great 3D engine and gameplay but some big annoyances

User Rating: 7.6 | Silent Storm PC
Silent Storm shares much in common with Jagged Alliance 2, and it even supasses that great game with a fantastic all 3D engine where almost everything is destructible. Line of sight plays a major role (as it should) and it works perfectly in Silent Storm. The levels are small-ish but very detailed and most have buildings with multiple levels and many different vantage points. But there are a few critical things lacking in Silent Storm that make it a bit dull by the middle of the game. First, "hiding" in JA2 was a legitmate strategy, but in Slient Storm you simply enable the "shadow" ability. This means you can hide in the middle of an open space in broad daylight if your shadow ability is high enough. That's just dumb. Furthermore hiding in a dark corner does not make you less visable to your enemies. Problem is your enemies can use the "shadow" ability too. Suddenly an enemy will appear 1 foot away from you and blow you away because he was using "shadow" ability. Its as annoying and cheap as it sounds. The other big fault is that the RPG elements of building your character are really under-whelming. In Silent Storm you can choose special attributes and abilities as you level up, but these abilities either have too much affect (they make the game way too easy) or too little impact (not worth the effort of having them). Luck plays too great a role in whether you see an enemy before he sees you. I'm playing the add-on "Sentinels" now and I find that most of the faults are still in the game. I should also mention that the game plays pretty slowly as it thinks through the enemy and civilians' turns. Ideally, I wish I could disable all innocent citizens in a level since that would speed up the turn quite a bit. I like turn-based games, but this game takes a bit too long to play through the turns. Jagged Alliance 2 had faults also, but I enjoyed building those characters much more than the charaters in Silent Storm. The problem with Silent Storm is that there isn't enough depth to the game to keep you playing past the middle part of the game.