Silent Storm

Last updated
Silent Storm
SilentStormBox.jpg
European cover art
Developer(s) Nival Interactive
Publisher(s) 1C Company
JoWooD Productions
Encore Software
Designer(s) Dmitry "Zak" Zakharov [1]
Engine Silent Storm engine
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release
  • EU: November 7, 2003
  • NA: January 20, 2004
Genre(s) Turn-based tactics, tactical RPG
Mode(s) Single player

Silent Storm (Russian: Операция Silent Storm) is a tactical role-playing game [2] for Microsoft Windows, developed by Russian developer Nival Interactive and published by JoWood in 2003 and Encore Software in 2004. The game is set in a fictionalized World War II Europe with science fiction elements.

Tactical role-playing games are a genre of video game which incorporates elements of traditional role-playing video games with that of tactical games, emphasizing tactics rather than high-level strategy. In Japan, these games are known as "Simulation RPGs". The format of a tactical RPG video game is much like a traditional tabletop role-playing game in its appearance, pacing and rule structure. Likewise, early tabletop role-playing games are descended from skirmish wargames like Chainmail, which were primarily concerned with combat.

Microsoft Windows is a group of several graphical operating system families, all of which are developed, marketed, and sold by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Windows families include Windows NT and Windows Embedded; these may encompass subfamilies, e.g. Windows Embedded Compact or Windows Server. Defunct Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Contents

An advanced game engine, the Silent Storm engine, was developed for the game and reused in several later titles. Silent Storm was followed by the expansion Silent Storm: Sentinels in 2004. A third game taking place in the same setting, Hammer & Sickle , was co-developed by Novik&Co and released in 2005. A Gold edition containing both the original game and the expansion was released in Europe later that same year.

Game engine Software-development environment designed for building video games

A game engine is a software-development environment designed for people to build video games. Developers use game engines to construct games for consoles, mobile devices, and personal computers. The core functionality typically provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine ("renderer") for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection, sound, scripting, animation, artificial intelligence, networking, streaming, memory management, threading, localization support, scene graph, and may include video support for cinematics. Implementers often economize on the process of game development by reusing/adapting, in large part, the same game engine to produce different games or to aid in porting games to multiple platforms.

The Silent Storm engine is a turn-based tactics game engine developed by Nival Interactive for their video game Silent Storm. The engine was reused for Silent Storm: Sentinels, Night Watch, Hammer & Sickle and Day Watch. A modified version of this engine was used for Heroes of Might and Magic V.

<i>Hammer & Sickle</i> 2005 video game

Hammer & Sickle is a tactical role-playing game for the PC, co-developed by the Russia-based companies Novik&Co and Nival Interactive and published by CDV in 2005. The game is set in the same universe as Silent Storm, an earlier product by the same company.

Gameplay

An in-game screenshot showing troops and Panzerkleins Silent Storm pose.JPG
An in-game screenshot showing troops and Panzerkleins

The player commands a team of up to six elite soldiers on the Axis or Allied side, undertaking a variety of missions. Once the player begins a campaign, they may select a premade character or create their own to lead the team through the game. Once the introductory mission is complete, the player can access a base complete with a medical station, armoury, personnel, and a panzerklein hangar. From this point, the player may select a team of six characters from a pool of 20. Each character has a role such as medic, sniper, scout, grenadier, soldier or engineer. Each role has different advantages and liabilities in battle. As the player progresses through the game, the armoury will receive new weapons for the player to use, either stolen from enemies or contributed from their own forces.

Axis powers Alliance of countries defeated in World War II

The Axis powers, also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.

Allies of World War II Grouping of the victorious countries of World War II

The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.

Silent Storm depicts a wide variety of the authentic weaponry and equipment of circa 1943 with great detail. Mixed into otherwise realistic elements is a plot that features secret weapon projects reminiscent of spy-fi, including energy weapons. Most notable are the Panzerkleins (pseudo-German for "little tanks"), crude powered armour suits.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

The game features a remarkably advanced physics model. Nearly all structures are completely destructible. This has many tactical effects in the combat. For instance, if a character hears an enemy moving in an adjacent room, they can simply fire through the wall to attack them. Silent Storm also employs ragdoll physics for bodies according to the precise velocity of an impact. Fully three-dimensional mapping allows for obstruction calculations and cover effects from all angles. