Silent Scope 2
Review of Silent Scope 2
“04:00 am Location: Chemical Weapons Factory – Norway...
Your heart leaps as an enemy comes into view... Fighting your instincts, you keep calm and slowly train your sights on the terrorist. Moving as he moves, his head in the middle of your sights, you take the shot and he falls to the ground...
Have you got what it takes to be a crack sniper, have you got what it takes to be ‘Silent Scope’...”
Walk into any arcade and the Silent Scope 2 cabinet always looms large, with it’s huge sniper rifle calling out to your subconscious mind...”play me, play me, play me...”. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the same experience loading the Silent Scope 2 CD into the PS2, something to do with having a large blue plastic sniper rifle me thinks.
The story behind Silent Scope is a simple one. You play the role of a crack sniper and work either for the Government (codename ‘Falcon’) or Freelance (codename ‘Jackal’). Your job is to exterminate the terrorist threat in a variety of situations and locations, seven locations in total. These include Tower Bridge, a Chemical Weapons factory in Norway, Gatwick Airport, and a disused warehouse in Yorkshire of all places. Interestingly, nearly all of the locations used are in England and the snipers’ nationalities are English yet they all speak in nice broad American throughout... A twist has been added to the story in that a former agent and sister of ‘Jackal’ has been taken hostage and must be freed. The Jackal is also considered highly dangerous and untrustworthy by the Government agency.
Gameplay is about as simple as you can get – take out the enemy before they take you out. As the PS2 has yet to have a ‘Sniper Rifle’ accessory, the developers have contented themselves with using the analogue sticks of the Dual Shock to control the gun’s on screen sight. Once an enemy has been spotted, the scope can be activated and a zoomed in ‘scope view’ allows for final adjustment, before gently squeezing the X button and capping yet another terrorist nicely in the head. Although the Dual Shock just doesn’t feel the same as holding the real thing, it doesn’t do a bad job of replacing the arcade gun. Why didn’t Konami use the G-Con you may be thinking? Well the ‘feel’ of the game using a G-Con would just be completely different. Its not just about ‘point shoot’, but about lining up the enemy, zooming and then finally taking the shot – if you understand what I mean... Using the controller is sometimes a pain though, since it can be difficult to move your sight a tiny bit without overshooting the intended target. The ‘scope view’ also features a rather nice infra-red night sight and rather amusing X-Ray mode, where all the bad guys show up as skeletons.
Graphically the game is no stunner, but does it’s job well enough and is a faithful reproduction of the arcade game. The scope effects are pretty smart though, with the X-Ray mode probably being the best and most entertaining. Enemies are of the ‘cardboard cut out’ variety and move pretty much like it too! In some respects the graphics reminded me of PSOne titles, they just appeared a lot sharper of course! The cut scenes use the same graphics engine as the game, which if done well is no bad thing (as in Time Crisis 2...). However, these are scenes of a rare quality, those of the extremely naff variety. Luckily the game sounds rather better with the gun affects being spot on, and the music nicely complementing the game’s atmosphere.
Now as Silent Scope 2 is a conversion of an arcade game, it suffers the usual conversion problem of lack of depth. It’s dead easy to pick up and play, but the longevity just isn’t there. The developers have tried to address this by changing the route through the game depending on which sniper you choose, but the enemies still appear in the same old places every time. A shooting range mode has been included but tends to be pretty dull after more than a few minutes of play. Far better is the Mission mode in which certain tasks must be completed. An example might be dispatching all the bad guys within 30 seconds... If you’ve played Time Crisis 2, then these are pretty similar to the Crisis Missions. I guess the two player game could be pretty good, but it’s not an easy (or cheap!) option, requiring two PS2’s, two TV’s, a link cable and of course two copies of the game.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Silent Scope 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by James Goode © Absolute PlayStation
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