Plays a bit like a Hit-man game stripped of weapons... but strangely and undeniably addictive and exciting
The first thing you need to create a good product, the second usually being a load of cash, is an interesting idea. A concept. A new take on something we know or that we've never seen before, entirely. I don't think this could really be accused of a lack of originality. It is similar to the franchise I mention in the summary, as well as that of Commandos, apart from that, I haven't seen anything quite like it. And it differs radically from those in one all-important way: there is no way, I believe, of neutralizing any of your enemies. You can avoid them, and if spotted, you can maybe manage to stay hidden until they lose interest, however, they remain a threat, and can, at the very most, be distracted or fooled. Where you in aforementioned two series can systematically and methodically work your way through any opponents you need to, this is all about getting past them whilst leaving them alive and conscious, and it provides you with a growing number of tools for that purpose as you go through it(meanwhile, a feeling of powerlessness can be said to be possessed by the latter of the aforementioned similar titles, as well as this). Acquiring and using them is a large portion of the fun in this, and there isn't a single one that doesn't have a purpose. The realism is fairly strong. You take on the role of an American pilot shot down over Reich territory, and put in a POW camp. With not a single unbelievable physical feat, and armed with little else than spirit, ingenuity and smart-ass comments, you must flee. This is definitely a lot like a Hollywood flick, with the plot, the story arc and the hero(and that's not even mentioning it all). Thus, the experience can be that of playing such. This is all about timing, thinking creatively, learning the paths and routines(and it is exceedingly pleasing to pull one over on the Krauts). You are granted a rather helpful and well-designed HUD, and the interface is a positive note in general. There are bugs and glitches, and some are, unfortunately, killjoys, in a case or two, even showstoppers(a tip, make more than one file of your exploits, lest you risk the one you have be, and the program even admits it and labels it so itself, "damaged"). There are facets of this that aren't smooth, and it doesn't "look" as impressive as it could. I'm not so much referring to the graphics, those aren't bad, merely a tad underwhelming, though they get the job done, and hey, this actually has lip-sync... the lighting effects are nice, that's about it. I'm saying, you have to be willing to go a little beneath the surface to discover the marvelous stuff that is genuinely in this. And yes, this can be like an interactive version of Prison Break. The saving system is magnificent. You have to be in your room, at your bunk, and there is no way you're avoiding skipping at least a measure of time. This means that to minimize the in-game "time", you have to plan, and ponder if you wish to store how far you got or you'll go for the next assignment, first. How long you spend is one of the aspects(the others being the amount of time spent in isolation, if you were shot and if you got hints) counted when calculating your grade, and perfecting these is, sadly, the only true re-playability factor of this, in addition to enjoying the Secrets you unlock by doing that(whether or not they, or the satisfaction, are worth the effort is up to each person considering it). You can also Time Skip, if you are safe and it's the wrong period for your next attempt. As there are certain areas that you are allowed in at specific times, that can aid, and otherwise, this could stand the chance of becoming boring, which doesn't actually happen. It doesn't overstay its welcome, either, realizing that this could not go on forever. The pressure is tangible, and becomes greater as you come closer to the conclusion, although, while there are no difficulty settings, how hard this is depends on the ambition of the individual, to an extent. The objectives are sufficiently varied, to where you don't feel like you're retreading ground that has been trod to... lower ground. This has well-done story progression, and the stakes keep getting higher. It's relatively open in how to complete the tasks, if entirely linear in the order overall. This has a classic touch to it, and features richness of detail. The characters are well-written and consistent. The voice acting is talented, mostly, especially for the main cast, except many of the German ones. They included a multitude of Allied ranks and nationalities. The accents vary, with several being spot-on. The sound is a high point in this, as the music is a remarkably haunting and fitting well-done score. The humor can be well-done, if at least a smidgen is a bit silly. This holds a bunch of cut-scenes, all of them in-game, so they suffer noticeably under the limitations of the engine. You can tell it was released for both PC and consoles, in the negative way... the mouse will only allow you to spin the camera horizontally, not vertically. Basically, you can't look up, unless you enter first person mode(the regular angle is third person), and at that, you'll be bound in place, until you switch back. This takes some getting used to, and can be bothersome for spotting guards up higher. This, as a whole, can be frustrating, and is clearly geared towards those who sit down, get into it, and take the necessary time for it. Ten to fifteen minutes here and there isn't likely to get you through this soon. Nevertheless, for all the irritation it can provide, it's tough to put away. I recommend this to any fan of stealth and/or adventure games. 7/10
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