User reviews:
Mostly Negative (96 reviews) - 36% of the 96 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: 15 Apr, 2011

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About This Game

BEHIND EVERY WAR IS A TRUTH YOU WERE NEVER MEANT TO KNOW … The year is 2025 and the world is shaken by numerous conflicts over the control of dwindling natural resources. The hunger of rival warlords and dictators of mainly underdeveloped countries for advanced and highly effective weapon systems appears insatiable and the profits of the arms industry have reached new heights.

As highly advanced weapon systems, made in the USA, are sighted on various battlegrounds in Third World countries, the US government decides to send in an ISA agent, Cpt. Myra Lee, to find out how political enemies are acquiring arms that are under strict embargo.

Myra is sent to Mogadishu, where American made weapons have allegedly been employed in combat by Somali military forces against rebel units. In Somalia, Myra meets Cpt. Aron Alvarez, a hard-boiled close combat specialist of US Army's 1st SFOD-Delta, whose squadron is assigned to assassinate Somalia’s dictator. Myra and Aron begin working together only to discover that that the seriousness of the whole affair reaches much deeper than just the illegal trade of US weapon systems.

A special unit under the codename SHADOW HARVEST is formed within the ISA to reveal the truth. Cpt. Myra Lee and Cpt. Aron Alvarez are made partners in the operational core of this special unit and their investigations lead them to various places all over the world.

  • Based on the operations of the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA), with missions ranging from gathering critical intelligence data to covert direct action operations. The existence of the ISA has never been officially confirmed by the US government.
  • Two completely different characters; each with very specific and fully fleshed out sets of skills, preferences and abilities. Cooperatively complete covert operations. Players may switch between each character at any time, using either Aron's combat abilities or Myra's stealth skills to solve the situation.
  • Players choose from a vast array of weapons and technologies that enhance both characters strengths. Employ mechanized weapons to boldly attack enemies from head-on or an invisibility shield to creep through enemy territory undetected. Take advantage of refined game mechanics that take the traditional shoot-to-kill approach to a new level.

Key features:

  • When a covert operation to stop illegal arms sales reveals a full-scale global conspiracy, a special unit under the codename SHADOW HARVEST is formed to reveal the truth.
  • With two completely different characters serving as the unit’s operation core, you must choose from a vast array of weapons and technologies that enhance both characters strengths.
  • Features a gripping storyline that unfolds organically through the gameplay (doesn’t rely on cutscenes to move the story along). The ratio of gameplay to cutscenes is better than 13:1.
  • Players can switch between the two main characters at any time during the game to take advantage of each character’s strength as well as combat a sophisticated AI that adapts to the strategies you develop.
  • Open level design and option secondary objectives leave the outcome completely up to the player to choose.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7/Vista/XP
    • Processor: 3.2 GHz or better
    • Memory: 2.0 GB of RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB RAM
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB Space Free
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
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Mostly Negative (96 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
38 of 46 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: 8 July, 2014
Just completed the game. I usually like playing through rough gems; but while this had one or two bright spots, there is so much wrong with it that those spots simply aren't worth picking through the trash. Don't brush the bad reviews aside because of their hyperbole, this one truly is a stinker.

Standout Problems:
An interesting story with a terrible ending
Ugly visuals (I have to assume that they were going for the bleak look that Spec Ops actually achieved)
Frustrating gameplay (pinpoint accurate enemies who fire on sight, few healthpacks, and long stealth sections with unclear objectives)
Sound equalization issues (voices are too low, gunfire is too loud)
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42 of 67 people (63%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
64.6 hrs on record
Posted: 14 August, 2013
Good game. Should be rated at least 60 easily. Definitely not 34. Not an AAA grade title, so don't expect CoD and you'll enjoy it. Single player only. No achievements. Good story and ending. Voice acting is good but lip synch not so much. Graphics are good once you switch OFF Bloom and Ambient Occlusion. Controls are fine.

So why all the rabid nonsensical reviews? Well, the game makes a very revealing and unfriendly observation on the real world US involvement in global terrorism as its ending, which I guess explains most of the smear campaign leveled against it by the establishment controlled mainstream reviewers and army of social media manipulation commenting staff. It is telling that all the major review sites harshly pan this game while almost all the minor lesser known sites are fair to favourable.

