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Silent Scope
Score: 77%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Shooter/ Action

Graphics & Sound:
Silent Scope is not the prettiest game I've seen for the PlayStation 2, but it's not bad either. The one feature that is somewhat impressive is the scope mechanism itself. Using the scope, you can zoom in on a far away target, and everything inside the scope appears nicely detailed. The scope feature is a neat gimmick and is especially cool during the dark, night scope levels. During these scenes, everything is dark around you, but you can see in shades of green through the scope. You have to watch out though, because if someone throws a flare or bright lights are turned on, it will be too bright for you to see. There's not a lot of music in the game itself, other than the cheesy 'lounge' music that plays when you see a scantily clad woman. There are sound effects, of course, but every enemy sounds the same when you hit them. I realize the last thing a person's going to worry about is how creative their last groan will sound, but c'mon! These guys can't all sound exactly alike?!!

So - the question is, "Is it fun?" The answer depends on your patience, your interest, your dexterity, and last but not least, your patience. The game starts out exciting and interestingly enough, but the sound effects get to be quite repetitive in short order. If you really are thrilled about the idea of playing the part of a sniper (and it doesn't bother you that the game doesn't work with a light gun), then you might love this game. Silent Scope is actually a 'rail' shooter. This means you have no control of movement in the game - just shooting. This lets you concentrate on your job, but leaves a little bit to be desired in the realism department. This is offset a bit by some levels that feature you riding 'shotgun' (bad pun. bad, bad pun...) in a helicopter or car. In these scenes, the fact that you don't control your own movement makes sense. In the few that have you on foot in the dark... this seems a bit contrived to me.

One thing that makes a game really fun is a highly customizable difficulty level. This usually allows novices to jump in and have fun while offering a more difficult challenge for experts. Silent Scope offers eight different difficulty settings, but they all seem to start at 'hard' and go up from there. Now - before you start it with that smirk, understand, I consider myself to be a pretty good game player. Further more, I'm not bad at this one in particular. In Silent Scope, I have knocked down the HarrierTM once with just two shots, actually sniped the @$$h*le running through the stadium with the President's daughter... but the difficulty of the game really does ramp up in a fairly ridiculous fashion.

You can get extra lives here and there by peeping on young women in bikinis, but it seems that more often you simply run out of time. And, should you wish to argue that I'm growing slow, I'll point out that I sometimes don't even drop into the scope view (which moves much slower than non-scope view) to take out terrorists... cap them in one or two shots, then it's on to the next one. The controller only allows you to move at a certain rate of speed and maintain control. Perhaps if there had been a special controller that made up for it, that came packed with the game, it would have been easier. But as it is, you have to be extremely dedicated to this (one) game to progress. In my opinion, the reward doesn't make up for the difficulty.

Game Mechanics:
There are some neat gimmicks to be found in Silent Scope, such as the babes in the night scope levels, and the way the bullet actually drops off in the distance. However, there are at least as many little problems to counter them. The oversensitive controls in sniper mode, the ridiculous ramp in difficulty, the utter lack of an actual 'easy' difficulty level; this is definitely a game to rent before buying. For die hard 'rail' gunners that dream of being on a S.W.A.T. Team, this might be just the game for you. Unfortunately, since Silent Scope isn't compatible with a gun controller, I wouldn't expect your high score to earn you any points should you actually decide to become a sniper - unless you find a sniper rifle that's controlled with a PlayStation 2 controller.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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