Operation: Pinkeye system requirements
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8200M G
- Storage: 100 MB available space
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: AMD FX-8370 Eight-Core Processor
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Radeon R9 FURY
- Storage: 200 MB available space
Steam Stats show 1hr playtime, that doesn't include an hour or so spend with the demo levels (first 1/3 ish of the campaign) so I'd put total clock time on easy/med at around 2.5-3 hrs.
Biggest issue is that I want more of it!! Pinkeye feels like an upscale PC port of a N64 Rare shooter (Think Perfect Dark or the obvious namesake Goldeneye) and it hits that target almost perfectly, including much of the jank weirdness those older games include. This includes starting the game out with a few open-ish stealth levels, before closing in to more fast paced and linear shooting at about the half way point, as well as the split between soft-lock hip-fire and the stationary aimed fire that those games included.
The aiming system might prove divisive, but I thought it felt pretty natural (outside of a short adjustment period and the occasional targeting bug) and it kept me focused more on moving and shooting rather than precise aiming which made most encounters lots of fun.
There are certainly janky spots like some objectives are very unclear in the early levels(a "Tutorial Arrow" option helps clear some of those up), and some shooting in tight spaces being hampered by your weapon lowering when near walls (even when facing away from them), and occasionally getting caught on doors/stairs when interacting with them. Though none of these issues were more than a minor inconvenience.
The runtime is a little short for the price, and lacking an arena mode or multiplayer, that is a bit of a drawback. However I'd guess there was/is more planned, as there are mechanics (specifically a section wearing a guard-uniform) that only come up once and then seem to disappear from the game. Some bonus levels unlocked after the main game do exist, but they're not long and there are only a few.
Overall, it's a fun, breezy shooter that I really enjoyed. I hope they add some extra levels post-release, I'd love to spend more time in the over-the-top world of Project: Pinkeye
I'm still working my way through this one, but given that it is a brand brand new title I've been itching to fire up a review and spread the word about this absolute banger! What follows is long, so the short version is: this game is beautifully bonkers, nostalgic, and of huge cultural significance to Scotland and the Scottish diaspora, and to champions of minority languages around the world.
Firstly, I'll speak to the merits of Operation: Pinkeye as a video game outside of its cultural context.
I grew up with games like Goldeneye and Timesplitters and playing Pinkeye is like a fizzing, joyful injection of liquid nostalgia from that era. This is clearly a labour of love with everything you'd want from a throwback tribute to the era - beautiful-ugly graphics, a cool variety of stages (think military barracks, docklands, evil lairs) and objectives (steal the documents, interrogate the general, bug the secret room), and fun shooting gameplay with a great mix of stealth and machine gun firefighting. The aiming mechanic works really well in every situation chucked at you and I enjoyed discovering the various weapons, with even the wee melee attack feeling like a nod to the "slappers only" shenanigans of Goldeneye.
Blasting through baddies you stumble closer to the glorious soul of this wee game and the more you play, the more you want to immerse yourself further in the bonkers Pinkeye universe. I haven't had this much fun in ages! The outrageously Scottish voice acting is terrific, as is the original score which both invokes its source material in 90s/00s video game classics while also sounding a bit like experimental electronic stuff in the vein of Burial or Aphex Twin. The rest of the sound design deserves a mention too for taking you straight back to long weekends playing N64 with whirring cameras, grunting guards, thunderous bullets.
As you'd expect from a fun game with a name like Operation: Pinkeye, the whole experience is thoroughly tongue-in-cheek; behind the clear passion for game development and video game history there's a cheeky sense of humour and a knowing wink to the player behind every corner.
The worldbuilding is absolute class and I love the lore hidden on PCs throughout the game, which function as portals into the unhinged Pinkeye universe, the story of which having obviously been treated with the same love and care as the throwback gameplay and visual style.
Given the above, I think anyone with an interest in shooters or retro gaming will have an absolute hoot with Pinkeye.
