Mortyr IV or Operation Thunderstorm reviewed by Brandon C. Hovey
Platform played: PC
Other Platforms: None
Price paid for software: $9.95
Place Purchased: Gamersgate
Overall Rating: 3.2 out of 5.0
Computer games! World War II! Resistance Fighters! Oh My!
These are tropes that have been common in gaming since the late 90s. When it comes to World War II games they’ve been around since the beginning of gaming: console and PC. World War II shooters have been popularized since the release of Medal of Honor (1999) and Call of Duty (2003). Their infancy can be witnessed in iD software’s Wolfenstein 3D (1992). Over time World War II games have been churned out like Ford Model Ts, they’re mass produced, and now they are leaning towards extinction.
Enter City Interactive’s Mortyr IV or Operation Thunderstorm. The reason why I purchased this game was simply due to the fact that a snow day was imminent and I was tired of playing Borderlands and the countless Doom and Duke Nukem mods, or watching Family Guy. I was in the mood to savor Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge too. I didn’t want to be without a good book if I was snow bound for four whole days. I wasn’t though. I’m still glad I took precautions.
Mortyr IV has ten levels. These levels are mainly close-quarters battle situations. You’ll fight in French streets, a Bavarian castle/Nazi temple, and lastly a factory that was thought by the developers to produce V-2 rockets, but I mainly observed Panzer IVs. The atmosphere of these levels is immersive, but in some indoor areas the player will find all these boilers repetitive. By boilers, I mean pipes and boilers! Didn’t the Third Reich’s Propaganda Minister Joesph Goebbels want his plumbing hidden?
Speaking of Goebbels, you’ll also cross sabres with Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Goering! By cross sabres I mean you assassinate them in a series of moderately difficult gun battles. This is the game’s weakest point. This is where the game’s World War II setting becomes World War II alternative history. As someone who takes history seriously I could get past this simply because I knew this was a budget game. Frankly though duking it out with Nazis armed with MP40s from Feldwebels to Reichsfuhers did get old. It was more than just the settings though it was the constricted and confused gameplay.
Your starting loadout in each mission is a knife, a P-08 Luger with a odd extended magazine holding fifteen rounds of 9x19mm parabellum. This weapon was never issued with anything more than seven rounds mostly. There were trench raid variants with 32 round drums in World War I, but the game is set in 1942 and even then the soldiers of the Third Reich were shooting more state of the art guns than Lugers: Walther P-38s, Mauser HsCs, Browning Hi-Powers, etc… This Luger is a decent weapon in this game, but incorrectly configured. There are Mauser K98 bolt actions with or without scopes. Due to the close quarters battle nature of the game, these weapons are not practical to use. Then there is the anachronistic Stg 44 or MP44, the grandfather of all select fire military rifles. It is powerful, but oddly enough no enemies wield it just the player. It is odd to even see this weapon unused, let alone see it in 1942.
There’s also the Sten gun and the MP40, both 9mm parabellum, but oddly enough, you cannot put your 9mm ammo from your MP40 magazines into your Sten magazines, so the player is oftentimes tempted to drop the Sten without consequence, and in doing so they are not missing out. These weapons are period weapons, but they are not necessarily the right weapons for the job. As these loud close quarter battles oftentimes require more firepower than just mere stealth and guile.
I cannot say the enemy placement is good, but I cannot say it is poor either. The enemy attacks in pairs or fireteams of four. Rarely will one ever encounter a whole squad of soldiers. Overall, this is a fine diversion of a game, but here are two major shortcomings.
First, there are cutscenes that interrupt gameplay to show the player conversations the enemy is having or troops moving in to engage the player in combat. These cut scenes interrupt the flow of play. But not at a level to where the game is unplayable or as choppy as Battlestrike: Force of Resistance a.k.a. Mortyr III.
Secondly, there are reloading animations of the players automatic weapons. When the player reloads the gun each time their hands cock the weapon. In reality that would eject precious live rounds. I did this once in training for an armed position and I was chewed out profusely by a Master Firearms Instructor. When merely performing a tactical reload one doesn’t have to charge the weapon over or rack a slide. I’m still waiting for a shooting game that requires the player to clear malfunctions and jams. Failures to Eject specifically with a Tap, Rack, and Bang.
Is this game worth buying? When priced at $9.99, maybe? I would say buy it for $5.00 definitely and no more than that. I enjoyed it to a point, but I’ll likely never play the game again.