More Reviews
REVIEWS Wayward Manor Review
Not even the power of Neil Gaiman and The Odd Gentlemen could save this game from a fate worse than death: a terrible score.

ONE PIECE Unlimited World Red Review
"Unlimited World Red"? More like "Sorta Limited Town and Extended Areas... Red. And Blue. And Some Yellow."
More Previews
PREVIEWS Pillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
Release Dates
Release date: 08/05/14

Release date: 08/19/14

Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: 08/19/14

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: 08/19/14

LATEST FEATURES How Bioware Creates Romances
Bioware's games have romances where you might save the world, on the side of course.

We Absolutely Should Be Upset With Club Nintendo's Latest Elite Rewards
Surveys out the wazoo and I get a code for Dr. Luigi?
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Picking Your Gender: 5 Industry Professionals Discuss Queer Identity in Gaming
Women from Naughty Dog, ArenaNet, Harmonix, and Gamespot unite to talk about what they want from games in terms of diversity.
Coming Soon

Read More Member Blogs
Why Sunset Overdrive Can Go Suck A Lemon
By Kakulukia
Posted on 07/14/14
Yesterday, while cleaning up my media center, I found my copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, which I bought sometime before Christmas last year. I had been pretty excited about this game pre-release, what with it being the first "traditional", albeit shorter than usual,...

In Cold Blood Review

Shawn_Sanders By:
GENRE Action 
T Contains Blood, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Mama said there'd be days like this.

Most game consumers view the gaming press as overweight, overgrown children who live secular, opulent lives of sitting on our butts eating junk food and playing video games. While some of this may be true (everything but the opulence part), anyone fortunate enough to land a reviewing job in the gaming industry will quickly tell you how it ain't all it's cracked up to be. Often we find ourselves enduring many sleepless nights, wrestling with uncooperative video game characters, their dumbass enemies, retarded level designs and/or severely somnolent gameplay. It ain't all Half-Life. Yeah, I know. Poor us.

Enter In Cold Blood, a Metal Gear knockoff from Canadian developer Dreamcatcher. This title has been roaming about in Europe for quite some time and has finally reached American shores. Over the course of the game's 9 missions, players will find a solid story and a few neat Bond-style gadgets and weapons. But unfortunately, they'll also find crummy graphics and dull gameplay, leading to a game that is more a chore than a delight.

At some point in the near future, the U.S. and The People's Republic of China are catastrophically close to engaging in all out war. Due to the growing threat the Chinese present, the CIA requests support from the British Secret Service. That's the cue for our hero, John Cord, a special agent who's latest mission is about to go pear-shaped. The story is told in flashbacks, which is kind of intriguing. You quickly realize that you've been setup and there is a select few who you can trust. The story basically carries the entire game with the help of some pretty FMV sequences.

In Cold Blood plays like a standard action/adventure title. As a spy, Cord must do some rescuing, a lot of shooting, blowing up or defusing stuff, etc. Talking to people and extracting valuable information is a must if you are to succeed in your missions, some of which can really try your patience. The third mission, for example, requires you to run back and forth ad nauseum disabling robots. Very tedious and not very fun.

Cord does get to use some nifty little gadgets. Advanced communication devices, electromagnetic pulse mines, computer hacking utilities, motion detectors and other cool toys aid you in your quest.

What isn't cool is the control. Moving Cord is an exercise in self-restraint, as I had to restrain myself from taking a gun and shooting my computer until it was dead …dead…dead! I tried all possible control options: control pad, keyboard, and 'screen relative' controls (which I thought was point & click). All are horrible. The only setup that leads to any success is with the control pad. But even this gets incredibly frustrating, as a light tap left or right can spin Cord around 180 degrees.

Furthermore, Cord can't move backwards with his gun out, and forward movement is a one step, then stop, one step, then stop affair. On the good side, all the hair that I pulled out of my head may be used to patch that Friar Tuck balding pattern a friend of mine is experiencing. Who needs the Hair Club for Men?

Gunfights are severely lacking in intensity. A heated battle consists of you and your assailant standing 10 feet from each other firing your weapons. Since how fast I press the button directly relates to how fast my gun fires (like a game of Galaga), winning a one-on-one gunfight is very easy. The only way to be beaten is to get attacked by more than one assailant, which is usually the case.

Also, the prerendered backgrounds and stagnant camera angles make it really hard to play it sly and sneaky. Your depth perception is thrown completely off. Am I behind this filling cabinet? Blam! Apparently not.

If you ever played the old point-and-click Blade Runner game for the PC, you know what this game looks like. For the rest of you, In Cold Blood's backgrounds are all hi-res and pre-rendered (which means the camera angles are static). The textures are nice and dark, which sets a great mood for the espionage thing. The areas look good and get the job done well. They remind me a lot of the pre-rendered settings in Final Fantasy VII - solid, but dated.

On the flipside, character movement and animation is terrible. On a 700 MHz AMD with 192 MB RAM backed by a GeForce 2 Ultra, the character still looks out of focus and pixilated. Sneak up behind a guy to deliver a conscious-stealing blow to the back of the neck and the lack of animation becomes brutally apparent. Hit the guy, now he's on the ground. There's no falling animation or anything. Can someone tell me what year this is? [2001, Shawn - Ed.]

Unfortunately, Dreamcatcher has produced a template for a good game, but the execution is flawed. The solid story, decent backgrounds and cool gadgets just aren't enough to offset the lame animation, awful control and bland action.

But more importantly…the next time you run across one of your not-so-friendly neighborhood gaming editors, give them a smile. Slap 'em a high-five. Offer a cup of coffee or tea and some Visine. Pat him/her on the back and voice a heartfelt "Keep up the good work" and send them on their way. Trust me, we could use it.

C- Revolution report card
  • Solid story
  • Nifty gadgets
  • Terrible control
  • Terrible animations
  • Terrible action
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.

More from the Game Revolution Network

comments powered by Disqus


More information about In Cold Blood

More On GameRevolution