Operation Darkness - hands on

Fortunately, even if you’re not into Operation Darkness’s groove, the gameplay is still deep enough to warrant interest. This is a tactical role-playing game with a fast-paced, war-like atmosphere that plays more rapidly than you may have guessed. It's also decidedly non-linear. After the introduction, you can freely choose where to go (battle) next on the map. Each location is fairly relevant to the main story and eventually leads to more missions and story sequences in a non-linear sort of way.

The open-endness also carries into the actual battles, where you can set up unique cover tactics. These include “trapping” enemies that get close to your squad-mates and other neat set-ups. Even with its fantasized set-up, Operation Darkness also attempts to be more “real” than your average SRPG: a gun's weight make a difference in your movement speed and strategy, for example.