User Rating: 6.6 | Silent Storm PC
I'm an experienced turn-based tactics player. I loved Jagged Alliance 2 and even Fallout Tactics. If you're a fan of the genre too, then you know a modern update is badly overdue (not just another makeover, ala Jagged Alliance: Wildfire), and you're hoping Silent Storm will be the one. You're in for some disappointments. Silent Storm is beautiful (although I get lag with 1 gig RAM, 9800 Radeon Pro). Rag-doll physics and destructible environments are awesome. Sound is weak: music is too monotonous to like and too invasive to ignore, and weapon sounds are very bland. Voices are silly, like Jagged Alliance, but random, nonsensical, and repetitious, and thus dumb instead of funny, unlike JA. Gameplay has ups and downs. Some great improvements over JA, like cones of vision, improved sneaking and melee, far more developed terrain. However, AI is weak: the soldiers don't respond to bodies or to being shot if they can't see you. But if you are sneaking and they detect you, they will come from all over the map (even the ones you'd just been shooting as they stood there). The maps are even smaller than JA's and a fraction of Fallout Tactics'. Roleplaying aspects are unbelievably weak. Yes, "stats increase with use," but due to a bug the developers have resisted patching (they are holding it for the expansion pack), soldiers left at home actually increase stats far faster than the ones you just used for a mission, which takes away all the fun of watching your guys grow. Also, specialty skills (e.g., medicine, traps, lockpicking, etc.) are useless, because they don't increase fast enough. And you can't manually "practice" these skills to usefulness because lockpicking/mining/etc. requires tools that are used up quickly (e.g., 5-use lockpick). The storyline and gameworld are very weak. There is no discernable plot (not even an overall objective like Jagged Alliances' "free Arulco"), no day/night cycle, no "sleep," no "capturing territory," weapons are freely available back at base, enemy patrols roam the entire map (Germans patrolling English soil during World War 2???), no side quests, no persistent NPCs, not even persistent cities (if you visit anywhere but your next mission on the map, it just shows a tiny patch of ground with your tent, even if you'd had a mission in a city at that spot just a few minutes before). The "random encounters" (enemy patrols that appear on the world map) are voluntary and use very repetitive maps. And the last missions of the game involve you discovering a secret weapon that basically eliminates squad-level tactics and turns the game into a turn-based version of MechWarrior. Basically, download the demo, and you've seen Silent Storm at its best. If you really liked the combat, and you think you can ignore its lack of RPG and world elements (just looking at it as a bunch of turn-based squad battles strung together with no relation to each other), you might still buy this. Just know that most players have had to heavily modify the config files and use cheats to make the game playable, and you really may have to buy the upcoming expansion pack to get even the biggest flaws addressed. You know what would have saved this game, by highlighting its strengths? Multiplayer. Too bad there isn't any.