Covert Ops: Nuclear Dawn, released in Japan under the title Chase the Express, is a unique strain of game set in front of a backdrop of military intrigue that bears elements usually reserved for survival-horror adventure games. You take the role of Jack Morton, a NATO soldier whose orders are to rescue an ambassador being held hostage aboard the Blue Harvest - a high-speed military train trekking through Europe under the control of a band of terrorists. The surviving member of a unit aboard a downed chopper, Jack must thwart the Knights of the Apocalypse, the terrorist group in control of the train, and deactivate the nuclear warheads they're using to induce their brand of terror.
All the action takes place in a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective, identical to what you'd find in a typical Resident Evil-style game. The controls are essentially the same: The right and left rotate your character, while pressing up lets you move in the direction you're facing. Anyone familiar with the survival-horror genre will feel right at home. Some minor deviations exist, though: Jack Morton is able to roll right or left for evasive purposes, a la Syphon Filter, and his weapons are always in the ready position. The shoulder buttons let you roll, which is quite useful for dodging enemy gunfire. Also mapped to the shoulder buttons are crouching and quick-turnaround commands. Very similar to Winback's, the crouch function allows you to duck behind crates or other obstacles and enact lengthy gunfights with enemies. The turnaround function is much more speedy and responsive than what Capcom has ever offered in a survival-horror title, adding an invaluable feature for the times when the air gets thick with terrorists. Also present are the obligatory action button, which is used to examine objects, open doors and hatches, and climb stairs; and the odd camera function, which allows you to examine rooms from an arbitrarily determined angle - but not necessarily from your character's position or the room's center, since the camera's location is different in every room. While the camera is effective (rooms, indeed, can be exhaustively examined), it's a bit disconcerting to examine rooms from a different position each time.
Nuclear Dawn's interface is downright derivative of Resident Evil not only in looks, but also in functionality. Items can be used, equipped, examined, or combined. Even the fonts were lifted. It's functional, though, and it can be argued that the interface has become a staple of the genre, so it can perhaps be forgiven. Again, veterans of the genre have been well accommodated.
When it comes down to the action - arguably the meat of such a game - Nuclear Dawn often fails to provide. In truth, most of the terrorists you'll encounter are as smart as your average zombie, though notably less challenging. Since your gun is always drawn, you merely have to point Jack in the general direction of the enemy and wait for the crosshairs to appear. The aiming reticule's color will tell you how much of a chance you have to hit, and one or two shots will generally do in the average Apocalypse Knight. While stealth kills, in the traditional sense, are largely absent, shooting an enemy from behind generally does the trick more efficiently. Whether this is just a coincidence or an arbitrary factor within the game is yet to determined - there is no indication of the existence of stealth kills, so we can only assume that they aren't a factor. The small meter that alerts you to the presence of guards seems like a throwaway feature, except during occasions when the uncooperative cameras obscure most of the action.