Project: Snowblind is a mission-based first person shooter set in Hong Kong in the year 2065, in which you play the character of Lt. Nathan Frost, a so-called army "Peace-Keeper". After a brief cut scene that describes the civil unrest in Hong Kong and the reason for your team's deployment, the game commences with some simple combat tasks to get you used to the controls.
Things get far more interesting, however, when you attempt to rescue a colleague and find yourself severely wounded and carried off for some good-old fashioned experimental surgery. After a well-designed dream-sequence style cut scene, you slowly regain consciousness and commence your new role as a bio-enhanced super-soldier.
During the early parts of the game, your new bio-enhancements are revealed in a tutorial-style fashion that gives you plenty of time to get used to the controls and determine their best use. Experienced players might find this style of training a bit slow and frustrating, but we actually found it very effective as the variety of weapons and use of controls is definitely a level of complexity above the typical survival-horror games we love to play in our spare time.
The most obvious enhancement is the radar display, which shows the location of your next primary objective and any nearby soldiers and mechanoids that you may wish to avoid, attack or communicate with. Some people might argue that this simplifies the game too much, but hey, this is a futuristic combat-game, and such technology would be commonplace, right? And besides, another key aspect of the game is the use of stealth, so a helpful radar which shows the direction your enemies are facing means you can practice your stealth moves rather than having to rely on the 'step-into-the-room-all-guns-blazing' approach.
Other major enhancements that are enabled as the game progresses include heat-sensitive vision that allows you to see other soldiers through walls, reflex boost which makes you incredibly fast and a ballistic shield that makes you temporarily invincible. All of these enhancements consume precious bio-energy, but we found stocks of it pretty easy to find throughout the game.
As well as your enhancements, you have access to an impressive list of weapons, including a pistol, carbine, shotgun, ice-pick, rocket launcher, mine launcher, kinetic 'kicker', sniper-rifle (so much fun it should be illegal...oh, yeh, it is!), the list goes on. Adding to your grunt is that each weapon has a primary and secondary method of firing, which makes for a hefty arsenal. In addition to your own weapons cache, there are plenty of other larger fixed-position weapons that you can take control of at various stages of the game, plus a number of vehicles you can drive whilst on the streets of the city.
As we've already mentioned, the game is mission-based, and each mission is well explained by your commanding officers and colleagues. You have quite a bit of freedom in how you carry out each mission and where you can wander, but if you take too long, expect some jibes and reminders from the C.O. Even though the gameplay and storyline is fairly linear, this extra freedom makes it quite enjoyable and you don't tend to feel too directed or restricted throughout the game.
As the game is set in a futuristic and war-torn Hong Kong, the locations and scenery reflect a modern city that has suffered significant damage from rockets, bombs and terrorist activities. The graphics and detail in the game are quite impressive, and even complex battle scenarios look nicely done and are fairly realistic. We particularly enjoyed using the sniper rifle to pick off enemy targets, as the telescopic scope display is wonderfully detailed. There were a few locations in the game where we noticed poor clipping when standing close to shelves and doors, but this was a minor problem, and the graphics during normal gameplay are generally flawless. On the aural side of things, we found the background music to be well suited to the action and the sound effects are nicely done and add to the realistic atmosphere.
All in all, Project: Snowblind is a thoroughly enjoyable FPS with plenty of variety and challenge for all but hard-core combat experts. There are many ways to carry out each mission, so the game has a good amount of replay value.
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