STAFF REVIEW of Tiny Troopers: Global Ops (Xbox Series X)

Friday, June 2, 2023.
by Kirby Yablonski

Tiny Troopers: Global Ops Box art I am always one for a lighthearted twin-stick squad-based shooter that doesn’t take itself seriously. First released in 2012 on mobile devices and simply titled Tiny Troopers, the franchise was released on console in 2016 as Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops on the Xbox One. Fast Forward to 2023, and the game has gotten a sequel, Tiny Troopers: Global Ops. It’s a simple game, but one that does require attention as you play. So how does this cartoonish styled game fair? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out.

Although there is a story to be found in Global Ops, it isn’t one that I would classify as a deep and engaging one, and given the overall presentation of the game, it makes sense. You are a recruit who has joined a special operative squad. You oversee up to three other AI controlled squad members as you and your fellow Tiny Troopers make your way through the individual and varied six campaigns (or theaters of war as the developer calls them).

During each of the campaigns there are a set number of missions to complete, all with their own mini story leading up to a final boss mission at the end. The adventure through each campaign is presented through static cut-scenes. The dialog is totally B-quality, which in my honest opinion I think was the thing they wanted to do, as it adds to the uniqueness of the game. There are bad puns often, some cringe voice acting, and limited visuals during these breaks in the action, but it seems to add to the light feeling of the game. If my assumption is wrong on this, I have to say sorry ahead of time, but this is indeed what I think.

Tiny Troopers: Global Ops will take as long as you’d like to complete, as there are different skill levels, many collectibles to search for, bonuses for completing side objectives and more. I found myself going through each campaign and changing the skill level for each mission as I opened each one up, trying to get a higher score in each. There is a total of 40 individual missions spread out over the game’s six campaigns. I found that as I played it had a slight addictiveness to it. When I looked at how much time I put into the game before writing this review, I was kind of shocked to see that it was just over 23 hours. As the price of entry is low at $25.99 (CDN) that is some good “bang-for-the-buck” so to speak.

Given that this game is a squad-based shooter, there is some squad management. During the times you are in your Special Ops HQ you will level up not only your own character, but those in your squad too. From health, weapon proficiency, different weapons and skills to how you look via various customization options for your head, torso, and legs. You can definitely make your squad your own, given there are more than a few military based outfits as well as those that are over the top (e.g. clown suits). As I previously mentioned, you can play with up to three AI soldiers in your squad and you must manage them and keep them alive during each campaign. If one of them meets their demise it’s game over for them, as they stay KIA. You will have to substitute new character and level them up all over again, which uses the in-game resources (EXP) you earn for each mission.

The in-game action is simple, as you use both analog sticks, one to move and one to aim. You can switch between primary and secondary weapons with ease, and you’ll find some power moves (e.g. first aid, super speed, etc.) down the right side of the screen assigned to various buttons on the controller. It’s not a hard game to play. If I had to be honest, the AI soldiers aren’t the brightest bunch, and you will have to keep a close eye on their health, as well as keep them near you to take care off. There were more than a few times that I wasn’t paying too much attention and one would die as I could not get to them in time to resurrect them. Of course, the combination of me not watching and the stupidity of the AI was my demise. It’s not a game breaker, but it is one thing that you should be aware of given that attention you need to pay to them. What I found myself doing when playing single player though is just going into missions with my own character, and not include any AI teammates. I was able to do get through many missions this way, and not have to worry about others.

For those looking for some multiplayer mayhem, we have some good news, as there is both couch co-op and online multiplayer. While the latter is doable, you will find that there are very few, to almost zero, people playing this online. Not all is lost though, as couch co-op for a game like this is perfect. Sitting down with friends and/or family playing on the same screen for some Spec Ops action is quite fun. Yelling at your those in the same room as you to catch up or cover you is a blast, and harkens back to those games of yesteryear before the world wide web was developed and consoles went online. And besides, it’s easier to blame someone in the same room for your characters untimely death then just yelling at the computer AI.

The overall presentation is one that is pleasing to the eye, given it leans more on the cartoonish side of things. Each campaign has a different look to it, be it fighting in the desert, through mountainous valleys, or making your way across an enemy airport to name a few. You won’t get bored by the same visuals through the whole game which is nice. Character models are very much on the cute side with big round heads, different torsos, and oversized weapons. The looks match the high-pitched cartoonish voice acting as well. If you are looking for some good lighting, shadowing, etc, you find it here, just don’t expect the jaw dropping visuals of true current generation games. Although the Xbox Store indicates that this game is X|S enhanced, I can honestly say that I don’t know how, as it doesn’t push the hardware much if at all, but again, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad looking game.

At the end of the day Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is a nice follow up to Joint Ops, and even if you haven’t played any of the games on mobile, PC or on console, there is some fun to be had here. Fans of third-person twin-stick shooters will enjoy their time with Tiny Troopers: Global Ops, and those looking for a fun couch co-op experience should look no further. We can’t forget those that may need a break from all the heavy AAA titles on the Xbox Store too, as they should be open to looking at this relatively inexpensive game that is a nice break from the normal. Go ahead, shoot some terrorists in a setting that should bring a smile or two to your face as you play.

**Tiny Troopers: Global Ops was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 7.5 / 10
Sound: 6.8 / 10


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