Silent Bomber Review
It's a rare scene where a company such as Bandai could produce such an excellent title as Silent Bomber. Nothing personal against the company, but you can't help but argue that when you see a release list of games, you first scroll down to check out the Square, Namco and Sony titles. The games you may rarely notice are games by smaller publishers/developers such as Bandai, though the company is very known for its Power Rangers and Digimon show, they aren't known too much for videogaming (although they do have a few good titles on the PS). I first heard of Silent Bomber while looking through a few press releases, I came to experience the game first hand, when I played the demo and then following the Japanese version, which was released just a short time ago. Now Bandai has finally decided that it was time to bring Silent Bomber over to the PS, see how hot the title is.
It may not sport the best visuals but it certainly sports the best explosions and special effects. Character detail is scarce here, you look at Judah (the main character) from a semi top-down view as he runs around setting bombs and detonating them. The camera isn't positioned too far from him, respectably the camera sits about two stories above Judah, to make all this explanation easier just look at the screens. Detail in all moving objects is quite nice, Bandai did a good job in the detail, each character is smooth, nicely structured and move around with no problem. Textures look like they received quite some attention. Objects such as boxes, walls, elevators all look quite realistic, frankly I prefer pre-rendered backgrounds and such, but these still look great. The explosions which are the special effects are the real beef in the game's sci-fi atmosphere. You are required to blow everything up that stands in your path. If it is part of the interactive environment then blow it up, and watch the fireworks fly. The fire looks so real that you can almost feel the flames burn. I was quite impressed with the CG quality that Bandai has been able to make, these are without a doubt some of the cleanest CGs in a while.
Silent Bomber's preeminent gameplay is what makes the game worth while. The story is somewhat confusing at first and isn't too memorable, but the gameplay experience is quite intriguing. You are Judah, thrown into the world of destruction. When starting with the missions, the game (if you pick training) will open up with an intro where Judah is dreaming about his first mission, you take control of him and guide him through the training level. After accomplishing the level the game engine takes over and you here pedestrians shouting, Judah had thought that only enemies were present on the battlefield but his orders were to destroy everything no matter what. Seven years have passed since that incident and Judah wakes up from his slumber. A short while later his team (whom he travels with) are under attack, the world that Judah is currently in reflects the world of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. As his comrades are being attacked Judah escapes and this is where the game picks up. You are taken through futuristic environments where Judah destroys enemies, harmful objects, laser canons and much much more. Your missions vary throughout all stages, in the first mission you are supposed to destroy a certain object and when the is completed an arrow will point you to the exit. Every few levels has a boss fight, they are particularly easy but they tend to get more and more difficult as you progress.
To destroy objects and parts of the environment, you have to use the infinite amount of bombs you are equipped with. Not only do you have the bombs but you can also pick up other weapons as well and add them to your inventory. Weapons such as fire napalms and paralysis are some of the few that can be picked up from defeated enemies. In order to plant bombs you have to either tap Square once, so that Judah places them down, or hold the button so that Judah can lock on or aim them at something. What's pretty cool about Silent Bomber is that you have the ability to upgrade your weaponry and armor by picking up E-Chips hidden in each stage. You can upgrade the range of your bombs to 10, the level of your armor to 100% and the amount of bombs that you can place at one time to 10 as well. The gameplay is without a doubt incredibly addictive, playing this game for too long can almost feel like a sin (and that's a good thing). Though the concept may sound repetitive and when hearing it is, but when actually playing the game you can't help but love everything about it.
With explosions literally surrounding you everywhere, what would you have to expect from the sound? Easily the best damn explosions you have ever heard a videogame do. Bandai really steered Silent Bomber right in almost every way, including the sound. The only game that can really compare is Medal of Honor. The sound effects are so rich, crisp and lively that makes the game an incredible feat to play and listen. Turning up the volume can make your room sound like World War 3. The voice acting is hardly a drawback, but the timing is of key at times and phrases aren't expressed as they should be, but for the most part tight quality voice acting with great clarity.
All these explosions, of course you have to feel the action and the intense heat. Luckily the Dual Shock can do just that, although it doesn't heat up, the rumble feature is unbelievably strong. The controls are extremely responsive and detonating the bombs is done with out any hesitation. The games training part will explain every thing about the controls, and it will get you ready for the game.
Last year Syphon Filter was the sleeper hit of the year, and this year it is safe to say the Silent Bomber may very well be the same. Be that as it may, Silent Bomber is one of the best and most addictive titles the PS has to offer. Do yourself a favor and go out to purchase Silent Bomber, it is a treat that must not be missed by anyone especially if you like action titles, and/or enjoy Star Wars or Star Trek flicks. Silent Bomber definitely goes in my book as one of the more enjoyable titles I have played.