Desert Operations

Realistic Military Browser Strategy Game - Build your nation, research technology and lead your armies into modern day warfare in a military strategy game where resource is king.

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Game overview

Desert Operations is a highly realistic military themed strategy game that is free to play and has a modern day setting. The gameplay revolves around familiar strategy mechanics such as building, researching, resource management and real time-based PvP warfare. The game worlds are populated and advancing your nation is a fun challenge as players navigate through mechanics like a dynamic weather system that could change the outcome of battles. In addition to that, joining social Alliances will be crucial for the late game, but there are there things to do like hunting Achievements which is rare for games of this genre.

Other aspects of Desert Operations aren't the best such as graphics and aesthetics, but that won't matter too much if you're used to browser-based strategy games. While Desert Operations is easy to jump into, it does have a high learning curve for non-military enthusiasts and there is a very slow rate of progression which encourages you to spend real money on Diamonds to progress things like building or recruiting faster.

➔ Main points:

  • Modern day setting with familiar strategy mechanics
  • Realistic depiction of military units, buildings and tech to reflect today's era
  • Active player-base thanks to more than 6 worlds to play on
  • Short and succinct tutorial to get new players up to speed and playing in less than 5 minutes

Trailer

Full review

What Is Desert Operations?

Desert Operations is a free to play modern day setting, realistic military browser strategy game. As the commander and leader of your nation in this huge game world that's populated with other players, your role is to build up your forces, take part in wars for supremacy and dabble in diplomacy to survive. The game features over 50 military ground, sea and air units that reflect their real life counterparts, in addition to numerous military style buildings.

As a new player, jumping into the game is easy. Once logged in, you get to select from a pool of servers or worlds. The game will always recommend the newest world to you, which means that the skill and progression gap between enemy players and potential allies will not be too wide. Currently, there are more than six worlds available, which is a good sign that there is an active player base here. Once in, the in-game tutorial begins and it's sufficient to get you up and running immediately, which is great as other browser strategy games tend to drag out their tutorials.

Gearing For War

While highly familiar in formula, expect a curveball as you learn to navigate military speak which poses an interesting challenge

At its core, Desert Operations is a social PvP game that will feel familiar to long time strategy players on browsers. The formula doesn't differ from other similar games out there. As a new player, your role is to build up your nation and armies as quickly as possible to defend attacks from rival players on the map or to attack them instead for points and resources. To do this, you must understand the game's resource and currency system. There are four main resources, which are Oil, Diesel, Kerosene and Ammunition. These can be accumulated through resource generation buildings such as Oil refineries. The main resources are important for training units and sending them out on skirmishes. The second set of resources are categorized as currencies, and you have Cash, Gold and Diamonds. Cash will be used for purchasing new research or raising buildings, while the latter two are the game's premium currencies.

A lot of what you'll be doing will involve building these resource generators, and the game will let you collect them from your buildings every 10 minutes. Resource will tick even if the player is offline. Therefore, the next time you log in, all your resources will accumulate and you simply need to click the icons above the buildings to collect them. Speaking of buildings, they are perhaps the most time consuming of processes that you will need to be aware of. Unlike other fantasy style strategy games, buildings take longer to build even in the early levels, and can be as long as four hours. This is intentionally done it seems to try and get players to spend Diamonds as soon as possible if they want to advance quickly.

Much of what it offers will feel familiar, but there is a freshness about it because it's steeped in military-esque authenticity as opposed to the overused fantasy elements that we've seen many times over.

Choosing Your Battles

The main aim of Desert Operations is to get you to engage in warfare, and the sooner the better. To start doing this, players must be steadily progressing on numerous fronts. Resource management, base building and army raising are the basics, but there's more to it. Another form of progression that's important are Points. These act as player levels, and the more actions you perform, the higher your points tally. For PvP to happen, players can only attack or be attacked if their points are between 67% to 150% of the other player. This ensures that battles are somewhat even instead of being one-sided. And remember, if a player's name is white, that means that they can be engaged or will attack you.

