WinBack: Covert Operations’ legacy is understated: it’s features one of the earliest examples of a cover-based system in a third-person shooter, and is credited with influencing later games in the genre that employ a similar gameplay mechanic.

Playing as Jean-Luc Cougar, a member of the Special Covert Action Team (SCAT), you’re tasked with infiltrating a military installation that has been taken over by the Crying Lions terrorist group. They’re trying to use a laser satellite weapon known as the GULF system, and it’s up to Jean-Luc and his team to stop them.

You must advance through a number of stages, utilising various forms of cover to effectively engage in combat against enemies. Jean-Luc can lean out from cover in a standing or crouch position, giving you a bit more flexibility. His gun is also equipped with a laser-sight, which helps you to line up shots. The cover mechanic is also used occasionally in light puzzle-solving segments, such as to navigate safely around machine gun nests.

Your progress is timed throughout the game, and you’ll receive one of two endings depending on how quickly you manage to complete it. The game includes a four-player multiplayer mode.

WinBack: Covert Operations was released as Operation: Winback in PAL territories. The game was re-released on the PS2 in 2001, featuring updated visuals and full voiceover.

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