48 difficulty levels and branching pathsThe terrorists present themselves in a number of different ways on screen: by popping up from different angles, rolling across the floor, emerging from behind trees, around doorways or behind crates and thus there’s a fair degree of unpredictability as you get dragged through a few different locations, including the interior of an aircraft, a jungle, a mountain-side, a restaurant and a crate-filled warehouse.
To add to the challenge, there are civilians dotted around the locations and although rescuing them is often part of the mission, you do need to be careful not to shoot them, otherwise you'll lose vital points. There are a good mix of terrorists and civilians in the game which ensures that you need to remain focused at all time, but the punishment for death isn't really effective and when you do get killed you simply start again from the same point.
If you do perform well you’re rewarded with EXP points that allow you to level up and unlock new costumes (err…great) and weapons, including a shotgun and a sub-machine gun.
In each mission you’re offered a number of branching paths where the game pauses and offers you a few options, where you might need to decide whether to save the hostages or defuse a bomb first, or whether to want to enter a room through the left or right hand door. Despite these multiple gameplay paths, in total there are only three missions and three different locations to play through.
However, as you level up further pathways are unlocked and as you become more efficient the missions become harder to complete, with more terrorists to kill and a noticeable shift in tempo. In truth, it’s fairly repetitive stuff, but perfectionists will still enjoy tackling the more difficult levels, beating their high scores or ploughing through each mission again with a new weapon.
Once you unlock each weapon, you can choose which one you want to use prior to each level. Although you do have a pistol as a secondary weapon, you can only hold one primary weapon all the way through the mission, so each weapon presents a new challenge. For example; a shotgun is accurate at short-range, but at long range you’ll need to have pin-point accuracy to take down the baddies.