Operation Darkness is a turn-based tactical RPG developed for the Xbox 360 by Japanese studio Success and released in late 2007 in Japan and most of Southeast/East Asia. It was licensed to Atlus for its North American release in mid-2008. The game was released once again in 2010 in Xbox Live, which also included a Europe-wide release in the same year.
A fairly standard take on the tried-and-true mashup of World War II and the occult, the game follows a squad of SAS soldiers - the Wolf Pack (Officially known to the Allied Military forces as K Company, 1st Platoon) - fighting the Nazis across the European Theater and eventually attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler himself to win the war for the Allied cause. The so-called Wolf Pack's membership includes Edward and Jude, a pair of infantry soldiers reassigned after their last mission resulted in the death of their platoon; Cordelia, a firestarter; James Gallant, the leader (and a werewolf); Keith, the point man; Frank, a close-combat specialist; Cynthia, a top-heavy Irish sniper; Herbert East, a medic and the only character who can revive dead soldiers; and, um...Jack the Ripper. A descendant of Van Helsing joins in the fight as well as a reanimated dead German soldier in a Jin-Roh-like battle armor suit. Together, they take on the German military and its allies, the Blood Clan led by a vampire officer named Alexander Vlado and his right hand woman Carmilla in order to prevent the entire world from being placed into total chaos.
Generally very poorly received by critics, the game has nonetheless found its cult following worldwide, most of whom will admit that it has more than its share of flaws (The nearly complete lack of any kind of tutorial, there's very little explanation of the effective use of cover mechanics, the abounding Narm) (that the entire main cast is voiced by popular professional VA's helps too) but remains enjoyable nonetheless as a result of its handful of unique gameplay mechanics and its straight-faced treatment of its decidedly ridiculous and somewhat Troperiffic subject matter.
This game provides examples of:
- Alternate History
- Artistic License – History:
- The SAS is stated to normally be based out of Hereford. In reality, the SAS wasn't based out of Hereford until 1960 (And were disbanded after the war before that happened)
- Cordelia is stated to have been with the British Army Special Forces since she was 13. The UK Special Forces was created in the 80's, and the British Commandos were formed in 1940 (Both are also part of all three branches of the armed forces). The game starts in 1942, meaning the oldest she could possibly be is 15.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Bet you didn't know Hitler was an archmage capable of summoning dragons.
- Camera Screw: Infamously.
- Even in the demo it's obviously bad. With all the zaniness inherent in the plot, you'd think they could go with more stylized design so the camera could move more freely.
- Dueling Games: Valkyria Chronicles, although in this title combat is not in real-time.
- Final Death: If Herbert East doesn't revive a dead ally by the end of the mission, they're gone for good. Any story centric character (Edward, Jude, Cordelia, or Gallant) dying is an automatic Game Over.
- Fur Against Fang: The werewolves are on the Allies side, and the vampires are Nazis.
- Genius Bruiser: Frank Gaunt.
- Ghostapo: Surprisingly enough, the main enemies of the game.
- Jack the Ripper: ...Jack the Ripper.
- Jiggle Physics: Attempted and failed with Carmilla and Cynthia.
- Knife Nut: Jack.
- The Medic: Herbert East.
- New Meat: Edward and Jude - at least new to the Wolf Pack. One would assume that Edward, particularly, couldn't have been in the Army for long at his age, but then again, Cordelia was apparently recruited at age 13.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Vampire Nazi mages. Driving tanks.
- No Export for You: The Mini OST can only be bought through Amazon Japan if you buy the Japanese version of Operation Darkness after reserving the game prior to its Japanese release.
- Officer and a Gentleman: James Gallant, all the way.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Pretty much every sub-category you might care to think of.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Wolf Pack.
- Refuge in Audacity: The main article says all you need to know about this.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: German tank ace Michael Wittmann voluntarily leaves a battle with the Wolf Pack in disgust over the SS's use of reanimated German soldiers which in his opinion is defiling the corpses of brave men.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Jude's initial reaction to Cordelia, though it is World War II....
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Oh God, where do we start?
- Those Wacky Nazis
- Visual Initiative Queue: Vertically on the right side of the screen.