Review by Diamond Dragon
"The ultimate killing machine only deserves the ultimate game"
Lately, I've been getting into many stealth games such as the Metal Gear Solid series, the Thief series, etc. but this is the only game that has completely astounded me. Not only is this game fun, if you manage to pull off the objectives in a level flawlessly, it looks real awesome.
The story is pretty basic, you are a hitman, killing people for money. The story does progress slightly, but not until the last few levels. The detail of each mission is pretty neat as they brief you on background information and such. The story could have been presented in a much better fashion, but I'm still satisfied.
All your missions consist of you killing someone while achieving secondary goals, which may sound simple, but sometimes can be incredibly hard. Realism plays a hefty role in this game. Unlike in other games where your character can somehow stuff a rocket launcher down his pants without anyone noticing and being able to whip it out at lightning speeds, you may only conceal small weapons under your clothes. Weapons like shotguns and rifles must be dropped if you do not wish to use them. Also, posing as someone else also plays a role as you must infiltrate several areas. You must kill someone, hide his body as to not raise an alarm, and steal his clothes, and arm his weapons, and you then can walk safely among his friends. What makes this game so interesting is that in some levels, you must impersonate yourself as someone, then to get deeper, you must impersonate but another person, just to spice things up. Also, you cannot take down a whole army, you are a single man, not a tank.
Like I said earlier, if you manage to complete each objective nicely without flaw, it looks real stylish as you assemble your rifle on the way up an elevator, go to the edge of the roof, snipe down your target, run back to the elevator and put your gun back together and walk casually in the streets as if nothing has happened. Some levels require some thinking ahead such as hiding a weapon somewhere to pick it up later. You must also keep aware that you have a map and that you MUST use it to know where the hell you're going, getting lost in some levels is not a hard task.
One point I have not mentioned yet is the difficulty. This game can be INSANELY hard at times. First off, there is no save feature so instead of saving and seeing what would happen if you ran past the metal detectors with a couple weapons under your coat you will simply die and have to start over, in fact, everything is do or die. Next, some levels are massive and if you mess up it's half an hour down the drain. Yes, it may sound frustrating, and I'm not going to cover it up, you will die many times in some levels, that's why the best piece of advice is to scout the level first time through and plan everything ahead of time as to not screw yourself over.
Overall the gameplay is simply amazing, nothing feels better than emptying a clip into a baddie, toss your gun away, whip out another one, and repeat.
I thought the graphics were great, although sometimes when dragging people around it looks somewhat fake, the facial details and such are more than enough to pay back for it. The scenery looks great also (ex: when in the jungle) and the animation of you taking down your opponent with the good 'ole fibre wire never gets old.
Nothing real big in the sound, gunshots, screams, choking, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary, you'd expect it from any other game. The voice acting is pretty good, but again, nothing to drool over.
Some people may say that this game is real short as there are only ten or so levels and once you beat it, there's no point in doing it again. I say otherwise. Although the number of levels are small, the time you will be spending on some of them will be very very long. You may be stuck at the same part of a level near the end you can't get past, and everytime you die, you will have to start from the beginning to only die again. It sounds frustrating, but once you finally accomplish it, you will have a nice fuzzy feeling. Also, it may just be me, but I love replaying some of the first levels over because they just downright look cool and you feel like a real professional pulling off each stunt perfectly. For me, I have and will keep playing this game.
Buy, Rent, Trash?
If you can find this game, there is no reason not to buy it, but I must warn you, it is not easy. To play this game you must have lots of patience and skill, so do not assume you will beat this game the day (or month) you got it, I can almost assure you that you will be tempted to read the FAQs.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/04/03
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