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Project: Snowblind Gadgets Profile

Designer Zak McClendon fills us in on the gadgets you'll be using in Project: Snowblind.


Project: Snowblind is a futuristic first-person shooter in which you'll assume the role of a cybersoldier named Nathan Frost. Like all good action game heroes from the future, Frost doesn't like to leave home in the morning without a formidable arsenal of weapons and gadgets. Last week Crystal Dynamics designer Zak McClendon talked us through the weapons that you'll have access to in the game; this week it's gadgets.

Gadget Mania

By Zak McClendon

Welcome back for our second feature on Project: Snowblind! Once again, this is Zak McClendon from Crystal Dynamics' design pit, giving you the inside scoop on what we've got in store for you. Last time, we told you all about Snowblind's awesome weapons, but supersoldier Nathan Frost has more up his sleeve than ways to blow the enemies to smithereens--he's got sneaky ways to blow the enemies to smithereens. This is where our gadgets come in.

The ice pick will allow you to hack into enemy security systems.
The ice pick will allow you to hack into enemy security systems.

Project: Snowblind offers a ton of destructive weapons and abilities for you to use to wreak havoc, but we wanted to give the player even more freedom, as well as open up some new types of gameplay beyond room-clearing fragfests. Sure, Frost will spend a lot of time with his Liberty Coalition buddies at his side, tearing through hordes of Republic troops, but when you find yourself infiltrating an enemy base riddled with security systems and dangerous bots, you'll need a bit more than raw firepower.

These infiltration missions pit you against a huge array of deadly security systems--trip wires, alarm systems, automated turrets, roving security bots, you name it. But an augmented supersoldier needs a better way of dealing with these threats besides just slinking around them, so Frost comes fully equipped with the means to hack into these and turn them against his enemies!

This is all done with a simple gadget we've named the ice pick. The ice pick functions just like your normal weapons--just point it at a target and shoot! Security systems are all controlled through hidden security panels. You'll need to track these down if you want to take full advantage of the hacking, but once you do, it's so, so worth it.

When the ice pick connects to a security panel, a light on the main gadget will start flashing--you're in! With another press of the fire button, you'll get jacked right into the local security network, with full control over local camera, automated turrets, and bot systems. From there you can disable them, blow 'em up or--best yet--reprogram them to target the Republic. There's nothing more satisfying than hacking into a nearby security camera to watch a group of unsuspecting guards get ripped to shreds by their own defenses.

When deployed in numbers, spider bots are a force to be reckoned with.
When deployed in numbers, spider bots are a force to be reckoned with.

But what if you can't find the central security panel? No problem! The ice pick also works on individual security elements, so if a particular camera or turret is giving you hard time, you can hack it directly and take control. The best part of this is that the ice pick also works on all the bots in the game, from the tiny spider bots to the 10-foot-tall military bot. You can ice pick any bot you see in the game (friend or foe), run to a safe point, and then go on a rampage from the safety of your own hiding place. The ice pick also works with your own spider bots, so you can use them in conjunction with the ice pick to scout ahead, or take out enemies in safety while you're low on health. And speaking about spider bots, they can be your best little buddies when you are surrounded by enemies. Just throw down some riot walls for cover and deploy a bunch of spider bots--they'll help hold down enemy forces in no time.

Another one of the tricky little gadgets that Frost gets his hands on is the kicker. An experimental mass displacer, the kicker will let you push or pull objects in the world from a huge distance away. Tap the fire button for a little nudge, or charge it up to send the object flying! This is great for grabbing that spare bit of ammo or health that's just out of reach while you're pinned down behind cover.

Speaking of cover, a lot of our cover consists of dynamic objects, so using the kicker is fair game here as well. Enemy hiding behind a crate? Just yank it away from him! About to enter an area with no cover at all? Grab some from across the room! No cover for yourself? Nathan Frost brings his own cover with riot walls. These energy walls can be deployed for fast cover from the fiercest of enemies.

The kicker will allow you to grab dynamic objects from a great distance.
The kicker will allow you to grab dynamic objects from a great distance.

Now don't think that you're only limited to these items. You can still mix and match the capabilities of each to create something new to use. For example, you can hack into a spider bot with your ice pick. But before you do that, you shoot it with sticky bombs from the shotgun's alt fire, and then you can hack and drive the spider bot to its intended target. You just created yourself one hell of a smart bomb. This is just one way to use your gadgets, and I'm sure you guys will think of more. We wanted to make the gadgets like this just as rewarding and visceral as the game's weapons. They might give you a more roundabout way of taking out your foes, but they're just as satisfying.

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