Cold Zero PC Review - -

Gameplay 6.0
Graphics 7.0
Sound 7.0
Value 6.5
Distributor: Red Ant
Review Date:
March 2005
Edwin Millheim


Cold Zero: the Last Stand

As a police sniper a pull of the trigger is all it takes to cause your character to have to change his career due to a bad judgment call. Taking a shot against orders, John Mcafrey accidentally kills a hostage rather than the bad guy. Leaving the police department he opens up a private investigations service which is not doing so well, and then that one job comes along…you know…the one job that makes everything get even worse. Of course getting mixed up with the Mafia is maybe not one of the best things that can happen to a guy, just when it cannot get any worse…it does.

These events send our hero all over the globe to places like Russia, Mexico and parts of the United States. Not bad for a Private Eye, heh? The action takes place both indoor and outdoors and in an almost top down style of play. The movement of the character is performed by moving the mouse point and clicking. The controls are so strait forward that just jumping in and playing is assured, even before reading up on the controls in the manual.

The movement may well remind you of other games such as Rome Total War, or Never Winter Nights, or one of my old favourites, Commandos. But unlike Rome Total War you do not have to go through the trouble of first clicking on the character in order to make them move. The game is very user friendly in my opinion. What could be simpler than point and click?

In fact most of the interface is mouse friendly and pointing and clicking yields different results depending on what aspect of the game you’re interacting with. As noted, movement is just point and click, other aspects such as crouching or standing, picking things up, rearming a weapon…all of these are a simple fast mouse click away, and believe me, sometimes when there are multiple bad guys all shooting at you a fast mouse click for reloading is very much welcome.

Another interesting aspect of the game is a bit of a Role Playing Game slant, after each successful mission the character has the chance to grow in skills and levels of abilities. Some of the abilities are the normal RPG staple of abilities and stats such as strength and even fighting skills to name just two.

Like other games where you have an objective to get to past lots of goons with guns, you can choose to try to be stealthy and sneak past them, or just pop out from hide and start hosing them down with gun fire. While I must admit there is something pleasing about sneaking up behind the bad guys and beating them down or knifing them, I’m just one of those hose them with bullets kind of guy. But in this game you have to decide on stealth or all out combat very carefully because in some missions it is not just your butt on the line. Some missions have hostages and if you start a gun battle with them in the area things can go bad for you, and even worse for the hostage. After all you’re supposed to rescue them, not get them killed.

Through out the game there are chances to outfit your character just they way you would like. The choices are from clothing, body armour, and over 100 different types of weapons ranging from revolvers and automatics, to rifles and shot guns, and even something as simple as a ball bat or knife. While the amount of weapons can be mind boggling at times, not to worry because with use the weapons do degrade and you will find your self having to get new supplies. Don’t worry though. You can pick over the items from your defeated foes and snag some items to sell at pawn shops. I Kid you not. Money and weapons and mundane things such as Watches and…KOFF KOFF adult magazines.

Graphics in the game are passable, I mean they don’t rank up there on the razors edge of gaming, but they get the job done. In fact I was reminded of some of those old style quarter arcade graphics….high end of course. I guess that’s why the game held me. Because of the fond memories it sparked of my teen years in the arcades. Characters movements such as climbing and character rendering came off in my thoughts old style blocky. Or maybe that is what was intended and part of the retro feel to it.

Camera views for the most part began to be more than a little frustrating; I just could not get the feel for it. More than once it caused the death of my character when not being able to see a bad guy, I ended up shot or beat up. The environment, such as buildings and boxes or what ever is about will not go transparent as they do in other games, so seeing something around the corner is a no go. You walk around the corner and BANG! Right into trouble and more times than not oblivion. Since movement, aiming and camera are all controlled by the mouse…well you can well imagine, moving views and aiming at the same time and moving are pretty much an exercise in frustration.

Over all the sound is not too bad, gun fire pretty much matched the graphics, dialogue was not half bad at all and serves it’s purpose on moving the adventure along with out getting you out of the experience and feel of the game world.

In the end, even with its annoying parts this is not too bad of a distraction.

Have fun, play games.


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