Silent Scope is Konami’s latest arcade port and a foray into the light-gun genre’. But, Silent Scope isn’t compatible with light guns. The reason for this is that SS has A LOT of controls for this genre’. In an attempt to make a "deep" gun game, the second set of controls for the game can increase and decrease the magnification on the scope. You can also slow down and speed up the scope, as well as increase and decrease light in the scope (for night vision). While I think that these additions are nice, do they add a ton to gameplay? Not as much as you’d think they would. Is Silent Scope a fun game? I would recommend it as a rental before purchasing.
The premise as flimsy as it is, follows. While in Chicago, the President and First Family get kidnapped by terrorists (GASP! Not the President! Damn Those Terrorists!). It seems that these foul villains, bent on destruction, are trying to get the leader of their terrorist group released from prison. And they’ve kidnapped the Prez and family in order to do so. Instead of bowing to the insane madmen’s drive for power, which would lead to further attacks. They’ve decided to send YOU, Professional Sniper to save the day! That really is your name in the game, btw.
There are loads of different play modes, including a huge Training Mode, which is actually quite fun! The Story Mode has multiple missions on 6 different levels (including NIGHT VISION mode!). Realistic vibrations with the Jump Pack (not included) can really throw off your aim, which is a nice touch. One of the main drawbacks is the dreaded time limit, which you can increase if you do well. But with arcade ports, you do really need one or you could probably finish the game in one sitting. There are also limited continues and lives to keep you from polishing off the Big Boss in your first try. In Arcade Mode there’s also a Shooting Range with both indoor and outdoor levels. Last but not least, the venerable Time Attack.
The game play itself is fast and furious. Terrorists will fire upon you if you don’t get them in the first or second shot, but your HUD will alert you to their level of readiness. Green, yellow and red pop-ups appear around the baddies tipping you off when they’re about to shoot. There are of course, tough end level Sub-bosses and at the end the "Big Boss" appears.
One of the nicest touches is that you can "choose your own adventure", although the game is on rails. After the first level you can pick one of 3 levels with different story lines. There’s Chicago, where you test your mettle against a muscle bound boss with a bazooka. There’s the Air Power level where you take on a Harrier jet in the concrete canyons of the Windy City. Last but not least there’s the Stadium where your nemesis, Cobra the Iron Man, has got the First Daughter slung over his shoulder and is running across a football field with football players running after him. So be careful not to shoot the quarterback! There are more levels later, but I won’t spoil it for you. The levels are all well designed but this game
The graphics are decent enough. There are some nice textures. But in this genre the gameplay rules over graphics (For once). The bosses are nicely done, and the vehicles have a nice polygon count.
All in all, Silent Scope and the replay value is much higher than your average shoot em’ up. The Training Mode alone can hold your attention for awhile. Once again, RENT FIRST. Buy later. If you’re an intermediate level gamer and can’t finish it in a couple days, then it’s time to hang up the light-gun Pardner.
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