Silent Steel


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Title: Silent Steel
Version:
Manufacturer: Tsunami Media
Computer Tested On: Generic 586-133
Operating System: Windows 95
Reviewed By: Frank Fogg
Review Date: January-98
Rating:

OVERVIEW

Silent Steel is a movie that is also a game. It is distributed on a 4 CD-ROM disk set.

The game places the user in the driverís seat as the captain of a U.S. ballistic missile submarine. The mission is learned as the user progresses through the scenes in the movie.

The movie is interrupted at intervals when it becomes time for the player to make a decision. At the end of each movie segment, three choices are displayed. If desired, the movie will actually read the playerís character dialog lines. The game is played as if you are looking through the captainís eyes in most scenes, although some scenes that happen at a distance are shown to provide continuity.

Each movie segment plays either full screen or in a window at very acceptable video quality and frame rate. The story line is interesting and the acting is good. Those who are interested in military genre games will find many scenes of interest including the ship and aircraft sequences.

Installation and operation were smooth. No operational problems or system crashes were noted during approximately thirty hours of game play.

Game hints and two scenario walk-throughs are available at the manufacturerís website if you find it difficult to get to the end of the game.

STRONG POINTS

Very good video quality - This game provides nice full screen video sequences.

Game replays - The game can be saved and then replayed as a full length movie.

Interesting subject matter - Those interested in this type of subject matter will enjoy many of the video sequences.

Easily understood user interface - All you need to do is point and click.

WEAK POINTS

No randomness - The game is similar to a maze in that once you have mapped your way through it, the game plays the same way each time. I personally dislike this feature of the game, since once you have completed the entire game, there are few surprises left.

There are only two outcomes - Only two different endings are possible in the game, although these two endings are presented in slightly different fashion and at different places in the game.

COMMENTS

This game demonstrates the feasibility of interactive full screen movies. It runs well and is fun to watch. Many of the characterizations are well written and performed. More randomness in the branches and outcomes of this game is needed, but the overall package is quite impressive in concept and technology.


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