The real score for this game should be 6/10, and in my personal opinion 7/10. To sum up, I would say worth 20$, and definitely a must have on sale for 5$ or less.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: 4 October, 2015
In spite of the mostly negative reviews, and low metacritic scores, I bought this based on a handful of positive comments. I went in with low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised.

While this is not a AAA title, it is nevertheless a good game. The low budget does show sometimes (copy paste environments, and typos in the subtitles), but it also does many things right. There are some interesting gameplay mechanics and it does a very good job of changing the pace up. Sound design (especially explosions) is solid, and the gunplay is also quite good.

I also had some graphical problems at the beginning, with my framerate jumping between 30 and 60 (and this on a 4790K and GTX 970), but after some tweaking in nVidia's Control Panel, it sat at 60 all the way through. This was on Windows 10 Pro x64.

Definitely worth a buy on sale.
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17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
29.8 hrs on record
Posted: 2 January, 2015
I have to start by saying that one can't expect Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops to be on par with AAA developer games. SHPO is an ambitious game developed by a very small studio. It's not a horrible game as other reviews might make it seem, but it could probably have been so much better if the developers had more resources. The game has a lot of potential, and could have been a hit if not for its failings. It's challenging and entertaining at times, and has a decent albeit somewhat unrealistic storyline. I would recommend this game only if you're willing to understand that there are flaws. Some of these flaws are just personal nitpicking, but I'd say the other flaws are fundamental issues. A perfect example of the latter would be the enemy AI's uncanny ability to detect and shoot you from seemingly out of nowhere. Another example is that even though I enjoyed the stealth missions, I could not successfully complete the later missions without cheating. Perhaps a more skilled gamer may have done better than me, but I was too frustrated by that point. Here's a breakdown of some of the points that stood out:

Not Bad
- story
- stealth missions
- co-op play
- character models
- weapons/technology
- menu interface
- sound/music

Not Good
- virtually all enemies (Somalis, Cubans) look/sound like American soldiers
- inaccurate details in the aesthetics of certain levels
- audio & video glitches
- random slow load times
- cannot adjust gamma levels
- cannot adjust sound vs music levels
- not enough ammo/health/etc in certain levels
- certain levels designed with unnecessary and useless rooms/dead-ends
- cannot skip cinematics

The bottom line is that I would generously rate this game about 65%. It enaged me enough to want to complete it, and I was content when it was all over. I bought the retail version of the game as part of the Action Strategy 4 Pack (Stalker Call of Pripyat, Storm Frontline Nation, Grand Ages Rome, Shadow Harvest) for $5, so if you can make a stand-alone purchase of Shadow Harvest for a low price then I'd say take a chance and try it.
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18 of 27 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: 1 January
Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops is your typical first-person modern shooter game. The gist of the game is you work for the United States Army and you have your enemies that are fringe organisations. You, the player, play as both Cpt. Myra Lee and Cpt. Aron Alvarez and switch between them in the later stages of the game, but mainly switch between both in solo missions.

Well let's get straight to it. The game isn't very good. This game isn't an AAA game, but not being AAA does not mean you can't have good games. It does have its positives in a above-average storyline that covers a wide variety of settings. I will admit that due to how bad the game is performence and gameplay-wise, I did not finish the campaign. However, I finished about four hours of the campaign, with How Long To noting the length of the campaign is seven hours. Again, the campaign isn't that bad. I will note that I had not played this game in many months and coming back to this game, I remembered why I never finished this.

The main issue is the UI and graphics, performance and the gameplay. To begin, I don't find the gameplay to be appealing. The default control layout is odd to a normal typical first person shooter, but regardless I don't like how the mechanics work. The mechanics include running into cover to go into the cover system, which is annoying, the AI is odd, and the choice of weapons in the game is poor. Also, the graphics are bad for a 2011 game. The performence is very poor. With my specs listed on my profile, I can't get a stable 60FPS with max settings on this game, which is appalling. So mainly, the graphics, performance and gameplay was a major turn-off for I. The game has its fair share of glitches too.

Overall, I'll be blunt, I do not recommend this game. The gameplay is poor, the graphics are bad, the game is unoptimised, but the story is above-average. If you do wish to get the game, get it at a very steep discount, otherwise do not bother as their are other great games worth your time. 2/10


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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: 29 December, 2012
I often factor metacritic scores and user reviews into my game purchase decisions. Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops is one of those games I put off buying because it was hard to find anything positive about it. To me a 34 metascore means this game is absolutely atrocious, something that isn't even ready for public release. I have to testify that isn't the case. That's not to say the game doesn't have faults. I have yet to find a game that doesn't have faults--ok maybe Call of Duty 4. But I've played some pretty bad games in my time and this one comes nowhere close to rock bottom.

