This review is based on demo 2.3
Operation: Pinkeye is a first-person shooter and spy game inspired by GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 as well as other retro classics such as The World is Not Enough, Perfect Dark, and the Timesplitters series. Set in an alternate universe where the United Kingdom never formed, Scottish Secret Service agent Ken Maxwell is assigned to a series of critical missions. If Ken fails any of his objectives, England would invade Scotland in a heartbeat!
Developer: Stormplay Games
The Scottish Secret Service? How do I sign up?
You receive assignments from your employer, Big Man, in the form of emails. By replying to them, you are sent to carry out your tasks, equipped with a pistol for short-range encounters and a crossbow for precision shots, as well as grenades and tracking devices.
Owing to Operation: Pinkeye’s inspirations, the game uses a unique aiming system where the crosshair moves as you look around and automatically locks on to enemies on sight. You can also enter aim mode, which lets you move the crosshair itself instead of turning Ken around. If the aiming system isn’t to your taste, you can switch to “normal” aiming much like in PC shooter games. The default mode of shooting feels arcade-like and is satisfying to play with, especially when hostiles are rushing towards Ken and you shoot them one after the other.
The demo gives us a glimpse into what the gameplay will ultimately look like, with stealth-based aspects like shooting down cameras before the bad guys are alerted, hacking computers and bugging cars, and enemies who will quickly swarm you. While Operation: Pinkeye is a pretty well-rounded and excellent game, there are still a few rough edges such as baddies who stand still awkwardly, some glitches and even crashing in the latest demo build, which should be addressed in later versions.
That’s intense! Any benefits as a secret agent?
Just like the aiming system, the artstyle, and music of Operation: Pinkeye is extremely appropriate for the era of retro games it’s emulating. The graphics utilize simple textures and shapes, and all characters use a simple textured face. Likewise, the music (composed by SpeedyNoelle), also fits perfectly in a classic PC shooter, with suspenseful, thriller vibes to them.
Outside of the game’s alternate universe, one of its goals is to bring the Scots and Gaelic languages to further prominence. The developer, who petitioned major PC game stores to support both languages (all of whom do not have Scots or Gaelic in their supported list of languages, although itch.io supports Gaelic) hopes that the game sparks an international interest in the languages “similar to what anime and manga have done to Japanese.”
Although the demo is a little rough around the edges, Operation: Pinkeye is a promising return to the simple, arcade-style shooters of the past in all of their glory, with a modern touch. The game is both a love letter to the retro escapades of James Bond, and an intriguing way of turning them on their head. I’m looking forward to the full release of the game as well as the direction in which the story goes!