From Matrix to Marksman.
Falcon, the hero of the original Silent Scope, has returned and he's brought his gun along with him. This time, though, he has shed his boy band image and has become a much more mature looking marksman. That is, if you consider Keanu Reeves more mature looking. Falcon has got company; the government has enlisted Jackal, another top level sniper, to hunt down those terrorists with extreme aggression. Who does Jackal look like? I dunno...Ed Begley Jr.?
Interestingly enough, gamers have a love-hate relationship with the Silent Scope games. In the arcades, SS2 is most excellent. Who wouldn't get a kick out of a sniper game with a giant rifle and magnifying viewfinder? The home translation, on the other hand, dips to the bogus side of the scale mainly due to the lack of an actual gun.
Once again, you'll have to settle for the standard controller, making the sniping experience entirely different from its arcade counterpart. It's just brutally obvious that the rifle made the game. The realism and sense of control just can't be matched with a controller.
I know that bringing on a full bonafide rifle is economically unfeasible, but why not light gun support, with the viewfinder on screen? A light gun would enhance the experience a thousand fold over the use of a measly cursor. The act of shooting is holding a gun, aiming, and pulling the trigger. I know I'd rather be shoving quarters into a Silent Scope 2 arcade machine rather than renting the PS2 version.
If they are translating arcade games so half-wittedly, then why not bring out Silent Scope: Token Shot as well? (I kid you not - Silent Scope: Token Shot is a real ticket redemption game).
That said, Silent Scope 2 makes the best of the situation. There are several control options here to putz around with, enabling you to vary the aiming speed. With enough tinkering, you should be able to come up with something that works for you.
The gameplay is basically the same as always. You come to memorize where the opponents are, and you nail them in the head, the chest, or the ever-comical shot to the crotch. Since gamers are forced to use a controller rather than some kind of gun, Silent Scope 2 becomes a test of memory and repetition.
In addition to scads of bad guys, you are fighting the ever-dwindling clock. When the clock is almost up, the game puts a countdown timer in front of your viewfinder. It's definitely annoys rather than add to the tension.
Graphics are straight out of the arcade. Not a huge departure from the original Silent Scope, and very average compared to what the PS2 has proved possible. Still, there are some updated touches here and there, such as the X-ray viewer you can use to scope out the baddies' skeletons in the dark. Incidentally, Keanu has been quoted saying that he is afraid of the dark. Just a coincidence? Hmmm"
The sound effects have their ups and downs. They really nailed the 'fwip!' of the sniper rifle and the majority of the background audio doesn't get in the way, but boy, does the voice acting suck.
Like the Arcade original, Silent Scope 2 offers both cooperative and one on one sniping by linking two PS2's together. But who has two PS2s, two copies of Silent Scope 2 and the ever elusive link cable? Right, three of you, tops. Though it's unlikely you'll ever use this feature, I'm still glad they put it in.
Silent Scope 2 has got more game than its predecessor with some updated touches and duel options, but in the end, that's not saying much. This is one port that went from arcade star to console dog. Heinous, dude.