However, it would be remiss of me not to mention the cultural significance of this title. While I live abroad now, I was brought up in and spent most of my life in Scotland. Beyond daft Groundskeeper Willie stereotypes or dour poverty-exploitation crime or social dramas, there is a growing local confidence in some of Scotland's more colourful cultural traditions, which have received limited interest so far outside of the country. At the front of this little cultural renaissance has been a linguistic rediscovery as grassroots revival efforts have spearheaded the rebirth and growth of Scottish Gaelic and Scots. For a title to be released on Steam, for a game to force Valve to modify the language requirements of their whole platform, is a colossal achievement for this little indie game.
I also love the sense of linguistic playfulness this breathes into those beautiful languages. Why not "have a wee swatch" at your objectives? Lots of resources in both Scots and Gaelic can feel a little dry or dated, infected with the grey Calvinist spirit of the nation. It feels timely, alongside the release of a sci-fi novel written in the Orcadian dialect, that we can start to see playful, fun, video games released in our own languages. This brings Scots and Gaelic screeching into the 21st (fine, maybe the late-20th) century! Much like the way the aforementioned Aphex Twin played with the Cornish language in dance music, this game breathes life and joy into what can be considered musty or past-it languages by more boring and conservative commentators, and imagines alternative realities where these languages already had mass support and speakership. As such, it's hard to overstate my excitement at seeing a release like this add to the growing canon of these languages.
Lastly, this game functions as an interesting piece of satire at a strange stage in Scotland's political history. Nearly 10 years ago, we voted No to leaving the United Kingdom, leaving almost half the country who voted Yes feeling trapped, looking on with desperation at the UK's neoliberal right wing kamikaze mission. We are now in the purgatory before an inevitable second independence referendum, and the sense of Scottishness has solidified for many folk who want to see themselves living in a smaller, kinder, greener nation - one that they could hopefully build to be better at heart than our rotten Imperial past while the English lion refuses to concede its throne and convulses in its death throes. We have watched a procession of zombie Prime Ministers steer us against our will towards the void from their polished offices in Westminster and we have been powerless to stop them as they suck the life out of our communities and impose harsher and crueller austerity and anti-migrant policies on us. Imagining that we have a secret agent fighting our corner against this imperial violence satisfies a certain wish fulfilment as a progressive Scot, as I'm sure it will for many others.
Buy this braw game, my friends, yous willnae be disappointit!
This game has moments of greatness and definitely shows as a labor of love. However, the gameplay is very buggy. The game will randomly make enemies invincible, as they get stuck in some sort of animation. This forces you to break your stealth strategy and get close to the enemy in order to break their stasis.
The game also is just a bit too easy, even on difficult modes. The maps are pretty small compared to it's spiritual predecessors.
This game feels like it needed at least 4-6 months worth of development to be a real contender. But, right now, I can't say it's super enjoyable.
It was fun, but it had its problems.
I really enjoyed going down memory lane playing a game like this. Being from the States I have no idea what the Acts of Union are so I think I really just made up the story in my head as we played on. (subtitles were different from what they were saying verbally) You could really tell which levels were similar to Goldeneye and they were a delight. I really wanted to love this game, but I can only say "like" for now. Below are the things I complained about during my play through:
I agree with most of the other reviews where the aim style was odd and later found out that I had to switch it to "Normal" instead of starting you out as Classic. Some of the bad guys were straight up sliding around without their "T pose" and it felt like you had to be at a certain proximity to shoot enemies BUT at other times you could shoot someone from across the room.....I think I was also able to shoot through doors and walls with the bow.
Some levels felt like they could've been put together instead of being separate and that kinda made the game go way faster. (I also did fall off the map once at the Airport level and that was recorded in one of my videos)
I didn't quite understand the percentage for the score after each level.....and the description on the steam page says 19 levels though I guess I was only able unlock 15 of them. (First mission says mission 2?) I unlocked 2 bonus levels thinking something like "Aztec" or "Egyptian" but they're something else that was kinda odd....really the same level once you play them..... Perhaps I need to beat the game at a higher difficulty and maybe one day I will once things are smoothed out in the future.
Here is my play through of the first 3 missions: