Silent Scope 2 Review
I admit it. Last year when I reviewed Silent Scope, I went extremely easy on it by awarding it a 6.7. Sure it's not exactly an "award," but still a 6.7 was 'too' high of a grade for a game as lackluster as Silent Scope. I played the arcade game once, maybe twice, and found it to be a great title, and when I heard Konami would be axing the scope support from the game, I instantly imagined myself playing Silent Scope in the arcades with a fighter joystick and 3 buttons. This was illogical thinking on Konami's part. You cannot exclude the core element of a game, especially one that makes the title what it is and expect people to buy it. Silent Scope would've been what Time Crisis is today; a short-lived, but nevertheless excellent light gun shooter, that is always a pleasure to come back to. Although, I admit it Silent Scope was a fun game. It had its elements of excitement, but then again, it quickly wore out its welcome. Then came time of the sequel's announcement. Although, this time Konami promised more. But how much of it did they deliver?
Little to nothing has changed in the visuals. A few here and there adjustments in the character detail, and texture detail, but nothing extraordinary. The game will take you through various locations such as London, an airport, and various infrared locations. The details are quite sharp, and while there's nothing to complain about, there's also nothing to be proud of either. The visuals are taken straight off the arcade version. The stages are quite large, but you don't feel the presence of freedom, as you have little to no control over your character. The enemies look the same for the most part, aside from the clothing; every common enemy is composed of the same details. The game of course features explosions and the works. Special effects look pretty good for the most part, but don't expect anything mind-blowing. It's hard to say anything more about the visuals. They're pretty ordinary to me. I guess the screenshots speak for themselves.
I will admit that while there is no rifle support for the game, Konami has approached the plague reasonably, and dealt with it nicely. What they had done was implement USB mouse compatibility so that instead of the analog stick, the gamer could use the mouse to move the cursor/crosshair, zoom in and out, and shoot. Thanks to an inclusion as minute as USB compatibility, Silent Scope 2 feels like a much-improved game. In-fact, it begins to feel like I'm playing Virtua Cop/Squad on the PC. Those gamers who were reluctant to check out Silent Scope 2 because they didn't know how it plays shouldn't fear. If you have a USB mouse (get one for $10 if can) and are looking for a game that will satisfy your trigger-happy fingers, go on and pick up SS2. Chances are you will enjoy the game, especially in its two-player form. Silent Scope 2 is sadly a 15-20 minute game, or a half hour game for the beginner. While the replay value is a hard hit on the games final and gameplay score -in addition to the replay value itself- SS2 is a game that owners will enjoy coming back to. It's an amusing game with a good assortment of modes to choose from. The more you complete the story mode, the more extras you will be given. Some extras include: more health, more continues, and more time. Silent Scope 2 is a very easy game to get into. It requires absolutely no time to get the hang of. If you're thinking twice about purchasing the game, I recommend at least a rental. Also make sure you play the game with a USB mouse. Anyone will work.
The sound in SS2 isn't any better than it is in the first. The dialogue isn't very frequent, and there is very little of it altogether. The voices are moderately suitable, and at times sound out of co-ordination. The clarity of the voice acting isn't as it should be, but then again it's an arcade title and arcades games have pretty average sound effects. There's nothing great, or good that can be said about the sound. It falls in between poor and average. There isn't much I can really say about the sound.
As I have mentioned, the controls have been substantially improved. Konami took the time and effort to allow the gamer to adjust the speed of the cursor via analog and USB mouse. This particular inclusion is something I found to be good thinking on Konami's part. The USB compatibility is what really hits the spot for me. I'm a big PC first person shooter fan, and I find the use of the mouse in SS2 to be an exquisite addition to a game that may have faired quite poorly without it. Zooming in and out still remains the same as it has, although to help with visibility, you can adjust the transparency of the crosshair when you are zoomed in. This is ideal so that you are able to see two things at once. Like I said, the game is much better than its predecessor.
In the end, while Silent Scope 2 isn't a great game, it is a fun title that'll be enjoyed. But -and this is one big 'but'- with the release of Time Crisis 2 w/ GunCon 2, I see absolutely no point to purchasing Silent Scope 2. You may want to weigh in your options and rent both titles, but chances are the GunCon 2 will not be available along side Time Crisis 2. Silent Scope 2 does have many improvements over the first, and if this were the launch game we got last year, the score would've been at least an 8.0 or so. So in a way it's a bit too late to make up for the first title's wrong doings this year, because with the release of Namco's 'better in every way Time Crisis 2, Silent Scope 2 is...well...obsolete. Final verdict: Go get Time Crisis 2!
10/3/2001 Arnold Katayev