|The sin of the rushed release|
Published by Activision
Posted on 11/14/1998
LADDER: Sin (Heat)
NEWS: Sin Arrives in Stores
NEWS: Sin Goes Gold
NEWS: Activision to Provide Si ...
NEWS: Sin Tops the Charts Firs ...
NEWS: Sin 1.05 Released
NEWS: SiN 1.04 Released
NEWS: SINCTF Beta 3 Released
NEWS: SiN CTF News
NEWS: Wage Of SiN Goes Gold
NEWS: Sin Patch 1.03 News
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NEWS: Sin Add-On Announced
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NEWS: Playing Devil's Advocate
REVIEW: Wages of Sin
The year is 2035 and you are Col. John Blade, leader of an elite law enforcement group called Hardcorps in the city of Freeport. There are two main news stories in the city: there's a rising problem with a drug called U4, and a biochemical company called SinTek has been all over the news lately with its breakthrough drug Vanity, which seems to stop aging. The game starts with John flying out in a chopper to take care of a bank heist, which isn't quite what it appears to be, and as John follows the criminals he learns that SinTek is involved, and that Elexis Sinclaire, the CEO with a body that would make Lara Croft blush, is up to no good. As you play through the various levels, Blade slowly pieces together exactly what SinTek is up to.
The story's presentation is good, though, with several "cutscene" levels that use the in-game engine and some quality voiceovers. Blade often has a few choice words for his enemies, saying things like "Who's your daddy?" or "Schooled 'ya!" when he blows someone away. These are nice touches that add some personality to the game, but they're not especially funny or original-it was done better in Duke Nukem 3D. Blade is also in constant radio contact with his hacker buddy J.C., a smart-ass kid who gives him technical info. The enemies have a lot to say too, often talking to each other or yelling at Blade.
Overall, the levels are very well designed, though their load times border on eternal (the game reloads the entire level even when you restore a saved game on that same level). The best levels are absolutely brilliant examples of real-world design. The levels are highly interactive; while somewhat pointless, you can use ATM machines and pay phones, open all the desk drawers and lockers and use many of the objects in the game. Blade often has to use computers to solve puzzles or accomplish objectives in the levels, which is both a fantastic idea and one that is well-implemented.
The fact that the weapons are mostly standard-fare for the majority of the game isn't the problem-the problem is that they're anemic. The assault rifle uses the same ammo as the pistol and fires in a perfectly straight and accurate path with no bullet spread whatsoever. The machine gun uses different ammo and does have some spread, but it's so minor it can be effectively used long range anyway. Basically, what you're left with is a pistol, a pistol that shoots faster and a pistol that shoots even faster and uses different ammo. Yawn. The rockets fly so slowly that players can dodge them with ease at all but the closest range. The sniper rifle takes way too long to equip as it plays a very long animation of the scope coming out of the case, making it likely that you'll die in a large multiplayer game before getting off that first shot. Even the good old shotgun doesn't seem to put the "boom" in boomstick.
With the exception of some weapon sounds that need more "punch," there are plenty of audio treats, with different footstep sounds for different materials and a great use of ambient sounds. Unfortunately, much of the great sound can't really be enjoyed, because it's one of the buggiest areas in this very buggy game. The sound often breaks and stutters with lots of hard drive access, as if getting overflow errors. If you have a Sound Blaster PCI card that supports EAX, you have to turn 3D sound off, both on the card and in the game, or it won't work.
As one would expect of a game built from the technology from Quake II, multiplayer is fast and smooth on the Internet. Sin offers up some seriously good deathmatch maps, and doesn't take the cheap way out by making them all subsets of single-player maps. It's pretty fun to play a "Team Game by Model," which pits the Blades vs. the Elexises vs. the J.C.s. It's unfortunate that the weapons are boring and underpowered, or multiplayer play could be a real blast-once the novelty of new levels has worn thin, you get tired of aiming at everyone's head all the time because body shots don't do enough damage.
by Jason Cross
©1998 Strategy Plus, Inc.
|Sin W95 IBM CD ROM||11/98||$12.95|
|Sin Mission Pack 1: Wages of Sin IBM CD ROM||02/99||$14.95|