Bastard! Before you ask, I haven’t gone crazy! Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark was previously known as Stealth Bastard which was an indie title released on the PC. Curve Studios have renamed the classic stealth platformer and given it a release on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Does Stealth In: A Clone in the Dark go down as one of the great indie titles that has made its way to Sony’s devices? Read the full review to find out.
Game: Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark
Developer: Curve Studios
Publisher: Curve Studios
Reviewed on: PlayStation Vita
To be quite frank, there isn’t an epic story in place for Stealth, but you wouldn’t really expect that. You take charge of these little masked up clones who are given the opportunity to test out a number of dangerous environments, with their intellect and stealth skills tested to the limit. Indie titles are rarely known for their engrossing stories, and Stealth Inc is no different really. The story, what little of it is there, exists to serve the gameplay.
If you read my previous indie title review, Hotline Miami you will come to realise that graphics really aren’t a priority for me when it comes down to games (especially indie ones) and Stealth Inc is another perfect example of that. Again, expecting anything spectacular from Stealth Inc visually is a mistake. You will only just find yourself getting disappointed. I tend to take the approach of take it for what it is and I urge you all to do the same when it comes to Stealth Inc regardless if your playing it on the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita.
The visuals scream out SNES, with everything looking impressively vibrant on the PlayStation Vita. The shadows in which you have to stand in to avoid the sensors avoiding you are visually represented well. The same sentiment applies to the levels too, with more items and situations coming into the game as you progress further. This mind sound strange, but the visuals impressed me more on the PlayStation Vita than they did when I played the game on the larger screen via the PlayStation 3.
Whilst Stealth Inc doesn’t quite match up to the likes of Hotline Miami in the sound department, it still has a nice, funky soundtrack and goes well with the overall stealth tone of the game.
Bastard! Yup, I can certainly see why Stealth Inc had that original title! Let’s just say, I used the word more than I should’ve when playing it. The game gets progressively harder and harder (like really hard), with more shadows, switches, buttons, lasers, turrets accompanying you on your way to completion. However, that’s not to say that the game starts like that because Curve Studios do tend to ease you into the brutality of what’s to come later on. The first few stages offer a tutorial showing you the basics in the game such as how to power switches, the use of stealth, where to exit the level and progress on to the next one.
Stealth is the one thing that will get you far in the game, anything else will leave you open to auto firing lasers that will shoot down in an instant. When playing with your clone, you are wearing goggles which visually represent how well you are using stealth to your advantage. If your eyes are showing red through the goggles, get ready to die in the near future. Frank and honest, but very true from my experience with the game. If your eyes are glowing orange through the goggles, then your alarm stance should still be there but you have an opportunity to sort things out.
Now what you want to see glaring through your goggles are green eyes. This means you are using stealth to your full advantage and cannot be seen by any of the traps that are waiting to kill you off at first chance. However, it has to be said that although the name of the game is indeed Stealth, that’s only half of the picture. As you go through the levels (80 of them to be precise) the puzzles will get progressively harder and harder leaving you scratching your head at times. It’s a genius move by the developers because it you’re made to rack your brain and think how you can use stealth to solve some very well designed puzzles.
I have got to be honest and say Stealth Inc will last as long as you want it to really. If you’re the brain of Britain and nothing fazes you, expect to complete levels with ease in just a few minutes. However, if like me find these games puzzling to say the least expect this game to keep you busy for hours and hours on end. Saying that, I must stress that I had a whole lot of fun playing through the game and certainly with more DLC added over time, worldwide leaderboards and an extensive level editor, Stealth Inc will probably take more of my playing time that I originally imagined.
A first look, Stealth Inc can be seen as an irritating, mind boggling puzzle game. Well, yes, that’s true, but it is also so much more once you dive in and experience the roots of this fantastically developed indie title. Stealth Inc grew on me over time, and I’m confident that’s how you’ll probably feel too. With a vast amount of levels, getting harder as you progress, Stealth Inc will keep you lurking in the shadows for quite a while. Buy it!