Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 11.07.05
Introduction:Mindware's Cold War would have been better suited a few decades ago given its premise of The Soviet Union vs. the Americans. Not that it's necessary bad content for a game, it's actually one of Cold Wars strong points. Cold War is an ambitious project that might of just bit off more then it can chew. Read our review to find out more about Cold War, as we discuss the dangerous world of international reporting.
The Game: In Cold War you play Matt Carter a dedicated reporter who will go to the extreme for a good story with an accompanying pay check. Cold War is set in twenty years ago in 1985, and you start out the game by sneaking into a Soviet building to shoot a couple innocent pictures of a top secret meeting of a CIA agent and a Soviet Union president. Right there, about twenty minutes into the game you get busted and are in some real hot water, so to speak, and the fun begins. Run Matt, Run. that's the only option in times of desperation. Matt has to figure out the plot, why he is being framed, to escape harms way. Cold War has some standard twists and turns to to a degree, but it's original story that keeps me playing. I liked the fact that they tried something new rather then pulling a Clancy.
Playing Cold War will remind you instantly of some Fisher guy who is in some game called Splinter Cell, you might have heard of it? I don't think it was popular. :snick: So, Cold War borrows a lot from Splinter Cell, but tries really hard to distance itself with some clever new ideas. Mainly Carter can pull a few MacGyver tricks by constructing a few little trinkets from his surrounding environment to outsmart his opponents or just deliver some non-lethal violence. It's hard to believe but one feature is using rubber bullets! That's right, it's more humane to incapacitate then to kill. Although when they are down from the rubber shock you can hide the bodies and shoot them full of dope. Oh, it's true! The assemble mode is pretty inventive in concept, but it doesn't work as well as it could. Nerveless its fun to see what can be combined in the game, as you make certain items you will unlock different little tricks to help you on your way.
One special item that you get early in the game is the X-Ray camera which is like having one of superman's eyeballs with you at all times. This camera allows the payer to see through walls and even through skin to expose a human's skeletal structure. The flash on the camera is also pretty cool because it can make items explode, or stun guards. The camera, a journalist's secret weapon. You will use the camera a bit in the game, but like most of the Cold War's innovations it's seems like it's all for nothing. Although I liked the old school introduction of the camera, the KGB can be very sneaky.
One or Two Shots
Cold War keeps has good relationship with realism and has implemented the one or two shots to kill or be killed feature. I've heard some so-so comments on having this in the game; I don't see what the fuss is anyway's. It aides tension and brings the player closer into the action, and of course the Czech developer Mindware wanted to push you into playing more stealth like. Like the new Splinter Cell you can also save at anytime which helps with the frustration level. Cold War isn't really too difficult, but it can be a little challenging at times depending on you handle a situation. One good thing about this style of game is that you can try different approaches to find out what works the best, just remember save and load..
Better on Paper
The gameplay really sounds better on paper because certain parts of the game just feel too awkward. From the menu madness of the Assembly menu, to the sketchy shooting and stealth meter, it's just not up to our high expectations. Cold War is playable for sure, but if you have went through a mission in Metal Gear Solid, or Splinter Cell you would notice a difference. It's really a shame because this could have been a nice little sleeper hit for Dreamcatcher. If you're adventurous you might want to try Cold War for the PC to see the gameplay is a little smoother, but overall it falls a little short.
Graphics & Sound:
Cold War hits about average in the graphics and sound department. The graphics are instantly notably a little lower quality, but you can get over it quickly. if you get into the gameplay. I guess besides the jerky animations, and the bland textures there is the X-Ray camera which effetely gives the game a tweak of cool. The audio voice over work is fairly well too; forget about the other audio effects in the game. In all Cold War is an average looking and sounding affair.
Mojo: I'm might be a little jealous that Matt Carter's journalistic life might be a bit more exciting then mine, but this dude has no mojo. It's like watching a rock sink to the bottom of the ocean. The coolest thing about Carter is his MacGyver vibe, oh and his cool X-Ray camera. Cold War does score some mojo points but it's all because of concepts. It might be best to just throw away those goggles, camera and dirty rags and grab some thermal imagers.
Lowdown:Cold War is a clear rental unless you a dedicated freak for stealth games. It's really too bad Cold War falls short in the actually gameplay because everything else in concept is rocking. Curious minds will be enticed by the cool features in the game, just lower your expectations because you won't find a Fisher here.
Gameplay: 6, Graphics/Sound: 6, Innovation: 7, Mojo: 6. Final: 6/10