Verfasst: 3. Juli 2014
Obligatory header to the review: I focus on four primary areas whenever I review a game: gameplay, story, graphics, and sound/audio/general things that go into your earholes. Gameplay and Story get a rating scale from 1 to 10, and the AV stuff gets a rating from 1 to 5. My philosophy on this is that there are some instances in which a game may not necessarily have that much in the way of gameplay (take Amnesia for example), but the story/atmosphere/whatever it may be is reason enough to pick it up. Also, take the cumulative score with a grain of salt; it's just a numerical feeling about the game as a whole. That's part of why I do these subscores. Also, keep in mind that I'm not going off of school grade based rankings. A 5/10 denotes what I feel to be an average game. Likewise, 7/10 is a game that I think is pretty cool, and something that gets a 2/10 is near-abomination level. Pinning scores to an even further obfuscated rating scale is kinda senseless, but for the sake of my backloggery, I'll repeat again that 1.0-2.7 is a one-star game, 3.0-4.7 is a two-star game, 5.0-6.7, 7.0-8.7, and 9.0-10 are three, four, and five stars, respectively.
Gameplay: Project Snowblind, as you may or may not know, was originally intended to be a more multi-player focused game in the Deus Ex series to be called Deus Ex: Clan Wars. Then Invisible War came along and utterly tarnished the Deus Ex name. Despite the abandonment of the namesake, the game still retains a lot of the level design sensibilities that Deus Ex had, albeit a lot more straightforward here than in Deus Ex. By that, I mean that the player has plenty of choices on how to take areas. You can run in, guns ablaze; pick enemies off from a distance with the sniper rifle; sneak through the area entirely; hack any nearby electronics to kill enemies remotely, etc. etc. Since I often opt for the most meat-headed approach to gameplay, I was a guns blazing kind of player, although there were a few chapters where I found that it wasn't the best approach.
As I said earlier, this game is pretty much Deus Ex Lite. It has pretty much everything Deus Ex had, although much simpler to suit the very action oriented gameplay. All the RPG elements are gone, which can be disappointing for some. Hacking is done with an Icepick; a weird sort of EMP hacking kajigger. This does mean that you are limited to how many things you can hack throughout the level, although I found that ammo for the Icepick was easy to come by, presuming you looked around for it. Augmentations are here as well, with a few abilities being cloaking, slow motion, and bullet shields. They don't last forever and do use up Bioenergy, which you can find both replenishing items and increases to your maximum Bioenergy (the same for health, of course).
Unfortunately, this game is very much a port. Autoaim is on by default, and I found no way of disabling it. Some people talked about the game crashing all the time; it crashed a couple of times for me, and both times it was just after a cutscene started. After looking at what happened in the Event Viewer, I wasn't able to make certain what it was specifically in Snowblind.SP that crashed or why it did so. This could have also been because of a thing I did to make the game run at 1080p (I'll talk about that later). I did rebind a couple of keys; namely rebinding augmentation usage to Tab and getting rid of the weapon menu altogether. It's just more fun frantically scrolling through weapons in the heat of battle (to me, at least).
The levels themselves are short, usually lasting about ten to fifteen minutes, and have at least one savepoint in the area. This game doesn't have checkpoints, so be sure to make use of the savepoints. These levels are pretty well paced and often feel reasonable and fair without being completely boring. Enemy variety isn't the greatest, and I would have liked to have seen a few more mech enemies, but it's not too big of a deal. Overall, if you're looking for a dumb mid-2000's shooter to play for a night, you really can't go wrong with this one. For the price of $6 (I picked it up on sale, so it was even cheaper), I can say that this is a very worthwhile purchase, even if you do have to do a few things to get it in reasonable working order. 8/10.
Story: Again, it's pretty much Deus Ex Lite. The game did open with some actually quite good exposition of the main character, Nathan Frost. Unfortunately, it does kinda turn to the same old military hoo-rah schtick after a while. There really isn't much in the way of character development for Frost, much less for anyone else. At least it's not Russia being the bad guys, so I guess there's that. However, at least it's pretty well directed, even if the source material isn't the greatest. The cinematics are pretty well done, even if they do have some questionable choices in filters from time to time. They do start to feel like more of an action movie than a Deus Ex intrigue, however, so take that as you will. However, for what was there, it was pretty enjoyable, if rather cliche at times. 7/10.
Graphics: You're gonna need to do a bit of work in order to get this game running decently on a modern computer. For starters, this game only runs in 4:3 using the default resolutions in-game. I looked a bit on the Steam forums for this game, and I came across a fix that had me download an over-riding DX9 .dll file and its associated .cfg. In that .cfg, it's rather easy to set the resolution to that of your monitors. Some people have said that the fix doesn't work for them, but it worked well for me. Perhaps they didn't put the .dll and .cfg file in the root directory of the game; I dunno. Nevertheless, if you do a little searching on the P:S forums for a topic on widescreen resolution, you'll find what I'm talking about. I will be keeping that file around; it seems to be a pretty neat little multi-purpose DX9 "modernizer". Just don't be dumb and drop it in System32.
As for how the game looks in the perspective of art style, this is what I talk about when I bring up realistic graphics not standing the test of time. It doesn't look god-awful, but it isn't the easiest thing to look at. Probably the best looking area in the game is the last level, which goes for a very Tron-esque look. Again, the game as a whole doesn't look terrible today, but this is yet another reason why art style should always trump realism when it comes to visual direction. 2/5.
Sound: The soundtrack is pretty much a generic action movie soundtrack. It's not bad and it does pump you up, but it's still not that musically interesting. Voice acting is alright; it's certainly not going to be winning any awards, but it's probably not going to put you off, either. I'm running out of space, so I'll just say it's alright. 3/5.
Overall scores are: 8/7/2/3; cumulative score of 6.7/10.