Whenever I get the urge to write a bunch of reviews, I always want write a review for Project Snowblind, but for some reason, I haven’t been able to. Even though it has been over a year since I first played through Project Snowblind, Iíve never been able to put my thoughts onto the paper. Usually, when I really like a game, like I did Project Snowblind, itís very easy for me to write my review. But, this game has me stumped. As much as I loved it, writing down what I love and why has been a more challenging than beating Project Snowblind was.
Well, here goes.
Project Snowblind stars super-soldier Nathan Frost. Frost was just a normal grunt in the army until an ambush left him for dead. Instead of letting another body go to waste, the medical staff of Frostís unit decided to keep him alive by implanting him with high-tech gadgets. Equipped with these advanced pieces of technology, Frost can run faster, jump higher, and even create a shield out of thin air to protect himself from enemy gunfire. His new superpowers arenít infinite, but they give him an undeniable advantage over all his foes and make him the go-to guy when the bad guys are calling, and the bad guys are calling a lot. I mean, when an evil villain plans to set off an EMP in the middle of Hong Kong, potentially crippling every electronic device in one of the worldís most important cities, you canít just send in standard soldiers. You need a man like Frost.
Hong Kong makes a great setting for Project Snowblind. What really sets this game apart are the levels Ė the game constantly delivers experiences. While many games are set in exotic locations, most neglect the locations architecture and shove players inside boring compounds and military bases, while a hidden land of culture and beauty lie out of the player’s reach. Most of Project Snowblind actually takes place outside. One of the earliest battles, an attack on Frostís base, takes place in an outer court-yard. The traditional, almost peaceful, Chinese architecture strongly accentuates the intensity of the conflict. Inside a factory or military compound, this would have been a standard, boring battle, but because of the setting, the whole thing feels more urgent and important.
Almost as soon as that fight ends, Frost and his men launch a night attack on the narrow streets of Hong Kong, streets that have been thrown into chaos by the dastardly EMP-wielding villain. Cars are over-turned in the street. Rain is pouring down from the dark sky. Enemies have holed up inside buildings on each side of the street. This excellent level provides one of the best examples of Project Snowblind’s mixed gameplay: at times, youíll need to move slowly, hide behind objects, crawl through destroyed cars, and only emerge to (hopefully) kill your target in one shot. Once you manage to work your way into the building, youíre going to be able to go all-out, throwing tactics out the door and blasting away at your enemies with less-than-perfect precision like you would in a standard FPS. This mix really keeps the game from getting boring and allows for a lot of variety in the level design.
Some aspects of Project Snowblind arenít as unique or original as the level design Ė the powers are essentially ripped right from Deus Ex (the game was originally designed to be a spin-off of the Deus Ex series), the weapons are your generic futuristic stuff like rail guns, and the graphics look on-par with most Xbox games Ė but none of that ever crossed my mind while playing. Project Snowblind’s action was just so gripping and intense that any lack of originality wasnít a problem. I was more concerned with keeping myself alive and surviving some of the gameís incredibly intense battles.
The biggest downside to Project Snowblind is that the game is horribly short. I was able to finish the game in about six hours, and I was left wanting more. Project Snowblind also suffers from a ridiculously annoying game-crashing bug that randomly boots you back to the desktop without warning from time to time. Fortunately, this bug only seemed to crop up during the earliest levels of the game, and while it is annoying, each time, I simply reloaded the game and started playing again. There was never a moment when I was playing this game where I was annoyed or frustrated, even as I crashed back to the desktop. I just wanted more and more. Project Snowblind might not be the best FPS ever, but it will make a nice addition to any fanís collection.
Eight out of ten