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Review: Silent Combat
26 mb. Thats how much the zip file takes up. Is it worth? Read on and find out.
Note: I have reviewed version 1.2.
I was amazed by the almost superb and stylish presentation. You have the option of saving profiles which means more than one player can play the game without interrupting each others progress. There is a fair amount of options. And both the graphics and text is good and follows the same style.
Whoooping 9/10 is well earned.
The game is a top down shooter. It has no story but though still a goal: Collecting money. With a new profile comes a small amount of money. And you earn money by completing missions. A mission is a series of levels (can be one or more levels). Each mission costs something to select except for the training mission. If you complete the mission you recieve money and if you loose you loose some money.
The game comes included with 6 missions including a training mission. Each mission costs more than the other and is more tough? I guess so.
Additionally there is a level editor which makes you make your own levels you can make missions out of.
This all sounds swell. And it is most of the way. However there are also negative sides.
The game claims to be a stealth game. However there are no stealth elements what so ever. You cannot move around in a special "stealth mode", you cannot hide and none of the levels/missions I have played did in any way invite you to use stealth (it was not an option). The weapons and levels indicate a "put the pedal to the metal" aka "heads on" approach just like any other game.
The AI is limited to enemies walking in a random direction and shooting at you if they see you. It works fine but is kind of disappointing.
The controls are pretty clumsy and again does not add up with claims about stealth. Arrows up and down moves the player forward and backwards. Left and right arrows turns the player around. That is it. No strafing or anything else which leaves you moonwalking around the level trying to get yourself into place for the attack. It seems like a 32 direction engine which means it can be hard to hit things at a distance. However the inaccuracy (recoil) helps a bit.
And now for an ouch feature. I started out with the training mission. With that cleared I took the most easy mission (houseparty). I died. Well ... that is what happens right? Well ... dieing meant I lost more money that I had (meaning I now had 0 money). Ok, back to the training mission ... cleared it, cleared House Party and went on to the next mission Jungle. I died and lost more money than I had! 0 Money again! It seems you loose around 3 times the amount it costs to begin the mission. Ouch! If this "feature" exists with all the levels dieing one time means you start over. Except of course if you succesfully complete the same mission a few times which should earn you enough money to take a death. Even so it is not really fair and is certainly not encouraging the player to play the game! A bit more fair money system please considering it is fairly easy to die.
Phew. That was a lot. Let me try to sum it up. It is not easy really. But the game offers a good amount of features. However the game is limited greatly by the controls, the AI and the money system. Overall I will give gameplay a 6/10.
A note: It is amazing how few games hide the mouse pointer when it is not in use. This game is not one of them either. I have to move the pointer off screen.
A note: In the training mission playing it the first time. In the third level (with the first enemy) I was shot by the enemy (and died) before I had read the text in the beginning.
A note: When I complete the training mission I am told I recieve 0 money. In fact I do recieve some money of course.
The graphics are all original made by the author. The graphics are well drawn and in a mutual style. There is really not much to say about them. They do not contain a lot of detail but it seems to be the graphical style so it is not a negative things. A positive thing is there is a lot of different tiles to choose from. I will give it 8/10.
Sound and music:
There are not a lot of sounds really. And the sound that is seems a bit limited and not always fitting all that well. The weapons have shooting sounds of course and they are mostly good. Some seem to come from other games (like HL) but that is not negative. The sound side could still use a little work.
Music. Well ... the music is ... hmm ... pretty wild. A mixture of rock/hard rock themes. It does not really fit with a stealth game, but since it is really an action game it does not matter much. The lack of sound is clearly outweighted by the music which is good but a bit loud and wild for my taste.
Overall a 8/10.
Well. Since there is a level editor included you can make all the levels (and thus missions) as you could possibly want.
The predelivered missions are not too exciting and they punish death way too hard. Unless it is a coded thing (but I cannot seem to find a place to edit anything else than cost to begin mission so it most likely is) someone should create some missions with a smaller penalty. Alternatively the author should release a patch to ease up the game.
I havent tested the level editor much but it seems pretty easy to use. Doing your own missions greatly improves the lastability. Sadly though the level editor cannot make up for the lacking gameplay. And the bland gameplay makes you wonder if you bother to play it over again. The result is a 6/10.
My calculator puts the final judgement (rounded) to the table: 7/10.
A little disappointing when in fact the game could have been better. My suggestion to the author: Work more on the gameplay next time.
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