Review by SaOk
The overview starts with unnecessarily loose lines of the mission type. Then introduces the playable character, which surprisingly is not given the player indentity in the mission, finally followed by a suitable description of the mission. There is no picture which leaves the overview rather unnoticeable.
No intro is shown. Could have been a great way to prepare the player for the mysterious atmosphere.
The briefing looks dull on first sight, since there is only one marker shown at that time in the mission, and no clear insertion point. A small background is given, but the player receives no key information of the highly-classified operation. Only the first contact is given to the player along with preset sniper gear. A few more markers and pictures would have improved it greatly, but the briefing is quite decent and appropriate for the mystery mission type.
The player is dropped off on the island in darkness. After finding the first contact at the ruin of a spooky castle, the scale of the mission becomes clearer as only tiny bits of information are proferred from each visit. Finding suitable transport is part of the challenge which presents the player with several options. Should they infiltrate the nearby airstrip or boatyard? Chance comandeering civilian vehicles in local villages crawling with enemy patrols? Or play it safe and hike? What ever the player chooses, extreme warrior skills are needed before the slowly opening story moves forward by visiting various locations and meeting strangers with potentially helpful information. There are many different paths to choose and weapon caches to visit, even the final, main objective offers many different ways to complete it, but some of them make the player insane. The least difficult way is still quite easy to discover, so the player shouldnt get too much more frustrated if he/she had already managed to get through the earlier challenges.
The mission ends with a simple but great looking cutscene, which sadly is the only cutscene in the whole mission, as well as some quite fascinating captions of story. As a minor drawback, at least when played with Combined Operations, the final black screen didn't prompt the debriefing, and so ending the mission required aborting.
The mission uses a unique way to present information for the player. There is no listed tasks, sidechats or waypoints. All conversations and other information are showed as hints and preserved in action menu which is a quite clumsy to use, but bring extra mood for the mission. The system also reminds me of the good old times when all games weren't made for monkeys.
The amount of small details around Chernarus also gives a very unique feeling for this mission. Presenting us with much to see while the whole island feels alive. This also offers great replay value for the mission.
This mission is clearly, a very ambitious piece of work, which definitely makes it unique and worth a play. The negative side, is that it feels a bit unpolished regarding adequate, unsteady fps and also occasional error-messages, that you luckily see only with a modded shortcut. If you can endure the small issues of extreme difficulty, big travel distances and potentially bad performance to enjoy just the atmosphere and story, then this could be even an excellent mission for you. Overall, it's hard to rate this mission because it offers frustration alongside an enjoyable experience in one package. Obviosuly, with more polishing and a difficulty more induced by player actions rather than author determination, the mission would deserve a higher score.