Problems & Goodies
Grenades have had their ranges scaled back like weapons have. Itís really difficult to use them properly, particularly the very heavy grenades. The ranges are just far too short. The heaviest of grenades thrown by a character with average strength and decent throwing skill might barely travel 3 or 4 meters (10-13 feet), not nearly far enough to keep the character safe from such a potent blast.
On the other side of the fence, at some point in the game youíll acquire certain weapons which completely ruin the game. Thereís really very little challenge left after those weapons are available, and for you Jagged Alliance 2 fans, I have it on good authority that these are worse than the rocket rifles which imbalanced JA2. Most importantly, these super-weapons completely ruin the theme of the game.
There are also some strange consequences of the destructible environments. Many gamers (this one included) have locked themselves out of reaching the mission objectives because they destroyed the only staircase which could reach it by using grenades or rockets. In a similar matter, the objectives are also randomly distributed and the missions somewhat randomly released to the player, so itís quite possible to encounter the super-weapons without having a readily available counter to them.
The mission design bugs arenít game-breaking problems and neither are the super-weapons, but both are very discouraging. We here at FiringSquad think that Nival could have done themselves a big favor by dropping the overpowered and unrealistic items, in favor of perhaps upgrades for the equipment already in the game. Like adding scopes to machine guns, modifying sniper rifles to hold more powerful bullets, etc. These subtle, gradual upgrades would have worked much better.
Graphics, sound, physics
Silent Storm is breathtakingly beautiful. The detail on everything is remarkable. Stylistically some of the choices could be better Ė for example the Allied medic and Axis sniper look silly Ė but in general thereís nothing but praise to be heaped on Silent Storm. Screenshots just donít do the game justice, they donít show off the animation and how bump mapping and pixel shaders are used to good effect on trains and other metal objects.
Grass sways as the characters run through it, glass in windows shatters and falls to the ground after being shot, often followed shortly after by a body or a pile of wood splinters. Entire sections of wall and building collapse after being hit by particularly powerful explosions. Bodies fall in realistic fashion, sometimes toppling from bell towers or staircases to the ground below.
Sound effects are less impressive though still more than adequate by any measure. The only reservation we have comes with the voice acting Ė itís a joke. Every accent is like a parody of the nationality thatís supposed to have it.
Come discuss the game and the review on our brand-spankiní new forums!