2005 Reviews

Project: Snowblind

  • Review Date: 2010-10
  • Release Date: 2005-02
  • Developer: Crystal Dynamics
  • Rating: 6.0

Project: Snowblind was originally supposed to be the third Deus Ex game. However since Deus Ex 2 didn't do well enough commercially, Project: Snowblind became it's own universe.

You play the role of a soldier who, after being injured in war, is surgically enhanced with a number of pointless powers.

One of the biggest problems with this game, that I found, is that I struggled to get my head around all the powers, weapons, alternate fires and general rubbish used to improve your assault. Give me a shotgun and machine gun and i'll be happy. And that's basically how I played the game, switching to the plasma gun and lightning gun (don't know what the actual names were but they're very similar to Quake 3) later in the game. It boggles the mind how a console gamer could come to grips with all the shortcuts for this game when I strugged to remember everything on the keyboard.

You also have a railgun and rocket launcher, both of which I chose to save for boss battles. In the end, there was only one boss battle a few levels from the finish. The actual final two levels were difficult overall for the only reason that you have such limited ammo (and I never realised the vehicles have insanely destructive guns). In fact throughout the entire game ammo is very tight, probably because I was sticking too much to the same weapons.

Project: Snowblind has no difficulty settings, a fairly big flaw and from what I recall the first action shooter I've played without them. Nevertheless, the game was fairly good at getting the difficulty just right. It's hard at times, but often it's because you don't have ammo for the right weapon. I probably died several times during the game, half of which I was able to resurrect myself using an item acquired for this purpose (there's plenty littered around).

The other major flaw in the game is no quicksaving. Instead in most levels you get 1-2 checkpoints; which are basically rooms with a computer where you can save progress. It wasn't until the last 1/3 of the game that I realised you could return to the checkpoint and resave again. It's a silly and pointless idea, they should have either done quicksaving or automatic (magic) checkpoints.

The enemies are all fairly similar, just carrying different weapons or shielding. There are some robots which take a bit of firepower and dish out a lot of damage, but they're slow and can easily be bought down by keeping cover.

The design of the game is fairly average for a 2005 release, although it was only February 2005 that it went gold. It was also intended for Xbox and PS2, so this may explain some of the average looks. But i'd expect better. None of the levels are fairly big, there are very few set pieces and instead of lot of corridor-room-corridor designs. Doom3's corridors look a lot better than Project: Snowblind's corridors.

The game was criticised for being too short, but coming off a 6-8 hour walk in Vietcong 2, Project: Snowblind isn't too bad. Perhaps just under the 10 hours.

Crystal Dynamics aren't known for their first person shooter PC action games, so it's a good start. Pity they've done nothing since except overflow the market with Lara Croft games.