StoryYour Mission: You are a crew member of Vortex Rikers2, which will get a signal from the planet (Na Pali). The message came from 3 survivors of the old Vortex Rikers, the prisoner ship that crashed on the planet some months ago. Now you will be let down on the planet to rescue these 3 survivors. Unfortunately you were sniped down by a Skaarj right after you landed. New mission: Rescue your own ass. You are in a Skaarj prison, they destroyed all your equipement. You'll have to try to get out of the prison and find the old Vortex Rikers. If you are lucky it's computers are still working and you can send a message to your mothership, so they can come rescue you.... Overview Operation Na Pali is one of the best Single Player mods out there, with great detailed landscapes, intense fighting sequences, and great Cut-Scenes at the beginning and end of the mission, detailing what has exactly happened too you. There is a total of around 40 maps in the story, taking you to Old, Ruined...
I wanted to give it a 10 for the sometimes corny voice acting...but to be honest it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. The incredible level design and gameplay balance though more than makes up for it...especially the last few levels. If you are any kind of Unreal fan looking for more of what made Unreal so amazing, Operation Na Pali is for you. Incredible campaign mod.
This is just stunning. Between stellar level design, great length, visuals that even today can offer some truly impressive vistas, fact that authors implemented genuinely surprising gameplay elements like basic squad control mechanics, flight sections, or later on a teleporter device... this is in many ways what proper Unreal 2 should have been. Only flaws are related to writing - specifically to the main character. He is sadly neither a cool badass nor a successful parody of one, instead he comes of as annoying, rather dumb and sometimes downright malicious. Voice acting isn't helping one bit. Other flaws would be a couple of weak maps toward the end of the campaign (tbh, authors are honest about their quality from the get go, any player is later rewarded with truly stunning floating island environment for the finale), and relative abundance of gameplay-interrupting cinematics. Still, those are all minor flaws compared to the length and quality of most of the campaign.
In short, this IS a real Unreal 2.
Operation Na Pali is definitely quite a long single player mod with a fair amount of action and mild platforming. I'm sure back in it's original release time, it was great, as you got a complete single player campaign for free. However, the game hasn't aged well and drags on for hours. This was not a problem when it originally released, but the problem is that it's a very linear mod with an OK story/plot at best. You don't really have an interesting character to be invested in and you're not seeing too much new in terms of gameplay (same UT weapons, kill a few monsters, find a code to a door, jump over some games, crouch into vents, continue). And the extremely amatuer voice acting doesn't help the game at all, but it's understandable as a free mod. Cutscenes were good for its time, but are very underwhelming to look at compared to games of 2010-2011. I find myself tired of it at map 16 (I'm sure others would get bored even more quickly) and that's with about 8+ hours of game time. Apparently there are FOURTY Maps. I can't take more of that when I'm not having that much fun. Things get worse if you forget to save and have to finish ENTIRE LEVELS from scratch. There is no Checkpoint system, so either save from the UT interface, or remember that F6 is quicksave. I will give props to the level design - levels look nearly like "official" levels, and not some "basement amateur" crap.
In the scope of all the games and mods that are out there now, I don't think this is worth too much of your time unless you have nothing else to do. There's value in the level design and the extreme longevity (I think it should be shorter), but none of that matters if you aren't having that much fun - though fun is in the opinion of the specific gamer.
I give a 7/10, mostly for effort from a non-official modder/team, perhaps more worth a 6 based from my review, but I'll give some leeway.