Way back in 2012, a little game called Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops released. Based around easy-going and arcadey twin-stick shooting, it was a fun little title with a certain silly, child-like charm. I played the original in 2017 and was surprised by just how enjoyable it’s lighthearted action was.
Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is the follow-up to that now decade old title. 4-player co-op, a whole new country-hopping campaign, loads of upgrades and tiny opponents to deliver swift justice to, it does little to dispel the original’s vision of being a relaxing, silly and straightforward time.
If it’s an afternoon of simple yet enjoyable fun you’re after, Tiny Troopers: Global ops will probably have you nicely covered. Let’s find out why.
Soldiers R’ Us
Tiny Troopers: Global Ops follows in the tiny footsteps of its original namesake. You control a single miniature soldier flanked by up to 3 squaddies. Unlike Joint Ops, you can have your squad mates be controlled by another person, which is a big draw for smaller, more arcadey experiences.
As a twin-stick shooter, it’s fairly straightforward to get into. You move with your left analogue stick and aim your infinitely stocked primary weapon with your right analogue stick. In terms of setup, the main story drive is as fluffy as the clouds currently dropping snow outside my window.
Due to your squad of would-be action heroes being completely child-like to fit to their tiny frames, much of the dialogue is expectedly immature, with terrible puns, dad jokes and horrifically voiced lines being delivered in spades. It’s kind of awful, but in that amusing self-aware way. This isn’t writing or narrative setup to be taken seriously, much like a kids Sunday cartoon being watched by an exhausted parent.
The jist of Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is that it’s instantly accessible, with silly humour and easygoing wisecracking throughout. Provided you can temper your inner child when “Richard Baggs” gives you an order or you hear “Fire at will! Which one is Will?” for the 100th time, you’ll at least get a chuckle out of this.
To Arms, Toy Soliders
Embarking on the dozens of missions spread across 6 chapters, each themed on a particular locale and enemy force, you’ll be running and gunning more than Doomguy on steroids. Objectives are almost always reduced to “go here, grab this, escort them, survive 3 waves, blow up that” and so on.
The core of Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is as clear-cut as its story delivery. While it’s hardly revolutionary in almost any singular way, there’s a cathartic enjoyment of bobbing from section to section, blasting down hordes of enemies and collecting the various point-boosting medals and dog tags around the map.
Alongside your primary weapon (which can be upgraded from pistol -> submachine gun -> assault rifle), you can deploy a special weapon such as a rocket launcher, flamethrower or shotgun among others. Your little deliverer of freedom can further make use of abilities like an invulnerability shield, carnage erupting airstrike or eventually, even a self-handling drone.
Combat pace is frantic and chaotic, with you regularly having to dodge out of the way of multitudes of grenade and weapons fire. Despite this, on normal difficulty it’s a breeze and the consequence-free nature of the gameplay (you can revive/replace fallen troopers with ease) means it translates into a chilled blast through numerous levels.
While the gameplay and combat can be mindless fun for the majority of the admittedly short runtime, it is very repetitive. If you’re even remotely seasoned with twin-stick shooters or action games in general, you’ll likely notice running on autopilot remarkably. The lack of diverse gameplay design means you’re always either just shooting or holding X to interact with things.
I also noticed a couple of issues which disrupted the flow of the otherwise pretty smooth experience. Levels are aesthetically diverse but the boundaries of paths are annoyingly obtuse at times. A handful of times the objective marker just disappeared which was odd, though the linear nature of each level mitigates this slightly. Lastly, clipping into geometry and getting stuck while trying to evade a grenade is all too common – I lost more squaddies to awful clipping issues than actual combat.
While it has some problems with repetition and design, it doesn’t drag down the simplistic fun all that much. Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is an intentionally silly and ridiculously styled game and that still shines through despite issues that would otherwise plague other titles more significantly.
I sadly wasn’t able to try out the co-op mode but the opportunity to have 4 players all bumbling through this chaotic mess of explosions and bullets is deceptively appealing. If you have kids or you fancy an immature afternoon with a friend just firing rocket launchers at comically sized enemies, co-op has the potential to be a real boon for you here.
Look Sharp, Jarheads
Finishing missions accrues you points based on your performance in-mission as well as for how many collectables you acquired and your difficulty. These points are then used between missions in the central hub to acquire upgrades for yourself and your squad mates.
Primary weapons and specials can all be upgraded for increased damage and capacity. Your abilities like dash recharge, additional equipment slots and armour can all be acquired to make your life easier too. Upgrades feel genuinely substantial, particularly if you power up your primary weapon ASAP.
If there’s one minor criticism, it’s that the assault rifle makes the game a joke far too quickly. It negates the need for really being careful in gameplay. I’d advise against pouring points into your buddies until last as well, simply because when they die they lose their upgrades. I’m sure you can guess how many of my squaddies didn’t make it to the end of my campaign. Their sacrifice wasn’t in vain, I swear.
In the barracks you can kit out your team with different heads, bodies and skin tones, which is a nice touch. There’s a few outlandish ones alongside the vanilla outfits you’d expect in a military themed game. It’s nothing special, but you can at least rock a Rambo in your team before they inevitably meet their end via a stray landmine.
Call To Tiny Arms
Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is exactly what you’ll expect. It’s an enjoyable twin-stick shooter with a lighthearted tone and a silly atmosphere. While it’s simplicity can lead it to feeling repetitive and at times slightly frustrating, there’s a manic bit of fun to be had, especially if you have a couple of buddies to wage tiny war with.
Clocking in at about 4 hours, it isn’t the longest or content-rich package available, but there is some replayability value in finding all collectables. There’s also a 5th difficulty available should you battle your way through very hard. Whether the combat system can keep you entertained for that many playthroughs is a whole other kettle of warfare.
Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is the kind of chilled fun you can enjoy on a Sunday afternoon and provided you aren’t looking for anything deep or complex, there’s a silly time to enjoy for a few hours.
A twin-stick shooter with simplistic and accessible design, there’s a certain catharsis to blasting your way through various locations as tiny soldiers. It’s hampered by repetitious gameplay and a couple of frustrating issues, but if you’d like an afternoon of running-and-gunning through comically undersized enemies, this might just be the immature cartoon game for you.
Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is available now on PlayStation 5 (review platform), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, Series S and PC.
Developer: Epiphany Games
Publisher: Wired Productions
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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