Review by Zeph
"Tom Clancy: The Art of Stealth"
You play Sam Fisher, Solid Snake wannabe. Colonel Irving Lambert, your superior and all-around big boss, sends you off to various locales such as Cambodia, China and Georgia to do the government's dirty deeds. Along the way, the story unfolds into a typical war story, with bombs dropping, bullets flying and- wait. Instead of incendiaries and guns, this war is fought with TECHNOLOGY. Yes, that's right. Cyber-terrorism has come to the US!!
Oh yeah, and in the end, you save the world (eventually) from total annihilation, but that's old hat. Anyway, on to the review!!
Excellent. The graphics are good, smooth and well-detailed. I particularly like Sam's suit. Mmmm..... ninja-esque. The shadow effects are amazing, too. This is crucial, as shadows play an important part in the gameplay (more on that later).
However, there are some driver issues that left my game totally unplayable until I downloaded a whopping 16 MB driver update. Bummer. And as always, there are clipping issues when you chuck a body near a wall. You guessed it, part of it disappears into the wall. Then again, this happens in countless other games.
Usually, I don't care much about sound quality in my games, but this changed my outlook. Every sound effect, from the shattering of glass to the silenced fire from Sam's gun is accurately reproduced. The ambient music fits the game well too, changing with the situation.
Simple and easy to learn, that's all there is to it, though I found it hard to Roll. You won't be using that move much anyway.
Stealth is the name of the game here, you won't live long if you go in like Rambo, expect to live for 10 seconds before you get unceremoniously filled with lead. Using the shadows to your advantage is crucial to your success, as most enemies will walk blindly past you in pitch darkness. Pay attention to the sound you make too. Those guards have good hearing and will cue in on your location if you don't act quickly.
Don't expect to get big guns in this game. You're a spy, not a demolitions expert. The closet you'll get to something explosive is a Frag Grenade. Guard won't leave his post? You can knock him unconscious, put a normal bullet through his brain or choose from a variety of incapacitating bullets for your multipurpose rifle. it has a sniper mode too!
The missions are well-thought out, and fairly linear, but you may get lost sometimes, wondering where your next goal is. The game is also somewhat short, and the replayabilty factor is mediocre. There is no incentive for you to complete a mission flawlessly (unlike Hitman 2) so once you finsh the game, there isn't much to do other than restarting on a higher difficulty level.
A recommended game, slightly brought down by driver issues and replayablity. If you have dreams of being a spy, ninja or a job that vaguely involves stealth, then this game is for you!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/24/03, Updated 02/24/03
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