Review: “Project: Snowblind” (Xbox, PS2, PC)
Project: Snowblind is an FPS that’s essentially Deus Ex 3, but they changed the name and focused more on standard FPS action. It’s a mostly linear game with lots of weapons, and a few “powers” you can use.
I loved Deus Ex, but halfway through my save file got corrupted, and I couldn’t finish it. I really love cyberpunk, so this game really interested me. After I beat it, I made some videos of it, and decided I might as well review it while I was at it. This was about a year ago, and all this content has been sitting on my hard drive since then. So, while this review was mostly done, keep in mind that I may have left some things out. Links to both videos are in the review below.
- Lots of guns, grenades, and bio-augmentations.
- There are so many things, and each of the guns has an alt-fire, which adds even more variety to the battles.
After I beat the game I went back to the major firefights and boss battles, and tried them using different weapons. It really changed it up, and I had a lot of fun experimenting.
[Video: See a (Rabbit Run) video of me using many of the weapons in a major battle]
- Cool navigational display.
- Hate getting lost in games? Not only do you have radar, but you can turn on a navigational display that tells you exactly where to go by putting shrinking rings directly on the screen. It’s distracting, so I never left it on, but it’s great if you get turned around. Then again, it only works because the game is fairly linear….
- Great in-game tutorial.
- When the game starts it throws you right into a giant battle. All you have to worry about is your health, your machine gun, and grenades. It perfectly gets you right into the action, and you slowly learn about each new weapon and item.
- The game begins with your death.
- It’s awesome, and no, the rest of the game is not a flashback.
[Video: See a video of the beginning of the game]
- Game length is short.
- For some people this could be a big issue, but I actually like shorter games (games with no ending, on the other hand, are different *cough*Halo2*cough*). Considering this game is last gen, and now cheap, who cares? Just know that it’s short going in, and you won’t be disappointed.
- Too many controls, not enough buttons.
- This game desperately needs assignable buttons, or a keyboard (there is a PC version).
You can hold the white button to bring up a temporary inventory screen to switch weapons/grenades/bio-augmentations, but it’s pretty jarring. It actually pauses the music, too, which takes you completely out of the game.
Tip for Xbox version: Change the control scheme before you start! Default has secondary weapons (grenades) on the black button; switch it to B or something.
- You can only use one bio-aug at once.
- Far Cry Instincts lets you use a bunch at the same time (speed, vision, etc.), and it was great. The same could work in Snowblind, but they don’t give you that option.
- Vehicles are barely used.
- The manual lists four vehicles, and I’m honestly not sure I even saw all of them in the game. I didn’t even find an “Ogre” (two legged robots you can drive) until after I beat the game and went exploring!
You’re never required to use the vehicles — for instance, there’s a parking garage level where you can drive around it, running people over, or you can simply run through shooting. Clearly they wanted to focus more on the on-foot portion.
- Not many alternative routes to take.
- Most of the alternative routes are just air ducts that still take you to the same room, just from the other side. In Deus Ex, you could go a completely different way, and even skip a whole part of the level. Of course, compared with most games, anything is better than nothing. If you’re used to linear games, it won’t matter, but if you loved the freedom of Deus Ex, you might be disappointed.
- Save points are too far or hidden / No checkpoints.
- This is somewhat minor since the game isn’t very hard, but dying takes you all the way back to your last save point. This discourages you from experimenting and having fun by running into a giant fight with the wrong weapon. Some of the save rooms are out of the way, so I went through some levels without saving at all. If you know you haven’t saved in a while, you try to play it safe. I like harder games that have frequent checkpoints. Then I can just go crazy, and if it doesn’t work out, no big deal.
- Stupid AI.
- If you’ve played older FPSs, you know the drill. Stand outside a doorway and kill each guy as he walks through. Can’t he see the giant pile of bodies? Did he not see his friend right in front of him die? Can’t he hear the loud machine gun I’m using? Or, stand on the roof and kill each guy below — they don’t mind. “I think I heard something!”, they’ll exclaim as their friend dies next to them.
- No difficulty levels, and it’s pretty easy.
- I only died a few times throughout the whole game, and that was when I was carelessly running through large groups of enemies.
- No co-op.
- Multiplayer, sure, but no co-op! I would love to be able to go through the campaign with friends. The bio-augs would make for some great tag-team tricks (say that ten times fast).