Once you have an army an have used Espionage to scout an enemy player's base, the real fun begins. Like most games in the genre, battle involves sending out your combat units to do battle. Desert Operations lets you insert units into three Fleets, which you can quickly use to do several things like defend, attack or scout. Sending out armies via Fleets are easy to do from the main UI, but take note of the weather on the right side panel. Desert Operations uses a dynamic weather system that changes from time to time to determine how long armies take to arrive in a location. The battle itself will happen in real time, but players do not get to witness how it unfolds until after the skirmish. As always, there will be a post event report that has a 2D replay to see your units in action. It's old school and the graphics aren't great, but it's still nice to have.

Other Things That Matter

Alliances are crucial to for the end-game as players need to band their armies together to take down rival alliances and score major points on the leaderboard

Now that you understand the basic gameplay, what else is there to do in Desert Operations while you wait for your nation to grow in time? One of the most important aspects of Desert Operations and other similar games will be group play, and in this case, Alliances. Alliances functions as guilds and they will be hugely beneficial for new players. Alliances gives you access to like-minded players to make friends, help with progression and obviously grow together. There will be leader-boards that showcases who are the best Alliances on the main menus for bragging rights, so there's always an incentive and a common purpose when joining one.

Another cool feature the game has is Achievements. For completing several objectives or overcoming the odds, you can unlock achievements to commemorate these moments, and it's something we see often in games today but not usually in this genre. While they don't offer any tangible benefits, it is there as something to chase in between the progression monotony.

Is Desert Operations Worth Playing?

Ultimately, Desert Operations will be a great game for war gaming enthusiasts that crave a realistic military sim. Much of what it offers will feel familiar, but there is a freshness about it because it's steeped in military-esque authenticity as opposed to the overused fantasy elements that we've seen many times over. And for a social game, it's good to note that there is an active player base which means that joining alliances will be easy and the in-game chat is populated for socializing or getting help.

Where the game falls short however, is through its blatant slow progression that definitely wants you to spend your cash to speed things up. The graphics and aesthetics aren't the best either, but if players can look past that then there's certainly a solid military strategy game to be found in Desert Operations.

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Graphics: animated artworks
PvP: guild or factions all vs all
Cash shop influence: high
Exp rate: slow

Originality
Besides the clever implementation of an Achievements system that's rare for browser-based strategy games, being a modern-day realistic military sim is quite the departure from the trove of fantasy based games out there which is refreshing.

What We Liked..

Highly realistic thanks to modern day setting and accurate depiction of military units

Active player base with Alliances recruiting across all game worlds

Dynamic weather system that can change battle outcomes

Achievement system that's uncommon for this type of game

.. and what we didn't

Slower than usual progression to encourage the purchase of premium Diamonds to speed things up

High learning curve for players that aren't familiar with military language

Graphics and artwork aren't the best to look at

No horizontal progression such as Champions to break the waiting game monotony


Fun factor
3.5 out of 5
Community
3.5 out of 5
Graphics
3.5 out of 5
8.1
Outstanding

Review summary

  1. What Is Desert Operations?
  2. Gearing For War
  3. Choosing Your Battles
  4. Other Things That Matter
  5. Is Desert Operations Worth Playing?

What we liked..

Highly realistic thanks to modern day setting and accurate depiction of military units
Active player base with Alliances recruiting across all game worlds
Dynamic weather system that can change battle outcomes
Achievement system that's uncommon for this type of game

.. and what we didn't

Slower than usual progression to encourage the purchase of premium Diamonds to speed things up
High learning curve for players that aren't familiar with military language
Graphics and artwork aren't the best to look at
No horizontal progression such as Champions to break the waiting game monotony
8.1
Graphics - 70 / 100
Fun factor - 70 / 100
Longevity - 70 / 100
Originality - 70 / 100
Community - 70 / 100

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