It's a traditional cover shooter, but you get to play two different characters, similar to Conflict: Denied Ops. There's a run and gun rambo character and a sneaky, stealth character. Both have their uses in each mission, but the stealth character is by far the more fun of the two for gameplay. Her crossbow works very well and was enjoyable taking out unsuspecting AI from distance. Now there are a couple areas where the run and gun guy gets to control a battle mech which was pretty fun as well (kind of FEAR 2 style). Overall I liked the shooter elements and thought they were good.

The story is okay, but feels like it should have been longer--almost like they just had to get the product out the door and kind of wrapped up all the loose ends in a nice bow rather than finishing it properly.

Many of the negatives don't even have anything to do with the gameplay. Stuff like separate volume controls for voices, background, and music don't exist. And you can't turn the music off. This makes it hard to hear voice dialog during some of the missions. The graphics and graphic controls are also bad--lots of tearing and jagged edges. There is a bloom option and when it's on, there's too much bloom where a lot of scenes are just a white blur, but when it's off, the environment is so dark, it's hard to see. The framerate gets pretty bad when a lot of things are blowing up simultaneously as well.

The cover system is decent, but annoying. It's automatic and you often end up in cover when you don't want to be. The voice acting is obviously not top quality, but doesn't stand out as being bad.

All in all, most of the elements of Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops are average or below average. I had fun with it and would recommend it as a bargain bin shooter. It's right in line with bargain bin material like Sniper: Ghost Warrior. I'm glad I looked past the bad publicity and gave it a shot.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: 22 June, 2014
The "stealth-action" game "Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops" is a technical mess and hard to recommand, but I have to admit, I liked some ideas of the game. The stealth and the action component is (strictly) splitted between the two main-charaters. Usually you have them both and can switch between them at any given time. You play from the third-person perspective. The game machanics have some flaws, but the core idea is not that bad.

It is hard to recommand it, because it is more between "Yes" and "No". From my perspective now (2014), it is old (game performance is still bad; it crashes a lot on several systems), buggy and outdated, so no recommandation. From the perspective of 2011, I would say "yes" with some "constraints". It brought back some "oldschool" mechanics like med-kits (no regenerating health), it was quite difficult, if you died (or get seen in some missions) you had to restart the complete level again, etc. And this before Dark Souls (and others) was released that made "harder/frustrating" games popular again.

Another problem is the execution of most elements of the game. Animations, graphics, coding, qa (a lot of bugs, bad performance, crashes), story aren't all that great. I would say, I can forgive bad animations and graphics, especially if it is a game from a small studio, but a lot of small indie devs right now, are doing a far better job here. Admittedly they also often avoid genres like stealth action (like in this case). And this is most likely the reason why this game has a lot of problems. The developers wanted too much. They wanted it to look and feel like a "AAA-Title", but this is very hard with a small team, a small budget and right on the first game they've ever developed.

If you are looking for an "old-schoolish" stealth game with a cheesy story, some nice ideas (here and there) and you can ignore animations, bugs, bad performance and some design flaws, maybe pick it up, if you see it cheap. $7.99 is maybe borderline ok for it, if you are into those games and you know it will work on your machine. Don't expect patches, the Studio was closed, as far as I know.

So from the 2011 perspective and with a warning (flawed game with tons of bugs and problems, but for cheap maybe give it a try), I give a semi-recommandation.

Disclaimer: I played through it when it was released in 2011, but Steam hasn't tracked my game time on it back then. Also my english is bad, sry =/
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: 31 August, 2015
The Good:

- interesting story
- character switching (one stealth, one shooting)
- some over the top shooting action (you get a mech)
- all checkpoints are saved and can be reloaded later

The Bad:

- graphics are incredible dark and have a crap filter on top
- you use night vision in broad daylight
- no gamma control
- performance not that great
- no quicksave or regular save, only checkpoints
- checkpoints to far apart, but managable
- no ammo/health refill at checkpoints, only between missions
- old-school healthpacks
- bad audio mixing, voice gets overpowered by background noise
- difficulty is a bit wonky, play on easy

