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[PS4 Review] Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones

[PS4 Review] Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
the_nmac

Review Overview

Excellent Stealth Puzzle Platformer
8.5
8.5

Great

Stealth Inc 2: A Game Of Clones is the sequel to my of my favorite PS3/Vita games Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark. This game was originally released as a Wii U exclusive last year and has finally made the jump to more platforms so more people can enjoy it.

Stealth Inc 2 is a puzzle platformer where you play the role of a clone escaping a sinister and high-tech testing facility.

Stealth Inc 2 tests both your brain and your reflexes over 60 varied levels linked together in a sprawling overworld.

Death is never more than a few moments away, but one of the few advantages of being a clone is that death isn’t all that permanent. With no loading screens and no lives to worry about, players are encouraged to use their inevitable demise as a learning tool as they navigate lasers, homicidal robots and terrifying bosses in the ultimate hostile work environment.

Explore the expansive PTi facility, including six distinct areas littered with tests to complete and secrets to collect.

Solve puzzles with help from six gadgets that are unlocked as you play, allowing you to do everything from teleporting across entire levels to hacking robots that patrol the facility.

Purchasing this content entitles you to the PS3™ system, PS4™ system, and “PS Vita” system versions!

Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones – Announcement Trailer

In a lot of ways, Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones is very much like its predecessor. The game is a 2-D action puzzle stealth game, which sounds like a lot of genres to mix… and yet it works. All of the great things from the Stealth Inc carry over to this sequel. You enter each room with the task to escape by using the different computer terminals to get out of the room. Each room is armed with lasers, enemy robots, and a massive amount of environmental hazards. You will die… a lot. It’s part of the game’s nature, which is why you must survey each room and environment to use the shadows and all tools at your disposal to be a bit safe-ish for a few seconds, because you really never feel safe in this game.

The sequel could have just been another great game like the first one with new puzzles, and most people would have been happy, but the developers decided to take it to the next level. They created a fully fleshed out world and a story that will keep you engaged and make you think about what is going on in the Stealth 2 world. The first noticeable change in the game is the fact that there is a fully open hub world that you explore to find the actual “challenge” levels. While it’s not a fully fleshed out world like some of the proper Metroid-vania games, it’s just enough to give that vibe to keep you moving through it. There will be areas that you will be unable to explore until you have cleared certain rooms and found certain gadgets that will help you navigate the map. I really liked the way the hub world itself comes together as well. If you don’t always want to use the hub world to access the puzzle rooms, you will be glad to know that once you discover them they will be available in the test chambers option on the main menu.

stealth-inc-2-a-game-of-clones-screenshot-02-ps4-ps3-psvita-us-08apr15

Let’s talk about the story itself. You are a clone in a toy testing factory, and your job is to test the toys that often cause death. That’s why they are using a bunch clones they have at their disposal. But what they don’t know is that you are the clone who is going to put a stop to it all. As you explore the hub world, completing levels and freeing clones, you are also completely destroying the toy testing facilities. There is one particular tester that this game is centered around, and he is always monitoring you as you play. He is the one constantly writing discouraging messages on the walls as you play, often mocking your death. The humor is dark but in a good way, reminding me of GLaDOS from Portal. I often found myself laughing at them, with their dark humor.

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This time around you are introduced to gadgets that give you a more active role in this new adventure. Two of my favorite gadgets are the Jack Boy, which allows you to take over enemy robots, and the Inflate-A-Mate which you can use to reach areas you can’t jump to, as it flings you high into the sky. Each gadget is introduced in the world in a new set of levels, where it takes center stage in the test chamber. Once you have done all the test chambers, the gadget is yours to keep, and you can use it in the hub world to keep continue exploring. The one issue I had with the Jack Boy was that once you took control of an enemy it was difficult to control as you were balancing your actual character and the enemy at the same time, using the left and right sticks to move both. The other problem was for the enemies you used the right stick to move, but also to aim the weapon it possesses. You really had to think about it for a bit before it “clicked.”

Like I said before, you will die a lot in this game. There is no way around that. As you learn what each room has to offer, you will die. But you learn for the next time, until you are killed again. Each level must be completed multiple times until you learn to avoid all of the death traps. There were times when I thought I was through, only for the room to change its rules at the last minute. As you play each room you are graded for time, sightings by enemies, and number of deaths. The game will then give you a score. Your scores will be upload to the internet, and you will see how your skills compare to the rest of world, which is really cool. Did I mention that you’ll die a lot in this game?

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There are 12 trophies total in the game: One Gold, three Silver, and the rest are Bronze. Sorry, no platinum trophy for this one! Most trophies are doable and are awarded by using certain gadgets in unique ways, to exploring the entire map and finding all of the clothing skewed throughout the hub world. It would have been cool for them to add some for in-game progression ( I’m always surprised when developers don’t put those in).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

It was a pleasure to take another trip to a more fully fleshed out world this time. I liked the new test rooms, the hub world and the dark humor infused into the game. It does many things right. Where it did lose me was with controls on some of the gadgets. These are small nitpicks, and this is an excellent game.

This review is based on a copy of Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones provided by Curve Digital Publishing.

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