Anyone out there remember the 6 Million Dollar Man? You know, the old TV show about a test pilot who suffers a catastrophic accident and has to be physically rebuilt from the bone up? Although his recovery is miraculous, even more fantastic are the abilities that he gains from his additional enhancements, such as super strength, increased agility and augmented hearing. Now imagine taking abilities like these and placing them in the hands of a soldier desperately trying to stop a war. Welcome to the bio-augmented future of Project: Snowblind.
Snowblind takes place in a politically unstable Hong Kong in 2065. Thanks to the political power vacuum in the region, a fanatical group calling itself The Republic has seized control of the country and has started launching attacks against the last remains of the government. Players are cast as 2nd Lieutenant Nathan Frost of the Liberty Coalition Army, a peacekeeping force dispatched to repel the marauding Republic forces. Unfortunately, shortly after getting dropped into the war zone, Frost is flung into a statue thanks to a nearby exploding bomb, critically injuring him.
When Frost finally comes to after fading in and out of consciousness, he finds himself in the military infirmary, although he's not the same as he was when he came in. Glowing "bio-enhancements" have been grafted to his skin and have reconstructed his body, allowing him to wreak havoc on his opponents. These aren't simply for flashy show, as they provide a number of superpowers. For instance, he can enhance his vision to see thermal signatures of enemies through walls, repel incoming bullets by encasing his body with an energy shield or even turn completely invisible, cloaking himself for stealth maneuvers. Each ability takes a certain amount of bio-energy, which Frost can replenish with energy packs scattered throughout the battlefields he fights through.
As a soldier, Frost is also highly skilled with firearms of all kinds, which he'll acquire on his missions. There are at least 10 guns that Nathan will be able to add to his arsenal, all of which have primary and secondary functions. For instance, the standard issue carbine that he starts with can fire rounds quickly, but can also fire off grenades that bounce off surfaces before exploding. However, being that this is a futuristic shooter, the weapons also have creative spins that help you eliminate your targets. For example, the sniper rifle can be used to deliver a neural virus to opponents, forcing them to fight on your side. Frost will also acquire a number of gadgets along the way, such as the "icepick," a clever device that can be used to hack robots, security interfaces and other electronic equipment. Once Nathan gains control, he can override safety protocols, attack guards with their own turrets, or gain surveillance info with cameras. Of course, if things get too dicey with the robots and electrical equipment arrayed against him, he can always hurl an EMP grenade, shorting out equipment and causing what's known as "The Snowblind Effect".
Graphically striking thanks to its use of traditional Asian architecture and futuristic buildings, many of which are reduced to piles of rubble due to fighting, Snowblind stands apart from most generic shooters. Effects created from Frost's abilities are nicely done and showcase a nice use of reflective lighting on character models. What's more, cutscenes are nicely included and support rather than distract from the storyline. This is bolstered by some solid voice acting that feels appropriate to each character in the game. Project: Snowblind should be blasting its way into stores next week, so check back soon for a full review!
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