Old School Turn-Based RPG are just they great they used to be, Fallout 1 and 2, X-com, Jagged Alliance 2 and other title back then was so awesome, keeping addicted while we hope in our turn of battle we get to hit the enemies hard without any considerable damage received, Watching the percentage of our weapon critical hit chance to the enemies, our heroes Stat and skill growth along with its level is a satisfying and addictive thing we feel (or it just me?) in this type of games.
Time has passed and gaming industry growth very fast, new game engine, new graphics standard, and new innovation has created much more genre to play. But it seems Turn-Based RPG like those in the good old days were not alive again completely. Even they are there will be drastic change to the game itself like Fallout for example this game were once a classic turn-based RPG, until its 3rd title they changed it into FPS with its original game style forgotten. They changed the mechanic to attract more new gamers but leaving its old fan and admirers.
I was not this type of game fan before i played Silent Storm. Its reassemble Jagged alliance in the gameplay, in fact this it one of the spiritual successor. Developed in 2003 by Nival interactive that also develop Blitzkrieg RTS. Silent Storm was pretty unique for the time, it use Silent Storm engine that features fully destructible environment and projecting bullet ballistic that based on its bullet types, weapon, penetration and velocity. That mean when your weapon is fired there is a chance for the bullet to hit target behind cover, ricocheted after hitting hard surface and other effect that caused my this mechanic.
The game also featured ragdoll physics, it is very fun (sometimes Funny) to enjoy. If the gun we used to shoot enemy are too powerful the enemy might fly away when hit or when a bunch of enemies get blown off by Hexogen charge or any other high explosive material, those group of enemies might get throwed away a couple of metres or throwed to the roof is possible.
The story takes in 1943, when the World War II are raging, we command a team for inspecting some suspicious activity involving both axis and allied also a shadowy faction called "Thor's Hammer Organization" which had it goal t dominate the world by keeping Axis and Allies Devastated then get the chance to rule from the debris of war.
The gameplay is based on Action Point, AP for short. Every move and action such as leaping wall,open locker, carrying body, stealth mode consumes AP but AP consumption is different based on the player stance. If it running, he use AP but allow it travel in longer distance, walking is less quieter than running, but consumes AP much more but less travel distance than running, Crouching is a effective way to get low from enemy view range and also it is quiet to move in crouch stance, but it also consumes more AP for the same distance travel as walking. The last were prone position, in prone stance our soldier had better accuracy and much more harder to hit than standing, but again moving in prone position can be AP expensive but gain benefit of good accuracy, low hit chance and detection.
AP consumption also affecting its combat. If the heroes had machine gun player had to think about how many AP for move and for firing the gun itself in different fire mode such as snap shot, aimed shot, precise shot and scope shot. those type of fire mode had different accuracy and AP consumption but the scope shot is a bit unique, scope were used in rifle. when we use Scope Shot we can allocate AP we wanted for the accuracy we want without wasting all AP to shoot, good for a marksman that encountering multiple enemies.
After knowing the Action Points, the base gameplay its pretty simple as well, move your character into certain location to spot the enemy, then attack the enemy if the character had enough AP left to attack. But in Silent Storm, taking cover had to be careful, since the weapon had its penetration, it is not a good choice to take cover behind a wooden fence or a wooden wall, Player also had to improvise theirself with the destructible environment when facing a locked door, use your gun to blow away the door, if it reinforced door, use explosive to make your entrance exploiting the mechanic will gain advantage to players battle course.
Player also able to fight entire enemies in the map using scout class character that had high hide attribute, then move with knife or silenced weapon to attack their blind spot such as their back, they also can attack without being seen by hiding in the bush. But this tactic needed to be done well, a reckless stealth attempt attack will only lead your heroes marked as K.I.A in their dossier.
In Silent Storm, we had to choose one of the side, Axis or Allies then we create our hero, we can tweak its appearance from head, outfit and voice. We also had to choose our hero class that suit our play style such as medic, sniper, scout, grenadier, soldier or engineer each had it speciality and skill that are useful in battle. After design the heroes, we had to choose up to 6 soldier to recruit in the Base, they also had its own skill, class and personal background it is pretty funny to enjoy each of them react when get hit, spotted, or healed.
The Base-the base are not just the place where we recruit soldiers to be our team, but The Base also a vital features in the game, it is the place where we can rearming yourself in the armory so our team wont run out of ammunition and we also get access to many varieties of weapon, equipment and medical equipments as well once we complete a campaign mission. I the base there are also an infirmary to keep us healthy if the team get back home with scars and blood in the body.
Weapon. Weapon are many in this game, including 75 authentic WWII era weapon, some fiction weapon is available too. Ranging from SMG, Rifle, Machine Gun, Rocket Launcher, AP Grenade, HE Grenade and some Melee weapons that some can be used as throwing weapon. Each of the weapon type has it own advantages and Disadvantage and different ballistic performance to balance the game.
As a fictitious story, there will be also some sci-fi weapons as the game progress, a crude armor suit carrying a heavy weapon and energy weapon. This "Panzerklein" or "little-tanks" in German is a unbalanced feature for those player who did not have a weapon that are capable to penetrate the armor, plus the Pankzerklein itself can beat the player without any damage to themselves by their powerful energy or conventional heavy weapon. Although Panzerklein cannot move far (move very few step with consuming all AP) it is still hard since their weapon can easily penetrate and destroy players covers.
To summarize, Silent Storm is truly a hidden gem for those Jagged Alliance fan, it had very interesting game engine that are well suited for this type of game although the graphics were not so good for nowadays standard. The audio is pretty good suiting its condition, and the soldiers reaction when something happen is enjoying too, each had their accent from where they come front, sometimes they used their own language to react. But in the latter story these Panzerklein are a challenge itself, the suit can't be beaten by conventional weapon, it need a Panzerkelin to fight back that are gained after the mission against the panzerklein. This also affect most score by adding these type of enemy which is trully frustating to defeat.
9.0 if they rebalanced Panzerklein