Overall I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It certainly has issues, especially the graphics-filter is annoying and some game mechanics are never that well explained (never used attractor bolts, as they always caused more problems then they solved), but the game provides enough freedom to allow some fun trial&error experimentation. It feels quite old-school in that regard for better and worse. It's certainly far better then the 34 Metascore would make you believe, but it certainly could have used another month or two of polish.
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19 of 32 people (59%) found this review helpful
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: 4 February, 2014
People bash this game unnecessarily.
Yes, it’s far from perfect and has some issues but it dint destroy me having fun with it. Graphics are still nice, even when it has over the top bloom or being brownish when you turn bloom off.
The voice acting is poor and it has no facial animation but well, it is the company’s first game. What do you expect?
The game is still fun, has a great story and an unexpected ending.

You play as 2 different characters; one for shooting and blowing up stuff, the other for stealth, hacking and going undercover. Stealth is fun and rewarding if you manage a difficult section.
In most levels you can switch anytime between them and use their ability.

Some people complain about hilarious things like;
The cover system is broken.
No it is not broken, it’s a walk on system and it works perfectly fine.

No regenerating health.
What’s wrong with health packs?

Checkpoints are far away and no quick saves.
There are only 2 spots were they are far away in my view, but otherwise they are located in fair places. The game requires you to be careful. Yes, it can get frustrating at times but it pays off once you manage it.
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11 of 17 people (65%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
17.8 hrs on record
Posted: 10 June, 2015
Ok, if the developers would even take a minute to fix the technical issues, then this game would rock.

First of all its frame rate is so low i't s almost unplayable, the main problem here is that if you go to the developer's site and forums for some technical support the guys there (Who are obviously paid employees) will do nothing but praising this game and then criticize you for not liking it!!...

There's a very interesting idea behind it and and a great concept, but the game just sucks because of technical issues.
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Recently Posted
2.4 hrs
Posted: 15 October
I got this game for less then $2 Australian .
Is it the best game ever? No its not.
Is it well made? Yes it is solid and stable.
Is it fun? Well I say "YES".
Will I finish it? Yes and that says something as I own lots of games on Steam.

For those who like auto refill HP bars you will need to learn to use cover as you only have limited HP kits.
For those who ran out of ammo, well pickup an AK for your secondary weapon. It uses the same ammo as the main gun so every other AK you pickup will give you ammo.

It feels like a game from the PS2 era, but with better graphics and its story is solid enough. For $1 US its a steal for the full $10 I dont know.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.3 hrs
Posted: 29 August
Oh ♥♥♥♥. What is this?
A fistful ♥♥♥♥ of gaming...LOL!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.4 hrs
Posted: 24 August
didnt like it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shadow Ops
18.1 hrs
Posted: 2 June
Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops
fast game with modern day graphics with easy controls that moves from location A to B to C and so on,
good amount of action and special effects

good game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.2 hrs
Posted: 26 May
Gamepad suppot would really have helped this game. Graphics are still ok.
If you see it in a sale for 1-2 bucks u might consider buying it. Otherwhise not worth.
Still thumbs up since i have seen much worser games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.4 hrs
Posted: 16 April
I recommend this game, since the story is quite good, the gameplay is OK, the stealth its also OK.
It's not a, "AAA-game", but i like how the AI will hit u, so better look for first-aidkit and use it with care :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
White Lookin Asian
0.3 hrs
Posted: 7 April
Thank goodness it was on sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.4 hrs
Posted: 6 April
The overall concept seemed intriquing, definitely enough for me to want to try the game.

But shortly after entering gameplay, I wasn't enjoying the experience,
The first thing I got annoyed with was the fact that health bars don't regenerate.
It makes the combat more difficult then it needs to be and in one specific mission part, impossible!
Also, the health packs to heal your character aren't numerous enough to be useful or practical.

I eventually got so frustrated with having nearly no health from just one or two shots from enemies, I got bored and gave up.

It is not a well designed game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.3 hrs
Posted: 6 April
Well, graphic is normally.
Story is good.


Gun fire sound is terrible.
and Game play is really, really Bad.
I'm going to refund.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.9 hrs
Posted: 18 March
Clearing my steam game list
Don't buy this one, not worth. Ran out of ammo, had to redo mission couple time till i got frustrated with my life.
Games are meant to relax you, not tilt you more smh
Helpful? Yes No Funny