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Replying to Death To Spies
Posted 28 March 2010 - 10:31 PM
Posted 18 February 2010 - 01:15 AM
Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:28 AM
This was a infuriating and fantastically challenging game. Quite unique in its operational subterfuge and tension. It is very atmospheric and covers a stimulating array of theatres of operation. Graphics are quite good (in excess of what is needed to enjoy the game buzz) sound could be better with greater incidental ambient sounds.
All in all I'd give it 5/5 Really looking forward to the sequel, Death to Spies: Moment of Truth out Q3 2009 (Can't wait). Will be a welcome release from the nightmare bugs of STALKER, Clear Sky
Like Sniper Elite this is a woefully overlooked game and shows just how far up the backsides of big game developers and distributors so called games reviewers will crawl to sully their compromised intellects. Crysis in journalistic ethics.
Posted 19 August 2008 - 07:48 AM
Couple of things to note, this game is a lot like Hitman only on the surface. The actual nature of the AI of the NPCs is better in Death To Spies in that you can kill a witness that sees something they shouldn't (a body, you doing something, etc) and the whole level doesn't automatically know what happened (such as the earlier hitman games where your cover would be blown). The civilians react a bit more realistically when they are in danger. They actually get down, rather than try running around like idiots (sometimes directly into my gun in Hitman). Granted, in closed quarters, they will bump into you, but they aren't running randomly.
There are ways of exploiting the dumb AI in some cases. If you find a couple (man and woman) kissing, you can basically jump up and down and run around hitting things and they won't notice you. Problem is, if you disrupt their tongue tag, the only real way to keep from raising an alarm is killing the couple. You can Stun the first of them, but that doesn't give you enough time to get around the second to either stun or use chloroform.
The game is super hard starting a level, but as soon as you find a lone guard you can swipe his clothing, you all of a sudden feel like you're playing an RPG. The first uniform you get will usually be a standard grunt soldier, and half of the NPCs will know you're a phony (Red icons on the map, watch them or they'll sound an alarm).... As you go you'll get better disguises (getting an officer for example). Once you get a high ranking official, practically the whole map turns green (with the exception of some of the officers) and you can roam anywhere (depending on the level).
The levels are huge, but the order you need to complete a mission without getting your brains blown out is rather linear. But this path is very strictly highlighted for you as you play. As you complete an objective, another map marker will show up telling you exactly where you need to go for the next part... This sort of takes out the fun of trial and error, but with the difficulty of the game (and each level taking around 2 hours to beat using saves) you need something telling you where to go because the levels are so huge. There are a lot of buildings you'll never go into just because you know you don't have an objective there.... One of the hardest, yet one of my favorite levels involves blowing up a train bridge. I don't know... I took me forever to beat but when I did, it was just so ... satisfying
The levels are diverse, sort of like Hitman 2. You'll be in enemy territory, there are levels in a hotel and an embassy, so you'll have your share of innocents to watch out for (if you liked Traditions of the Trade from Hitman)
Stealth is key, if you set off an alarm, or if the guards find a dead body and set off an alarm, things can get ugly real quick. But the disguise system works well by letting you put on another outfit to help get you out of trouble.
The points system they have set up gives you a rating to tell you how you did. Unfortunately, I don't think it really does anything other than that. I didn't unlock anything, and nothing new came up after I beat the game.
Dynamite is fun You can set a countdown timer on it, and set up all sorts of fun traps/distractions. I highly recommend it if you're looking to try another approach.
There is a bit of replay value, though I'm not sure how much though. You will most likely play through the first part stealthy as it is meant to be played. If you go guns blazing, hope that you have a lot of ammo, because there are literally dozens of guards you'll have to fight through depending on where you are. They do give you the option of being violent as opposed to stealthy, but it isn't easy as you can be quickly overwhelmed by 10 guards shooting at you at once.
Overall I would recommend this game for people who have played Hitman and/or some of the the Metal Gear series.... It's more like Hitman though, and is in fact better in some cases...
Rather than dragging a body, you pick it up and can throw it behind you which makes it super quick to hide bodies, as opposed to Hitman Blood Money's scripted "Hide Body in Dumpster" sequences.
For $9.99, I have no regrets. It's given me more game time than Crysis did for $50.
Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:30 PM
Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:58 AM
----Death to Spies
I saw this at a local Gamestop a few months back but hadn't picked it up due to the fact that it looked like a budget title, though looking it up online I see it got decent reviews... Well I stopped by the same Gamestop and saw it was discounted 30% (from $19.99) and decided "meh, why not." Taking it to the register (along with Penumbra: Black Plague, which I will probably review next) the guy says "Oh hey this game is actually 50% off, we just didn't have any stickers to mark it" So I'm thinking at this point either Gamestop is suffering from the down economy, or this game is suck. Either way, I get 2 games for less than the price of 1 (Penumbra was $4.50.)
