One of the key concepts in Signal Ops is that your agents are far away from headquarters, and they stay in contact with you through radios. Agents need to stay within range of a radio in order to broadcast their video feed back to your monitors. If they go out of range, their screens will get more static on them the farther out of range they are, until eventually you won't be able to see anything.
The Bolt agent is very important because he carries the radio on his back. The radio only has so much battery power though, so he needs to use his power-finder device to seek out power sources to plug into and charge the radio up.
These power sources also greatly increase the signal range of the radio, so you can explore a much larger area. But, that doesn't mean Bolt needs to hang around babysitting the radio while everyone else gets to have fun! He can plug into a power source and set down the radio, then go about his business without worrying about the battery draining. In some missions there will only be one radio, while others have additional radios you can find and use for your squad.
Stealth plays a large role in Signal Ops, even in the more combat-oriented missions.Several factors affect the visibility of your agents. Whether your agent is sneaking or sprinting, the amount of light in an area, and how exposed the location is are all things that can give away your agent's position or keep him safe from danger.
In designing the stealth visibility system, we looked to one of our favorites: Thief. An indicator for each agent shows a visual representation of how light or dark an area you are in. However, it is not possible to be 100% hidden in darkness. An enemy standing right in front of you will be able to see you. The reason for this is because in contrast to our favorite master thief, your agents have the means to deal with enemies through combat or combining multiple agents to get behind an enemy and hold them up.
Just because an enemy can see you, doesn't mean he knows who you are. An enemy will be able to see you from farther away than they can identify you. It will take them some time to first decide you are worth investigating, and then close in to see who you are. Hint: This is a good time to make a break for it. Another important thing to note is that the AI does not "cheat" to know where you are, instead relying on accurate line-of-sight checks.
Sound is another factor that plays into stealth. Moving more quickly will create louder noises that enemies can hear from farther away. Gunfire may help you solve a short-term problem, but it will alert enemies in surrounding areas and you could find yourself surrounded.
Most weapons in the game are not super-accurate. You have a good chance of hitting your target at close range, but at long range a lot of those shots will be swinging for the fences. We want to encourage multi-agent tactics like flanking. You can leave one agent firing at the enemy, while using another to sneak up on them to hold them up or take them out. Going toe-to-toe with enemies is risky because your agents are just as vulnerable to bullets as the enemy.
Of course there are exceptions. The Scope agent is deadly accurate with rifles, and the Shield agent has better accuracy with automatic weapons than the others.