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Genre: Action :: Players: 1 :: Released: 28/2/07

Andy McNab's Enigma Force Review

Developer: Impressionware

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Reasonable graphics
A potentially interesting plot

Cons

Game is too hard
Controls are awkward

Sound
Vibration
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
See Compatible Handsets

51

Graphics

63

Sound

54

Controls

41

Playability

48

Lastability

46

Review Details
Handset Sony-Ericsson K600

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 28/2/07

Another effort in the sniper / stealth game genre. This one has the backing of a very famous name but does that have any bearing on the game?


One thing is for certain in the mobile industry. Names sell. At least that's what execs think when they try to put a spin on a game by having a famous person attached to it. Who cares what the gameplay is like when you can have someone who's famous and popular in the field putting their name to something. Well, it's a coin toss as sometimes it really works out and other times it doesnt. After a week or so of playing this game, I'm still undecided and I suppose that just about pushes it over the edge into the latter category.

Don't get me wrong, Andy McNab is a decent game, but falls a little short at times. I suppose this is a bit ironic as that's the opinion I have of the writer, regardless of whether he's an actual ex-SAS operative. At least he tries to convince us of this in his books and who are we to doubt him.

The game starts off with some military style music and a nice backdrop of a soldier in stealth pose. You have to try and get your head around the whole title which is exhaustively called Andy McNab's Enigma Force: The Regiment. There's only one option to start with, new game so that's where you should go. Or maybe you should check the options menu and set the difficulty level first from 3 set levels. Thankfully this game has vibra and sound although you don't really hear much of this in game. There are also a few different control options but we'll get to that later.

The plot centres around you trying to get into the SAS after being wowed by an older friend who had joined and has now myteriously gone missing. You start off with a few simple exercises to see if you have what it takes to get into the Regiment in the first place. I say simple, but even on normal difficulty level some of these were quite hard. You see, where I think the game falls down is in the early missions where you have to have super ninja skills to sneak around without being spotted. This is largely due to the walking paths the guards take and having little or no hiding places near some of them. This means you have to move around in the open, running away from bullets or you have to take them head on. If you are very very good and patient you might be able to lure them somewhere and then silently kill them when they walk back to their post.

But herein lies another problem. To do this you have to get very very close to the guard and then press the left shoulder button when you see the icon change to a hand. This indicates that you can do a silent kill, but the walking speed of the guards means that you have to have very good reflexes to get this on consistently. There were plenty of times when I thought I had it but ended up either activating the binoculars or shooting at the guard thereby revealing my position and having to flee like the coward I am.

Once you have mastered these, you may think the game will be easy sailing but again it's far from it on normal mode. On the first intelligence gathering mission you are faced with a room where a guard has his back to you. Simple enough, walk up behind and kill him. But there is another guard who is watching this guy that you can't get to and so any attempt to put the first guard out of their misery will bring them all. I ended up going into another room and luring the guards there by firing shots off and then sneaking up behind them when they walked back to their post. This wasn't easy and took me several goes all so I could get a piece of C4 to blow up the door in another room.

Yes, there are plenty of item pickups from different guns (auto and semi autos) to explosives (C4 and grenades) to keys to unlock doors. But getting them won't be easy. Like all stealth games, you can hide in the shadows and this actually looks really cool as you change to a deep red hue. You can use binoculars to look around the screen up to a certain point and you can try and shoot people as well.

Graphics are probably around average with the animation and backgrounds reasonable but the soldiers and even you not having loads of detail. Sound is non existent in the game until you die or complete the level although the vibra is actually not bad. Controls are simple, use the D pad / stick to move around and the shoulder keys to melt into the shadows. 5 will fire your weapon. Took me a while to realise that zero drops your item as you can only be carrying two things at once. What kind of SAS soldier are you? And I'm not going to even go into the confidence bar that apparently lets you do certain things once it's filled.

One good thing is that you can restart each little mini area instead of the whole level. Or you could do the whole level just to get a better score and your progress is actually saved mid level which is really good. The next mission I played was the hostage situation where you have a limited time to kill everyone so silent kills become out of the question. And you have to do it efficiently as otherwise the head honcho terrorist will get wind of what's going on and shoot the hostages.

Like the other levels, this took me several attempts on normal to get through and I'm sure I'm nowhere into the game yet. The plot about my lost friend seems to be advancing but I don't have the skills to keep playing and find out more. For that I'd have to be a real SAS soldier.