I start up the training mission just to get a feel as to how the game works, and the first thing I noticed was the character's sort of ...weird run, and how he reminds me of this guy:
"Oye this should be interesting."
But that's about it as far as odd first impressions, because despite my low expectations, the game itself is actually pretty decent. I've gotten through the first 2 missions, and I'll discuss my first impressions.
The training mission is rather standard, where you jump through hoops and go where the game tells you so that you can learn all the possible mechanics of the game so that you know how to chuck a grenade or knock out a moving target. The training area is rather large, though, and you have room to just move around if you want. Some of the things take some trial and error, but as you will see, that's pretty much the whole game.
Starting the first mission, I was introduced to our main character proper, and even though the characters in the cutscene were supposed to be Russian, when they started talking I was shocked to hear not a Russian, nor even a crappy American attempt at a Russian accent, but a straight up American accent with no attempt whatsoever in faking it. Which I guess is good. Better to not fake a bad accent I guess.
(EDIT: Ah, I found a fan-made patch replacing the voices with Russian and adding English subtitles. Thank God for modding!!
The narration is presented as such, your character is talking to a higher-ranking commander, and the story is told through flashbacks, where each level is basically a past mission you guy has done. After the intro cutscene, you get clear cut objectives, and then you pick your weapons. Weapons are plentiful and pretty sweet actually, but the problem is that you can't keep them for long because foreign weapons such as Russian pistols and rifles draw attention to you and blow your cover if you are in a disguise. You can also equip a backpack which can hold more goodies including mines, dynamite, and more guns. Without a backpack, you can only carry 1 rifle, 1 pistol, and a knife and chloroform (a la hitman 2) and a choke wire (a la hitman as well).
The levels are pretty big. The objectives are rather linear though, as the first mission is "get into the base, and kidnap this guy" involves only 1 route into the base, but multiple points where you can kidnap the guy...
You are rated pretty much the same as in Hitman, where you get "points" for being stealthy and not killing unnecessary people. The manual states you get extra points by never switching into an enemy disguise, but I don't see how that's even possible in the levels without killing everyone. *maybe it applies to later levels, I have no idea*
You get a mini-map with a Metal Gear style cone of vision of enemies, which you will need to survive. The whole stealth part of the game relies on whether or not you are in that cone of vision of your enemies. Basically, if the enemy is marked green, you could walk up to him and hump his leg and nothing would come of it. If it's marked Red, then if they see you, they shoot on sight if they get a good look at you. And if their cone of vision is marked yellow, then they will slowly get suspicious if they see your face (if you're facing them) until they are alerted and sound an alarm. Now, this is another thing, you get a little icon at the top of the screen indicating if what you are doing is suspicious and/or if you are holding a suspicious item (such as a Russian weapon in the middle of a Nazi outpost).
Overall the color coding and meters that show up indicating that you are suspicious to certain people is clearly more helpful than the crappy little bar you get in the Hitman games, BUT it is also semi-intrusive as you are looking more at the meters than you are at the game itself. They should have built in a more intuitive system where if the enemy has some visual cue of being suspicious, you would see it rather than checking your anachronistic GPS map or your psychic Suspicion meter.
Crouching and even crawling aid in stealth (a la Metal Gear). The cones of vision seen on your map will decrease and you can get closer to an enemy when you are crawling.
Thankfully, you can save your game anywhere you want, which is good because you will fail... a lot. Trial and error are big in this game, as you have to try different routes to figure out what is best. This is a Godsend, because the levels take an average of an hour to beat (and there are 10 levels I believe so it's a decent sized game).
On to graphics, sounds, etc:
Graphics are well done. If you put your back to a wall and zoom in on your hat, you'll see hell of a lot of detail. I mean the game isn't as good as, say, Crysis, but it's definitely not a bad when it comes to graphics.
Sounds are mostly ambient. You don't really get to hear people talking, but you'll hear birds in woods, and German music being played over loudspeakers in camps, or records playing in offices. Overall well done.
The AI is simple, but reacts realistically. If you are in disguise and they are green, you're free to do what you want, but no disguise is perfect so you always have to watch your back for yellow or red blips on your map so you don't get caught as a spy.
Overall worth a look if you're into Hitman and like Spy/Stealth games.
Unofficial patch #1: Uncensored textures? Not sure what's censored about it, but I thought I'd post the link for posterity: (EDIT: ah, I think it's the Nazi swastika they censored out because I had noticed that some of the uniforms didn't have it)