Mama said there’d be days like this. Review

In Cold Blood Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • N/A

Publisher

  • Ubi Soft

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC
  • PS

rating

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.







REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

1.5
Rating
Solid story
Nifty gadgets
Terrible control
Terrible animations
Terrible action