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Project: Snowblind (Xbox) artwork

Project: Snowblind (Xbox) review

" Project: Snowblind "

Project: Snowblind

I was really excited about this game upon hearing about its release. Being made by Eidos, the creators of Deus Ex, I expected an enthralling adventure reminiscent of just that. But to my dismay, what I found was a remiss excuse of a game that looked to me as a half attempt by a company perfectly capable of much better.

Right off the bat you're thrust into frenzied action. Wide arrays of weapons are at your disposal, diversifying the experience to a degree. Some, like the ice pick, which allows you to control enemy bots and turn it on its allies, are pretty cool, but a lot feel simply useless. One thing I had a major distaste for was the constant trial and error tactics I was forced to execute. Even at the beginning I had to try multiple times to simply dispatch the first wave of enemies. I'm not sure about you, but I like at least the first few parts of a game to ease me in, allowing me to grasp the reins and feel at home. Sadly, this is not present here. Turrets and bots are dispersed within the environments but they really are overwhelmingly dysfunctional since the enemies that are around you can still shoot you constantly and your health will consistently drain, resulting in quick death.

Some missions involve running and gunning and those are pretty self explanatory, but I had a problem with the stealth missions. You can't even be that stealthy when every time you cap someone in the head from a mile away with a silenced sniper rifle, ten alarms go off, thus spoiling your cover. The A.I is often times spotty. Take, for example, when I shot an enemy with my pistol from a significant distance; at first he looked around and appeared to come after me, but instead stopped and went back to staring at the sky aimlessly.

Biomods, augmentations that allow supernatural feats to be accomplished, help to ease the frustration. Among these are cloaking ability and ballistic shielding, which renders enemy fire next to useless, but you have to become dependant on these to have a somewhat gratifying thrill. Incessantly triggering on the shielding to cover me becomes laborious and is not my idea of a fresh experience. Most of the time, you're left pondering where the gunfire that killed you came from when there was no apparent blip on the radar.

When the game calms down the gunplay can be a satisfying experience. At times the action is intensely frantic and you'll find yourself smiling gleefully, but when you somehow die through inexplicable means it is immediately wiped off. This guy's supposed to be an immensely powerful super human, but a few innocuous pot shots prove to be virulently fatal. Adding to this annoyance is the shoddy health management incorporated into the game. Instead of carrying and collecting health packs for when you need them, you have to find them sitting in the level; when you pick one up, it restores your health according to the size of the pack. A simplistic idea on paper, but you usually find the health when you don't really need it. Soon after, you'll go through a battle, need a health upgrade, and then realize there's none to be found; needless to say, this is insanely annoying and all leads to an eventual death. In all honesty, I've never died so much in a game. This wouldn't be so bad if the levels were actually fun to play through, but unfortunately they're not.

All this mundane gameplay does take place within a respectable environmental show, however. While the character texturing isn't all that great, the models and interactivity with the things around you are nice. There's not any noticeable lag or slow down, regardless of the onscreen action and the particle effects are a glamerous little sideshow. Voice acting is decent, albeit slightly uninspiring, and the music does produce the right mood in certain locales.

None of this makes up for the utter lack of appealing gameplay, as that's what makes or breaks a game. In Project: Snowblind's breaks it. The execution of everything seems to be highly incongruous, forcing clenched teeth to grind while playing through it.

I wanted to like it, but I just couldn't dance to this drummer's beat.

Linkamoto's avatar
Community review by Linkamoto (March 17, 2005)

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