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Stealth Bastard Deluxe: Tactical Espionage Arsehole Review

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If your name grabs more attention than your game, you may be doing it backwards…

When I was asked if I would like to review a game called Stealth Bastard Deluxe: Tactical Espionage Arsehole, I could think of no reason what-so-ever to say no. With a name like that you can only expect one of two things; the game is going to be awesome, or somebody is trying way too hard to get attention. Needless to say, I took my chances that the first of these would be the answer, and so I jumped straight in to see how hard I could laugh at this thing.

So what is Stealth Bastard? The game is essentially a quirky little indie platformer which feels a bit like what Splinter Cell on the old Game Boy Advance might have felt like if the developers had been on the Red Bull when they made it rather than water. It is fast paced and active but at the same time challenging and tactical, requiring the player to be quick thinking and quick fingered in order to complete each level in the fastest time possible. The idea of its creators was to make a stealth game with some pace and excitement to it rather than one which requires you to wait in shadows for a third of your play time, and they have certainly achieved this aspect! The game has eighty levels in eight different settings in its story mode feature, alongside the ability to create your own levels or play those created by others. This provides the player with a broad and unending experience, which for the price tag is a very good deal indeed.

Playing the game can be both entertaining and highly frustrating. The speed of play and the challenge posed by the online leader boards for the fastest level completions provide motivation to really go for it as fast as possible. This, however, is often what leads to frustration, because nobody wants to be a second ahead of time and then run into that lazer they forgot about! The pace is also brought down by the levels as time too though, which is a shame for a game which claims to be, and in general succeeds at being, a faced paced stealth game. The challenge that the game poses is very good and new obstacles are introduced regularly to keep the player on their toes. Usually the challenges will simply involve trying to work out puzzles to navigate a level, but on the odd occasion the game has the classic issue in two dimensional platformers that you cannot tell what something is. In all fairness, it does not take long to work it out in most cases, but it can affect your time significantly while you do, which again slows you down. Equipment can also be unlocked in game which can help you improve your times or even to simply complete each level, including camo suits, decoys and teleporters. This is a nice touch by the developers just to change the levels up a bit and allow them to be completed in different ways so that the challenges are not too linear.

The look of the game is somewhat cartoony, but at the same time fits into the genre very neatly with blood on walls and death-traps still looking threatening. To draw a comparison, it is similar in appearance to the strategy game Evil Genius, which had the same style of a cartoony look with a somewhat adult theme. The graphics are very neatly drawn and the objects in the world move very smoothly, so in all the look of the game is very neat and well drawn. While not many games work in this two dimensional format nowadays, Stealth Bastard also manages to pull this off well and the setting is appropriate enough for a platformer. The sounds of the game also fit appropriately to the way that it looks and plays, rounding off the package quite nicely.

As a whole, Stealth Bastard Deluxe: Tactical Espionage Arsehole is a game which is quite fun to play, but how good it actually is can be looked at in a couple of ways. A key negative point has to be that it really does not live up to its name. While the game provides a sometimes frustrating stealth platformer, this is as close as it comes to the name it has been given, so the name is sadly misleading to gamers. Why the character is described in such a manner is a mystery, because in game he is not much other than a stealthy little individual that you guide through a series of challenges. Other than this however, the game is a good bit of fun. As a platformer crossed with a stealth game, it works very well and requires the player to be quick thinking throughout. It looks good and doesn’t sound bad either. The thing that really brings this game down is that it does not live up to what it says it is, which sadly could be its downfall in the long run…

The Good – A clever crossover between a platformer and a stealth game which provides a solid challenge to the player to think fast but act fast too. The game plays well, looks and sounds good, and is pretty fun to play.

The Bad – A poor choice of name, which misleads gamers as to what the game will be like and sadly gives the impression that it has not achieved its goals.

Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.


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