Stealth inc 2: A Game Of Clones – Review

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Stealth Inc 2: A Game Of Clones Review

Let me start off by telling you about Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones it’s one of those games you rip your hair out over or smash your controller against the wall. Yes it’s a Stealth based Puzzle-Plat former made by our friends Curve Digital

It doesn’t hide its inspiration from games like Splinter Cell and Portal. From the soft green glow of the clone’s goggles while crouching in the shadows, to the ever-present antagonist humorously berating you as you progress, the comparisons aren’t hard to make. But, thanks to it’s incredibly challenging puzzle design – buoyed by a variety of gadgets and brilliant progression, Stealth Inc. 2 doesn’t just differentiate itself from the games that influenced it; it stands out as one the better and most interesting games available on the Xbox One marketplace.

Don’t be fooled by the simple design or cute characters you play as this game is hard, as you progress the anti keeps getting up’d so bear this in mind “If at first you don’t succeed try not to break something again and again!”

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As you can see above on the screenshot the writing is on the wall, Yes literally in Stealth Inc 2. The tips are handed to you via text on the walls behind you, As you get further into the game these tips taunts at your failure.

In Stealth Inc. 2, you control a squat, bulbous clone who is helping his more dim-witted clone brethren escape their fate. Exploring the sprawling cloning facility is a hard and yet rewarding affair thanks to the variety of gadgets – which grant abilities like hacking, teleporting, and even cloning – that continuously provide interesting new ways to overcome the ever-more difficult puzzles and enemies. In each new section of the facility, you’ll come across test chambers that introduce you to a new gadget and provide a variety of different challenges that require its use. With each test chamber you complete, more of that section of the facility becomes available, until, ultimately, you receive the gadget and are able to use it freely outside of the test chambers. In addition to that, each test chamber also features a leader board with the fastest completion times, providing you with hours of replay that bring out your competitive side (who really wants to be 2nd place?)

I was impressed with how brilliant this try-it-before-you-get-it design is.The first gadget, the Inflate-a-Mate, is a small device that can be freely thrown around and then inflated to make a platform. The test chambers started out with me using it to simply reach higher ledges, but then slowly introduced other applications, like inflating it in mid-air to crush an enemy robot or using it as a shield to block lasers. By the time I completed all its test chambers, I felt like an expert with the gadget, and once I was free to use it in the facility, I was able to immediately explore a variety of previously inaccessible locations. The balance between utilizing the mastered gadgets freely and learning the ins-and-outs of a new one in isolated test chambers is fantastic.

While the test chambers enforce all the different ways to use a single gadget, it’s through combining them with your clone’s other abilities in the facility that makes it even more interesting. You really get a feeling of accomplishment when collecting another gadget followed by the realization that there was now one more possible variable in solving the oncoming puzzles. Still, that made every cracked puzzle – “oh, I should hack the robot, lift him onto this ledge, have him flip this door’s switch and then teleport up there” – all the more rewarding.

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In the moments where I was stumped by a puzzle and scratching my head, it was Stealth Inc. 2’s twisted sense of humour that usually kept me going. A begrudged scientist – who is one clone kill away from being the employee of the month – watches over your clone’s progress, and projects hilariously dark messages onto the walls, many of which will taunt you as your clone is crushed, fried, sliced or otherwise murdered.

While crouching in the shadows to avoid sentry robots and surveillance cameras is a pivotal mechanic of Stealth Inc. 2, the facility itself is monotonously dark. There are a few brief moments where your clone is on the exterior of the facility, with a sunset providing a rich orange backdrop, but the majority of Stealth Inc. 2 is spent in darkness. I found exploring the drab facility to be especially trying while playing as the lower resolution made hidden vents and passages that much harder to discover.

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 Depending on your mental fortitude, Stealth Inc. 2 will probably take anywhere from five to 10 hours to complete. Luckily, if you’re in the mood for more clone espionage after you’re done, there is a level editor and community-built levels to enjoy. Using the level editor isn’t the most intuitive experience, but all the tools are there to make great puzzles for your friends or the online community. I sampled a few of the more highly rated custom stages, and while they weren’t quite up to par with the quality of the test chambers, they provided enough of a challenge to keep me engaged.

 THE VERDICT

Thanks to its clever puzzle design and brilliant progression, Stealth inc 2 A Game Of Clones sets itself apart from its more obvious inspirations. While the world is mostly dark and drab, utilizing the variety of interesting multi-purpose gadgets to solve puzzles and explore the cloning facility is incredibly rewarding, and the leader-boards provides a great replay value to sections until they are mastered. Graphically crisp it makes this game easy on the eye but hard on the brain, this is not for the faint of hearted or easily stressed gamers but neither the less should be played by all.

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