Silent Storm is a turn-based tactical combat game in the vein of X-Com, Fallout: Tactics and Laser Squad Nemesis, developed by Russian developers Nival Interactive, though you’d be hard-pressed to tell that judging by the production quality. In fact, Silent Storm is such an incredibly strong title, you’d be excused for thinking it comes from an established American studio like Raven or Monolith.
Turn-based strategy games have been in a funk for years, marginalized into wargamer specials like Combat Mission or simply aiming for their core markets, as Age of Wonders and Dominions II have done. This makes Silent Storm into a more surprising and pleasing entry in the genre.
For starters, SS takes place in a setting that’s all-too-familiar to most gamers now – World War II. However, the recognizable setting makes it more appealing to gamers of all kinds, especially since this isn’t yet another World War II first-person shooter or RTS. Secondly, Silent Storm is an intuitive and easy to learn game, as far as turn-based strategy goes.
The user interface is very friendly. Holding the mouse cursor over any icon or item will display all sorts of useful information, like all the vital statistics for a weapon or the shortcut key on the keyboard for a button. The default keyboard layout is easy to learn as well. The ‘a’ button makes a character attack objects that he normally wouldn’t, like doors, chests and walls. ‘Z’, ‘x’, ‘c’, ‘v’ all change poses, from run to walk to crouch to prone.
Silent Storm also has gameplay additions that make sense to the player, intuitive matters. Obviously a sniper will shoot better when crouching than standing, and even better while prone. On the other hand, grenades are best thrown from a standing or crouching position. If your character was on the run during a turn, enemies will have a harder time targeting him, even though for all intents and purposes he “stands still” during their turn.
Almost everything is destructible. Fire at something, and odds are it’ll take damage. Some walls can be broken down by machine gun fire, and the really big grenades can tear out the entire front section of a villa.
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