Sunday, January 06, 2013

Uprising 44: The Silent Shadows Gameplay Review

I'm playing Uprising 44: The Silent Shadows, a third-person shooter with portions of real-time strategy by DMD Enterprise and Immanitas Entertainment.

The game revolves around the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, when Polish nationalists fought back against the German invaders. The single-player, linear, scripted campaign tells the story of some of the combatants, and offers very infrequent checkpoint saves and the inability to change game options during a mission (or at all, in the case of keyboard controls). The off-center third-person view requires some adjustment, although the 3-D character models do look decent. The compass displays waypoints frequently, but also indicates all nearby enemy units, whether you have spotted them or not, removing a lot of the challenge of the game. Regenerating health behind impenetrable cover also decreases the difficulty significantly. The weapon selection is limited and typical (pistol, submachine gun, rifle), and has high weapon kickback to discourage constant fire; it takes exactly two shots to kill an enemy soldier. The cover system is useful, but most levels have unrealistic objects scattered in each room to provide said cover. Allied units can be issued simple orders (move, fire, take cover), but will forget their commands after about ten seconds. The enemy AI isn’t much better, sticking to scripted locations, predetermined patrol paths, or running straight towards you. The real-time strategy segements give you a binocular view and control of several (around five) units, issuing very simple orders (move, fire, take cover) and calling in off-map support using an awkward control scheme; the result offers no tactical satisfaction through a lack of depth. Uprising 44: The Silent Shadows has a linear campaign, unfulfilling RTS gameplay, poor AI, a limited level of challenge, and lacks common features needed for an intriguing title. An enhanced edition is planned for release in March (to coincide with a retail version).