Project: Snowblind - Review
|7/3/2005||Atari||Crystal Dynamics||1, 16 ||MA15+||Easy|
The Playstation 2 has been graced with quite a few First Person Shooters over the years, with games like TimeSplitters, Medal of Honor and Red Faction being the standouts. Project: Snowblind is yet another FPS, but it comes with quite a bit of hype behind it and promises to be a bit more then your standard shooter. In this review we see if it stacks up against the competition, and if it's worthy of a purchase.
|Time for a grenade I think.|
Hong Kong, 2065. 2nd Lt. Nathan Frost is just a regular grunt until he volunteers for a super-soldier transformation for an international army called the Liberty Coalition. A painful series of surgeries gives Frost extra-normal abilities via implanted enhancements, which place him on the frontlines of a war against a destructive regime. After a military coup leaves him stranded in hostile territory, cut off from command with only a handful of men, Frost must stop the militia's secret weapon that threatens to plunge the world into darkness.
In terms of gameplay Project: Snowblind plays like a cross between a normal FPS and a dumbed down version of Deus Ex. Deus Ex I hear you all ask? Well yes, in this game it's possible to use biomods to customize and enhance your character with superhuman powers. These augmentations include Reflex Boost which essentially slows the game for a small amount of time, Cloak which turns you invisible, Vision which is essentially an Infra-red mode allowing you to see through walls, Electrical Storm which fires an electrical ball at enemies, and finally the Ballistic Shield which makes you virtually invincible. These biomods really are a great addition to the game - it's been seen before of course but adds a bit more depth to the gameplay. It's also the use of items, ability to heal wounded comrades and use vehicles in some levels that gives it a feel close to the hit PC game.
|Check out the particle effects.|
Broken up into 11 missions set across 16 maps Project: Snowblind takes you to a wide variety of locations from large cities to and Opera House and even a Buddhist Temple. Being set 60 years in the future the weapons are suitably advanced and include the like of shotguns, rocket launchers, grenades, HERF (EMP weapon), and the ultra cool Rail Laser just to name a few. The controls themselves are responsive and follow a standard PS2 Dual Shock 2 layout. Left stick moves the character, right stick aims, X is jump, circle is crouch, square is reload or use, the R1 and R2 buttons are primary and alternate primary fire while the L1 is secondary fire and so on. Save points are littered around the levels
When you have finished with the single player game you should certainly have a look at the multi-player component of the game. While there's no split screen action the game does allow you to play over a LAN or the Internet. The online gameplay supports an impressive 16-players and while there aren't too many game made it will keep you hooked for quite a few hours at the very least.
The question remains however, why do developers seem to think that console gamers can't cope with complex games? It seems so many games are simplified when the make the shift to consoles, Ubisoft's Ghost Recon titles are a prime example and while not as bad Project: Snowblind just feels like it could have gone to the next level. In the end the single player game is let down by its rather short length - about 10 hours. It seems to be the case that most FPS's are restricting themselves to this length and for my liking it's a little on the short side. At least there's always multi-player to keep you going. This short game life isn't helped by the relative easy for half of the game - it doesn't really get harder until the latter half. The other issue which I have with this game is, while technically solid, it doesn't really bring anything new to the FPS genre.
As the PS2 nears the end of its life the level of graphics seems to be reaching a high point across all titles. Indeed, Project Snowblind is also an extremely capable title graphically with some wonderful moments which will have you in awe. Despite the often frantic action on screen the game holds a fairly solid frame rate with only the occasional drop here and there. The particle effects during explosions are up there with the best of them. The levels themselves look like they have been taken straight from a real city - albeit in the future and contain quite a few interactive areas, boxes can be destroyed (often containing power-ups), some scenery takes damage and so on. If there is one negative its the animation which could have been a little better.
|The urban landscape is gorgeous.|
Unfortunately the audio in Project: Snowblind isn't quite as exciting as you would expect. The voice work is quite muted. If I'm in the middle of a battle I'm pretty sure I would be shouting orders, in this game the soldiers seem to be rather subdued. The music is also a little on the weak side - it's not overly exciting, nor does it convey the grittiness of war to well. The one thing that does save the title is the sound effects which are pretty good, and will certainly get the room shaking with large explosions.
|Texturing could be nicer here.|
For all my criticisms one fact remains; overall Project Snowblind is a very enjoyable title. Seasoned gamers may be dismayed at the shortish length, but it's probably a game you could play through several times. The graphics are certainly impressive and the multi-player does add some value to the game. Certainly one of the better FPS's on the Playstation 2.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version)
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|GRAPHICS||In the scheme of PS2 games this is one of the better looking FPS's.||88%|
|SOUND||Voice acting is weak as is the music. The effects are pretty solid.||76%|
|GAMEPLAY||The game moves along nicely and is very entertaining throughout.||89%|
|VALUE||About 10 hours to complete the single player, multi-player adds value.||77%|
|OVERALL||Project Snowblind is a very well put together FPS - it's certainly one of the better ones on PS2. Unfortunately it doesn't really bring anything new to the genre, and the game is a little short in single player. Still, if you're after some FPS action (especially in multiplayer) then this is a game worth checking out.||82%|