. With any stealth-based title, you’d expect a certain amount of finely tuned AI and Rogue Ops is certainly no exception. The enemies and civilians all have a limited point of view which is shown on Nikki’s radar as little green cones, just like in Metal Gear Solid. Once someone notices Nikki, they’ll be alerted, not to mention extremely pissed off. Thankfully, just because you’ll be in their point of view doesn’t always mean they’ll spot you. Nikki can always hide in the dark shadows or squeeze into a locker in order to avoid being seen. Shadows can also be her enemy, though, since if you’re sneaking above the ground level in the rafters or upper floors and your shadow is cast on the ground, an enemy is sure to spot you.

Using stealth is very rewarding in Rogue Ops, not only because it will get you to your destination alive and unharmed, but you’ll also be treated to some brutal stealth kills. In some of the footage we’ve seen Nikki sneak up on an enemy, slam her elbow into his kidney and snap his neck once his knees hit the ground. That’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen. In order to execute a steal kill, Nikki must be near an enemy and out of sight for a limited period of time. Then the player must enter a string of directional buttons before time runs out. After completing the “code”, Nikki will execute the killer move and be left with yet another body to dispose of. Nikki can also search a person who is walking or standing around and pick their pockets without being noticed. This is a rather useful skill since it will minimize civilian casualties and wasted ammo. Ah, D&D has taught us so much.

word on the street

The buzz on this game isn’t strong, but after it was announced that Kemco had redesigned their lead character, Nikki Conners, people began to notice what Rogue Ops had to bring to the table. After all, blondes tend to lean towards the heartless killer type of character rather than brunettes. That is to say that blondes do indeed have more fun. In any case, while Rogue Ops isn’t the most anticipated title of 2003, it’s still noticeable.

press release notes

  • Mission success in Rogue Ops relies on undetected operations. Players can hide in the shadows, suspend from ceilings, seek refuge inside environmental objects like storage lockers or slide against walls to peer around corners.
  • Heightened enemy AI. When alerted, enemies investigate suspicious behavior and circumstances. Once enemies go to full alert, they never return to routine patrol.
  • Eight action-packed missions featuring challenging objectives in 8 diverse environments. Engaging dialogue advances the plot through surprising twists and revelations.
  • Extensive arsenal. Nikki's weapons include pistol, shocker, sniper rifle, crossbow, shuriken, smoke bomb, frag grenade, jamming grenade, remote mine and proximity mine. Depending on the circumstances, players must choose weapons that will not set off alarms or draw attention.
  • Cutting-edge spy tools. Field innovations include retina scanner, V.I.S.E.R., fly cam, thermal optical camouflage, adrenaline boost, communication system and grapple hook. Limited battery power on some devices helps balance game play and strategy.
  • Cinematically scored soundtrack. Dramatic music and realistic audio effects elevate the intensity of this amazing game experience.


With a mix of different action and stealth gameplay elements from other past titles, Rogue Ops could be a brilliant evolutionary title, or an insult to its influences. We’ll find out soon enough once it hits shelves. Personally, I can’t wait to see what Bits Studios has cooked up for us. While their past work, Sierra’s Die Hard: Vendetta was considered a failure since it didn’t have multiplayer, I enjoyed its fresh take on the genre and respect for the license. Stay tuned for further coverage of Rogue Ops.

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
Staff Profile | Email
"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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