Stealth Bastard; Tactical Espionage Arsehole Deluxe

A year ago developer Curve release a prototype game that was fully free to play and had a great reception with players. That game was Stealth Bastard and now a year on the game has grown up, fleshed out and has come to Steam (now with a small price tag). With 80 core levels ,to well over a 1000 community levels to download from the outset this game certainly gives you value for money in terms of content.

The main question then becomes is the game worth playing?

Stealth Bastard is a 2D puzzle platformer, where the objective of every level is to reach the exit. This simple task is made more difficult by the need to evade cameras, lasers, drones, robots and other defensive equipment. There is a basic story of escape but the main point of this title is to flex those brain muscles and get the fast twitch muscle fibres in your hands moving as fast as they possibly can. This is because your times are added to global scoreboards and the faster you complete a level the more prominent your name is on the global ranking. This type of a mechanic is not new and it has the desired effect of giving levels replay value increasing the time you may spend with the game.

The puzzles are relatively easy at the outset but as you progress naturally they become more devious. You will probably spend quite a bit of time repeating the B word from the title after the lasers have repeatedly cut you to shreds. Sometimes its fun to just watch the animation of your character being dismembered by a red laser. One tip I will give is it pays to stop look and read the random slogans painted on the wall in order to complete a level. These can be cryptic but generally they just give you a guide to the scenario you will be facing. You also have the ability to build and play levels through a level creator. This is the reason the game has such a vast array of community from the outset and this can add challenge to the game both in terms of more experiences and the chance to create your own devious courses.

The visuals are very stylised as you can see from the attached screen shots but the use of light and shadow create a great atmosphere. The backgrounds are sparse but will easily allow you to see ledges that make up the climbing sections as well as potential traps. My one bug bear with the visuals is that sometimes the field of view of the security cameras can be a bit too soft and so blends in with the background, whether this was a personal choice of the game designers to increase difficulty I do not know but its certainly only a small issue. The sound is sparse and fits in with the light hearted tone of the game. You will not be hearing a booming Original score though, even in the menus but the game is not hurt by the audio issues.

The downside to this game for some will be the gameplay. Although fun, there will be many people who do not like this kind of learning by failure title. The replay mechanic to get a better time  can also make the game tedious, as you are so concerned with the competitive portion of the game that you forget to soak up the game you are playing. This is aided by the prominent clock on the top right hand side of the screen which again is a great way the designers of the game have increased the pressure within each level. But if you let it rule your playing time, you will be missing out on the subtle touches this game has to offer.

If you have never tried a title like this then the old version of Stealth Bastard is still available for download. It will not be supported anymore but if this review has peaked your interest then you can give the game a whirl before deciding to commit to purchasing it. The web address for the Download is here http://www.stealthbastard.com/ but remember this version is a prototype but it will give you a general idea of the mechanics of the game.

However if this type of game is up your alley then you are in for a real treat. The game is very reminiscent of Meatal Gear solid the ultimate Sneak-‘em -up game, as well as elements of more light hearted titles like Supermeat Boy thrown in to make this game an enjoyable ride.  It has fast load times for levels meaning even a quick game can see you progressing through multiple levels. The addition of new (to this game) equipment  like Teleporters and Decoy devices  help to mix the levels up and they are not overpowered so that the game becomes to easy. I still found myself wanting to take a break after a while of playing though. I do see his game as a quick play title as it lacks the depth of narrative driven games. On a personal note I would love to see this title on a portable device as I feel it would be perfect for those quick sessions when you have half hour to spare.

Ultimately Stealth Bastard is a game that knows what it is. It hasn’t tried to water its gameplay down to appeal to a wider audience and I applaud the developer for that. However this fact also means that I cannot give it a global endorsement but if puzzle platformers are your thing then you will not be disappointed with this game.  The price point of £6.99 (with a 10% discount if purchased in the first week of release) is good value for the game itself and the potential  through the level creator. So now it’s over to the community to see how inventive and bastardly they can be.

Game Grade

Game Rating; 4 out of 5 (Defiantly recommended for fans of the genre)

Will you still be playing in a year; with community support and the ability for anyone to upload created levels this game has an element of longevity.

Paul “wellbeingosteo” Fiander

Pictures and Game Courtesy of  Premier Communications

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One response to “Stealth Bastard; Tactical Espionage Arsehole Deluxe

  1. Pingback: (PC) Sealth Bastard; Tactical Espionage Arsehole Deluxe Review « JoypadAndMe·

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