Winback 2: Project Poseidon

Winback 2: Project Poseidon is straightforward third-person shooting action at its core: run and gun down corridors with a pistol, hug walls and peek out for quick shots with the shotgun, or duck behind desks and crates to toss a grenade.

Since you're a covert operative, you'll perform dramatic evasion acrobatics, and even bang out a few switch puzzles, all while rescuing hostages. In an interesting twist, you only get ammo from enemies if you shoot their gun arm. Bullets are in short supply, so this is critical from the start.

What really sets Winback 2 apart from other entries in the genre, and the first game in the series, is the single-player co-op gameplay: two characters assault each mission as a team, but take different paths of attack. Though they work in parallel, each is played one after the other.

In an early infiltration, you lock a door to stem the enemy reinforcements pouring into another area. Take too long, and you'll have more heavily-armed soldiers than you can handle when you face the second stage. Just about everything is timed in one way or another, and each incursion is graded, giving some incentive to replay and hone strategy.

A handful of health points are shared between teammates, so just barely squeaking by in the first half will often leave you screwed for the second. While the missions seem abbreviated, the emphasis on finding and using cover to maximum advantage might extend their life a bit, and Koei is promising a large number of different objectives to keep you busy. Unfortunately, multiplayer is strictly limited to offline skirmishes.

Winback 2: Project Poseidon doesn't look like a new classic in the making. Its graphics aren't going to raise any bars, and the audio is full of cheesy banter. However, if the strategic team gameplay is consistently explored, it could be just unique enough to gather some new recruits.