Snow Blinder

Anyone remember Project: Snowblind or is it just me? I’ve just finished it, and am itching to play it again now. If it’s the last thing I do I’ll sing this game’s praises from the rooftops so more people play it, even in this age of Call of Duties, Mass Effects and Bioshocks. It’s not even a very long game, so you can easily make room for it in your schedule.

What was the premise of this game I’ve never heard of I hear the voices in my head ask? Well dear schizophrenic tendencies, this game involved a civil war in China, in which the international community have of course stuck their noses in to help keep the peace. You get to play as Nathan Frost, some grunt or somesuch, who, while rather foolishly running to save a man down, gets blown to pieces, meaning he gets to be bionically enhanced. If I sound cutting about the back story, then it’s probably because I am.

The back story isn’t why I suggest you go find this game, just like you don’t play Crysis for its story. You should play Snowblind because it was the first shooter that got augmentations right*. You are actually meant to be a supersoldier, as opposed to one that somehow survives magnum clips being unloaded in the face because they get behind cover.

It wasn’t that they were new ideas. None of them were. Yet they work perfectly in this world. The reflex boost that essentially slows everyone else down, perfect for when you need to rush through the horde with your shotgun, is bullet time without the jump. The ballistic shield, great for when you can’t get out of a corner, is a well known idea. The vision augmentation for when you get scared of the dark, and need to see cloaked people or through walls is just night vision goggles crossed with a wall hack. Cloaking is obvious, and the electrical storm you can send at them feels eerily like force lightning.

A very shouty soldier, who happens to also be a biomod - One of the 2 others you meet

On their own, they sound pathetic, but the old adage better than the sum of all its parts has never been truer. The advantage these brought were you could decide how you would take on the enemy on your terms, and this is without speaking about the weapons you also get, each of which has a secondary fire. Once you get into the last 2 hours or so of the game, you’ll have a rail gun, a gun which can fire drones to kill the enemy while you sit there giggling like a maniac, a sniper rifle which can either kill or convert them, and all manners of secondary ordinance. If you even decide that you just want to sneak around them and hack the security, that option was available on more than one occasion.

Even better, they took time to add the little touches that make gamers want to find the writers and hug them close. The wonderful Ed from Gaming Daily spoke about how background chatter in games makes him happy here, and Snowblind fills that criteria. When you send those little drones to go kill them, the enemies fire at them, barking questions and wondering what to do. When you bring yourself back from the brink of death with a nanoboost, they shout “He’s not dead, he’s not dead!” All of which makes me cackle while I blast them to kingdom come.

Put down that Mass Effect 2 box that arrived while you were reading this and go find Project: Snowblind. I can find it for £3.45, which is easily affordable. You don’t have to worry about compatibility either; it’s sufficiently young enough for Windows not to throw a hissy fit. A quick warning though, I occasionally had it crash on 64bit Vista. Whether it didn’t like 64 bit or Vista remains to be seen, but the save points it throws at you every 3 seconds are very helpful with that.

*Yes, Deus Ex used augmentations and got them right. But calling it a shooter is plain folly in my eyes. Return to reading

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~ by drugcrazed on March 4, 2010.

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