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SouthPeak's Raven Squad -- which has dropped the Operation Hidden Dagger subtitle since last year -- has a very interesting concept. Raven Squad, you see, employs a combination of real-time strategy and first-person shooter gameplay. Players take control of two different three-man squads -- two players can also command one squad each when playing online -- as they fight their way through an enemy-infested jungle. The game can be switched from an overhead RTS view to a first-person view at any time, making the game very different from other shooters on the market.

Based on our brief hands-on session with the game, we can tell that getting used to the controls will take some time. When played in RTS mode, the game allows you to issue orders to your entire squad or to individual team members, each of whom has different skills. Each squad has team members suited to different tasks. Ours was a defensive / recon squad.

Each squad member has one special ability. In our squad, there was a sniper, another member had flashbangs and the last carried smoke bombs. We had some trouble issuing individual commands from the RTS mode, though we imagine it would be fairly simple after spending some more time with the game.



With the press of the Y button, you can instantly jump into FPS mode. The D-pad is mapped to each squad member, allowing players to jump to each squad member at any time. FPS mode plays exactly as you would expect, allowing for more precision than the RTS mode. Sniping, for example, is a bit easier in FPS mode (and much more satisfying, naturally). It's worth noting that the character models and environments are fairly simple, but they get the job done.

If nothing else, Raven Squad has us very intrigued. The final game is scheduled to release on Xbox 360 and PC this spring in the US and will hit the UK later this year.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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