GameOver Game Reviews

Game & Publisher Sin (c) Activision
Overall Rating 88%
Date Published , , ,

Divider Left By: Cyrus Divider Right

Making a well-balanced and memorable first person shooter has become increasingly difficult these days. Graphics engines are a dime a dozen and the aliens invading earth plot is getting a little old. No longer can a company create a game where you are pitted against impossible alien forces that happened to come from another dimension. ID Software is the exception, but then again they always are. Companies are now having to add something new to their games besides eye-candy, and that something is storyline. Sin has a good story, solid gameplay and a speedy graphics engine suitable for all systems.

Sin uses a modified version of the Quake 2 game engine. The programmers added volumetric lighting, lens flares and made all of the models a little bit smoother than Quake 2. The Sin engine has nothing exceptional in the way of eye-candy or special effects. Everything has been seen before. The Sin engine, although not unique, is fast, smooth and looks great. The programmers also added body point damage to the enemies. This means that if you shoot an enemy in the head, his head becomes covered in blood and there is nice big blood splat on the wall behind him. It is also possible to see which type of armor and what weapon the enemies are using. Hardware acceleration is supported by OpenGL and it shines. Everything is smoothed out well and all of the textures are very high quality. The character models are created well, but nothing amazing was to be found. Overall I would say that Sin's graphics are good but in no way outstanding. To put it frankly, Sin's graphics get the job done.

The sound in this game is quite worthy. Gunshots are clear and have a nice ring to them. The sound never stuttered and the environmental sounds were integrated with excellence. I do, however have to complain about the wind noise in the third or fourth level. It was easily the most annoying noise I have ever heard in a game. Besides that little problem, everything else was great. 3d sound is supported through A3d but not Soundblaster Live! I believe that there may be a patch available for this but I have an A3d card so I didn't bother to check.

Remarkable. I expected multiplayer in Sin to be just like Quake 2 but with different weapons. The new armor system, and the weapons make it a much different experience. Weapons are well balanced and are really fun to use. There was very little lag when I played, and this impressed me greatly. The deathmatch levels are as well designed as the single player levels and they provide great arenas from two up to thirty-two players. The server administrator is able to set several different options that affect gameplay. My favorite was being able to make weapon switches instantaneously. It is possible to pick between three different character models, and I imagine that replacement models may be as easily incorporated as they are in Quake 2. Multiplayer is only supported through TCP/IP and one person must run as the server.

Gameplay is the area where Sin really excels. This game has new features that have never been seen in a first person shooter. As a player, you are able to access computer terminals and other machines in order to help yourself progress. It was very cool to actually bring up a DOS shell in order to turn off the bank's security features. The game also adds a unique armor and damage system. There are three armor zones for your character: head, torso and legs. To armor each zone requires different types of armor and each zone gets depleted independently. This leaves you open for head wounds and other one shot kills unless you're careful. Speaking of one shot kills, it is also possible to shoot the guns out of the enemies hands, or kill them with one head shot. The weapons are standard to most First Person Shooters. You have fists, pistols, shotguns, AK's and a couple of others. The game is also realistic in that the guns each have clips and you are forced to reload after burning through a clip. The enemy AI is perhaps the best I have ever seen in this genre. The enemies run and hide behind tables, doors and anything else that they can utilize to their advantage. I can not state this enough, the enemy AI is incredible. When you walk into a room they will run behind pillars and swing out, take a shot then go back behind the pillar. The AI forces you to play thoughtfully and patiently. Running into a room with your gun on full tilt will do little less than get you killed. Another neat feature is the ability to use vehicles. In one of the levels I was able to actually jump over a wall by riding an ATV up a ramp at full speed. Controls are very easy to get used to and react quickly and smoothly. All the controls in the game are fully customizable and can be set through the console (~ - tilde button).

Fun Factor:
I had a blast playing this game. The enemy AI kept me interested as did the story line. I liked a lot of the new gameplay features and was happy to see that someone was finally expanding the FPS genre. The storyline is so involved and the AI so challenging that I feel I will not get tired of this game for some time to come. Multiplayer was also as much fun as Quake 2, if not more.

Overall Impression:
Sin is a solid game. The graphics, sound and story are well above average. Sin is also unique in that both the multiplayer and single player parts of the game are notable. This is a step forward and I am happy to see in the evolution of first person shooters, I hope that other developers take notice. Overall I highly recommend picking Sin up and keeping it for a while.

