Shhhh...don't tell the mass media...
As misinformed journalists like to constantly reiterate, video games are evil. People who play video games often commit heinous acts of violence, like stealing bags of Cheetos or occasionally punching their little sister in the back of the head because she snagged the PS2 controller. We're terrible people, us gamers, because we cannot distinguish things on our television from things outside our window.
Obviously, this is retarded thinking and it's hardly worth the effort to retort. But in the midst of tragedy, stupid people always want to point fingers and come up with brilliant explanations for things that don't necessarily have explanations.
Indeed, it can be alarming when fact mirrors fiction, and no game suffers from a poorer case of timing this year than Silent Scope 3. Just what we all needed right now: a sniping game! Let's all say it collectively - D'oh!
So is Silent Scope 3 a textbook in terrorism? Well, only if you want to terrorize your TV. The arcade game succeeded because of the big gun, and the PS2 controller is still a poor substitute. The gameplay of the two previous Silent Scope ports have suffered greatly at this expense, and little has changed.
Silent Scope 3 compensates a bit for the lack of a feasible light gun by tuning up the controls to give the game a first-person shooter feel. Aiming is eased by the new 'lock-on' feature. This Magnet option can be turned off for the purists out there, but comes in handy.
In the previous Silent Scopes, the D-pad could be used to make minute, pixel-by-pixel adjustments in order to really nail home a head shot.. In Silent Scope 3, the D-pad is analogized, making it useless for specific adjustments. Fix one thing, break another.
Silent Scope 3 includes two game modes: Silent Scope EX and Silent Scope 3. EX is a direct port of the arcade game of the same name. Terrorists are mounting a series of attacks and it's up to you to shoot them all, because I guess the cops are busy throwing gamers in jail for playing GTA 3. After each successful level, you are transported back to the mission briefing room, where a fork of levels awaits your selection. Your choices will have an effect on the ending, which gives the game some added replay value. The best level of the lot is when you are charged to eliminate another sniper, dressed in civvies, out to gun down the President in his motorcade.
Silent Scope 3 is a new, original mode. These stages are imaginatively designed, recreating crises that would really call for the skills of a sniper. You might have to eliminate terrorists holding an entire research lab hostage, or even fly out in a helicopter to disarm bombs on a water dam. Some areas within these stages allow for 90-degree turns in order to fight the opposition on all four sides. And instead of directly fighting a clock, like in the arcade mode, you thankfully have a health meter. This new mode is smartly done and offers a change of pace from the usual port job.
The previous iterations of PS2 Silent Scopes offered two-player modes via iLink. Silent Scope EX in the arcades was single player only, and thus there is no two-player mode for Silent Scope 3.
Perhaps due to lazy porting, the graphics come out drab and dirty in the EX mode. Silent Scope 3 has a cleaner, more polished look, in part from what I assume to be native coding. Still, the graphics are a step backwards from much of what we see on the PS2.
3D-phonic sound technology is highlighted as a feature, and in truth the sounds do have a fuller feel, but this doesn't help when the music and sound are for the most part rehashed from earlier iterations of the game. If they're going to beef up the sound, the least they could do is make it original.
The major fault of Silent Scope 3 is that it's more of the same, just memory and repetition. You play the levels over and over again, learn where the guys pop-up and then try to get your cursor over there in time to shoot them. This game doesn't do very well without the gun itself, and the somewhat shoddy port job doesn't help matters, watering down the arcade experience into a mediocre rental. Even if it were possible to train a killer through video games, whether by skill or mental conditioning, any would-be assassin is more likely to grow bored with Silent Scope 3.