To Whom It May Concern, Review

POW Info


  • N/A


  • 1 - 1


  • Codemasters


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now


  • Xbox


To Whom It May Concern,

Life is tough in the camps. I haven't eaten in weeks. I've been skipping meals so I can run around and retrieve things. A bottle of whiskey here, a secret document there. Fetch, fido, fetch! Blargh. All this sneaking has been murder on my lower back, and I think I've become a borderline anorexic. Dammit, I'm so weak I can't even throw a punch to save my life.

I'm sorry - prison life has made me rude. I am Captain Lewis Stone, a Prisoner of War. I used to be a flying ace, but I was shot down in the heat of battle. Now I'm stuck in these god forsaken German prisons. Every time I escape, they send me to another POW camp. But no one's singing Kumbayah.

Oh, who am I kidding? My life here seems to linger in mediocrity, a middle ground neither particularly funny nor exciting. It's like a cross between the futuristic TV show Hogan's Heroes and the futuristic moving picture show The Great Escape. Unfortunately, my life isn't as good as either of them. (And how do I know about future TV shows and movies in the first place? Dammit - another problem to talk to the prison shrink about.)

I've snuck into the sick wards before, but the fastest way there is on stretcher bars. The guards here will shoot you just for looking at them funny. There are a lot of them to be sure, but they aren't a smart lot. They just follow their routines, back and forth. Nonetheless, if I miss my roll calls, they'll hunt me down and throw me in the lock up.

During my stay here at Club "Dread," I have to follow a semi-rigid schedule of roll calls in the morning and evening. Other items on the itinerary include three meals a day and time for exercise, but these events don't require a check-in.

So, while everyone else is dragging their feet to the mess halls or engaged in idle chatter, I'm sneaking over fences, gathering contraband, and figuring a way out like a good rabble rouser. Ha! I'm smarter than all of them, but why do I feel sooo dizzy?

It must be because my life here boils down to retrieval mission after retrieval mission. While there's more than one way to accomplish my objectives, the differences are minor. Occasionally a secondary item can be found in multiple places or a specific guards can be bribed to make a mission easier, but for the most part, I'm just running around grabbing stuff from fixed locations.

I really wish I was a more limber fellow, 'cuz I've only got basic crawls and climbs at my disposal. Don't even ask me to roll, dive, or flip around like some sophisticated super agent, though I really wish I could. S'not fair!

I can bump into nearly everything in this awful prison, but there are only a few things I can actually pick up and use. Shoe polish can be used to camouflage my face at night and I've used Nazi uniforms as disguises, though they aren't foolproof. Higher ranked officers see right through my disguise, and sometimes just standing too close to any officer sets them off. Touchy!

There's a crow bar, too, but it can only be used to jimmy open certain doors, not whack Nazi noggins. There's no way to fight back, not with a crow bar and not even with my fisticuffs.

Okay...I know if I were to actually throw a punch at a guard, I'd be shot dead. But even to the very end, I'm not going down without a fight, and if I am going down, I'm going to bring the Nazis down with me. After all, I have a spirit that cannot be broken, tamed, or mollycoddled into revealing the secret location of our reinforcements. Okay... it's Switzerland.

Why do I lack an offensive side? Even if fighting ends in failure 9 times out of 10, I feel like my life would be more real and perhaps offer more playability if only I could fight back. Instead, I just sneak everywhere I go.

And at even the slightest mistake, I will be sent to the barracks or shot and sidelined to the sick ward. There, as if by some cosmic force from the great beyond, I am asked whether I wish to continue or load from my last save. My life has become very stop and start and trial and error. There is little leeway if I get caught, because the guards will hunt me down. And then I find myself "loading from my last save" in repeating trials and attempts at nailing it down. It's like reliving the same day over and over again.

Sometimes when I've got some free time, I chat with the other inmates. They're always blabbing on about the same things, but sometimes they'll have something worth listening to. I can also spend my contraband at a game of dice or the ever-fun game of throwing stones at tin cans. Whoopie. Oh, if my friends could see me now.

Nazi war camps aren't known for their wide range of leisure activities. Sometimes I get bored between my escape plans and reconnaissance outings. During these moments, I find a way to "time skip" to certain points in the day. For example, if there's something I need to search for by cover of night, I can skip forward to the evening's roll call.

I think I accomplish this mystical "time skip" through intensive meditation and aligning my karmic oneness. That or I take a nap.

Maybe it's just the pains of confinement, but the characters stare at me with dead, empty eyes. They seem a mite blocky and their pallid, dull skin frightens me. I mean, maybe it's the lack of glucose, but the world I see just seems so average. Sometimes my eyes act up and the world lapses by at a chugging pace. It seems to happen when there are large groups of inmates gathered together.

And these inmates won't shut up. They all have something to say in a wide range of accents and ethnicities. For some incomprehensible reason, my German captors sound more like Charlie Chan with a sore throat.

Time is short, and I don't even know if this letter will find a reader. But should a free man be holding this letter, please share my knowledge with the rest of the outside world so others can avoid my plight. I live a life that sounds better on paper than in play. You'd think it was a neat idea fraught with adventure - "Sneak around while trapped by the Nazis! Attempt to break free from the clutches of madmen! Now with less sugar!" But while exercising my stealth skills can be fun in the myriad of mazes the Nazis have set for me, my inability to fight back and incessant item hunting have driven me quite mad. Yes, quite.

Please send help. And cookies.

Captain Stone


Cool idea
Good level design
Decent stealth gameplay
Small range of moves
Routine AI
No offensive skills at all
Repetitive retrieval missions
Subpar graphics