Graphics: 15 / 20
Sound: 12 / 15
Gameplay: 28 / 30
Fun Factor: 18 / 20
Multiplayer Play: 5 / 5
Overall Impression: 8 / 10


Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

It's that time again, time to kick some DNA altering, mind controlling, evil bitch's ass. In SiN you assume the role of John R. Blade, resident Steven Segal'ish cop. Along with your hacker sidekick, J.D., you set out to destroy Elexis Sinclair the CEO of Sincorp. She's hell-bent on turning the citizens of Freeport into a super DNA altered race and of course taking over the world. SiN uses the Quake 2 engine with heavy modifications. I got a chance to play the SiN demo before the game came out and it left me feeling as though SiN was just another useless clone, the final has changed my opinion.

-Graphics: SiN's graphics aren't to flashy, but they do their job. The graphics create a realistic environment where every detail to real life physics is put into place. One thing that really impressed me was the way the enemies reacted to differently placed shots. For example, if I shoot the guy in the leg he will crutch his leg or if I shoot him in the head he reacts accordingly. Another thing that impressed me was the detail put on each level. In the oil rig level buoy's in the water glow and rock back and forth. The background graphics set the mood for each level perfectly, I really felt as if I was there getting ready to blast my way through an oil rig. Even little details are put into place, like scum on the toilet or a palm tree in a bank lobby. All the characters are individually rendered, while Elexis looks amazing, Blade looks funny with dreadlocks that look more like turds. The weapons range from a hand gun to the typical rocket launcher, all of them were remarkably well done. The intro to the game... what the hell went wrong here? This is by far the worst game intro I have ever seen, sorry Ritual but you put NO effort into your intro.

-Sound & Control: If your reading this review you probably have played Quake 2, the controls don't differ at all between SiN and Q2. After customization was done I adapted immediately to SiN's controls. SiN's voice acting is superb, each character has his/her own distinctive voice. J.D. has his whiny computer geek voice and Blade has his macho ass kicking dude voice. As you sit in the water below the oil rig platform you hear the water lapping at the poles and the clang of the buoy rocking side to side. One thing that impressed me the most was the weapon sound effects, in particular the shotgun and machine gun. Along with the great voice acting and sound effects there is even pumping techno music playing in the background.

-Gameplay & Fun Factor: Gameplay surpasses Quake 2 in every way. From the very start of the game I could tell it was going to be different. As you start out, J.D. alerts you their is a bank robbery in process, you hop into your chopper and of course head over to the bank. While blasting your way through the bank you encounter your first puzzle, locating the vault combo. Even though this puzzle isn't very difficult it deviates from the norm. As the game progressed many of the puzzles got me thinking, almost all of them involve manipulating the environment though. One level requires you to use stealth by forcing you to sneak through Sinktek's laboratories. Another added twist is the ability to control vehicles, such as bulldozers and wrecking balls. SiN's fun factor depends on what kind of gamer you are, are you a mindless action killer or a thinking puzzle solver? Personally I'm a little of both, a lot of the time I got frustrated at the puzzles and wanted more action. On the other hand, I feel as if this will add more replayability to the game. Most first person games are action oriented and don't challenge your brain to much, however, SiN is completely original in this aspect. I never played Quake 2 single player, hell I hadn't even seen the boss five months after I bought the game. But, I actually enjoyed playing SiN alone, I kept wondering what was around the next corner and when I was finally going to be able to stop Elexis. Most of the time the AI proved its self rather incompetent, only on several occasions did it ever act smart. Sometimes the bad guys would run away and get help and attempt to ambush you, usually it didn't work.

-Multiplayer: This is defiantly where its at. Two words sum up SiN multiplayer, kick ass. Every type of connection is supported. Ritual even opted to add more features to multiplayer such as showing what gun your opponent is carrying. With a cable host my companions and I suffered no lag at all. However one problem occurred, our host's game crashed a few times and left everyone else lagged or disconnected from the Internet.

-Overall Impression: Yes clones can be good, and SiN definitely falls under the exceptional clone category. Several problems arose however, I spotted several bugs related to the AI and multiplayer code, could this game have been rushed? Anyone who is a fan of Quake 2 and is looking for something to pass the time while waiting for Quake Arena should defiantly pickup a copy of SiN. Unfortunately SiN is nothing more than a clone, it won't set any new gaming standards like Unreal did, at least its fun.

Graphics: 19/20
Sound: 13/15
Gameplay: 28/30
Fun Factor: 18/20
Multiplayer Play: 4/5
Overall Impression: 8/10


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