I've played a lot of turn based strategy games before, and this one floats straight to the top of my absolute "favs" list when it comes to this genre. Silent Storm is based heavily (but not entirely) on a realistic WWII landscape where you have Nazi Germany trying desperately to take over the world, and the allies who will do anything to stop them. The game focuses on one character that you will control as your own, and whatever team you decide to put together to help you accomplish your missions. The depth of character in this game is so massive you could spend a good hour just piecing together your first team of soldiers. You are able to pick from a collection of about 30 or so pre-made characters ranging from gunners, to medics, to snipers, and engeneers suited to picking locks and disarming mines. Each character has a full set of skills that determine his/her abilities on the field, and as they make their way through missions, they will each accrue experience and improve their skills in whatever they practice the most. This gives you unlimited ability to fine tune your team to your personal specs. Once you gather your team, you will take a mission and set out into the field. You are able to move your characters around in real time, having them stand, crouch, go prone or run, and you even have the ability to have them concentrate harder on hiding from the enemy. As soon as an aggressive action is taken by either your team or the enemy, the game flips into turn based mode and each character has action points based on their stats. Every action you make takes a certain amount of points to complete, so there is a great amount of strategy in every turn managing your action points. If you save some points, you will also have the chance to interrupt if an enemy comes into your view while it is not your turn. there are different levels of aiming precision that take varying amounts of action points based on their accuracy. Overall, the strategy involved in this game is superb, and having the ability to take as much time as you need really allows you to immerse yourself fully in the game as you plan your moves and run your options through your head. The 3d engine that the game is based on provides nearly limitless possibilities for your characters to explore. everything exept for the ground itself is destructable in this game. Believe me, I've tried to blow up everything, including the ground itself. the ground does recieve scars from bullets and explosions, so it's pretty close to being destructable in that respect. But everything else is fully destructable, and on varying levels as well. Shoot a few rounds into a wooden crate, you will see pieces of wood splinter away, shoot some more and eventually you'll completely destroy it. shoot a car a few times, it breaks down a little bit, shoot some more, it starts on fire, until it finally blows up and is a burnt heap of metal. you can blow holes in walls and floors with just about any weapon. Bullet trajectory and penetration is fully calculated. you can easily shoot through several walls of a building to hit an enemy hidden inside, as long as you know they are there. The graphics are clean, and detailed. and benifit greatly from anti-aliasing. One of the cooler effects are the puffs of smoke that burst from the barrel of your weapons as you shoot. they look very realistic. The sound effects are nicely done, most of the guns have a realistic pop, but there are a few that I've heard that have a less realistic effect to them. that takes a tiny bit away from the immersion when you hear those go off, but not enough to bother me at all. the ricochet's and impacts on all types of surfaces sound very very good. My main complaint is that this game lacks any multiplayer. This game is very similar to (actaully almost identical in it's gameplay) jagged alliance series, which did have multiplay capability. I would have loved to be able to go against, or even cooperatively for that matter, with some friends on lan or internet. Outside of that, I can't complain about anything with this one. I absolutely recommend any of you who are at all interested in WWII or strategy games to pick this one up ASAP!!!
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