***I WROTE THIS REVIEW IN 2006... Found it on my HD and reposted it because I felt it still holds up- hope you enjoy it***
If you figured the gameplay would be similar to Half-Life 2 because they use the same engine, you would figure correctly. The movement of the characters, the inside and outside environment with impressive lighting and of course the physics are almost identical to Half-Life 2.
Because SiN uses the same engine has HL2, one might think the games would be so strikingly similar SiN would completely rip off Hl2 in its entirely. Although the enemies are similar, both games include soldiers in armored suit that sounds like they are talking out of some sort of walkie-talkie, there is enough original material for you to forget about HL2 and start thinking SiN.
One of the more original ideas is to take the healing method from HL2 and modify it. SiN makes you search for empty canisters that can be found throughout the game, and carry them to wall mounted health stations where they can be used to spray a healing blue cloud. Other times when you are too lazy to carry the canister, you can just shoot them and the healing cloud will be released around the area, allowing a quick heal but not as complete as it would have been if you had taken it to the station.
Another neat feature they added was a type of chemical agent, that when exposed to, it increased your response time dramatically. What does that mean? Well it means they kinda copied F.E.A.R and Max Payne and slowed down time a bit so the player can react to apposing enemies better. This feature is not controllable, but rather goes into affect when a canister is broken in a gun battle and you walk through he green cloud. The time it takes to wear off is represented as a green bar on the left side of the screen. But be careful. Too much exposure will result in the loss of health.
Over the course of the game, Blade will interact with a few different characters. We saw in HL2 how impressive Valve was able to create life like faces and by playing through the game, you can see this effect was used in SiN.
Blade also fights along side the hot Jessica Cannon who pretty much resembles Alyx from HL2 and does most of the talking. But Alyx didn't have her thong strings poking above her hips now did she?
Gun battles are similar to HL2. You are given a handgun at the propitiate time and gradually upgrade to an assault rifle and shotgun, but that's it. I'm guessing the plan on releasing more guns as the episodes continue, but it gets a little repetitive using the same guns after a while. Most of the soldiers are easy to kill, until you get to the more armored mini-gun soldiers. One thing SiN lacks that HL2 incorporated so well was a scare factor. SiN ignores this approach and aims for a more typical shooter where you can see your enemy coming from a couple of feet down the hall or road.
A couple of notes as I investigated SiN a bit further. I read afterwards that SiN apparently keeps track of your shooting statistics. The data isn't kept for you to print out and nail to your dorm room wall, but the game actually analyzes the data and will adjust the difficulty level of the game as your progress through the game. For example; if the game see that out of your last 10 kills, 9 of them were headshots, you may see soldiers appear with helmets or dodge your fire more often. As I think about it now, I can remember a few instances in the game where I tired to kill an armored soldier and took a lot more ammo then I previously had used. Very impressive idea for the date of this game.
SiN is filled with crisp luminous lighting in various different areas of the game. The soft pastel sunset with a mirrored reflection over the water looks great and need I say HL2ish? There are numerous scenes throughout the game where you stop fighting and shooting, and just take a moment to look at the scenery, or when you're inside, look at the detail of some of the rooms.
The monster and mutant skins are nothing special, except for the two giant ones you end up fighting, but I have a feeling they are going to release a few more enemies in the next episode.
Again, the faces on most of the characters look extremely realistic and in the very opening scene, you will notice an obvious feature that they added to one of the bad guys…or should I say bad girl.
Pros: Fast paced, inspired visuals from HL2, interesting story, check out all the hot chicks!
Cons: Only 3 weapons
Bottom Line: For $9.99 you will receive a fun, quick FPS shooter. It's a bummer Ritual claimed they have 4-6 more hours of upcoming episodes, which were eventually canceled. The entire episode took between 3-4 to complete.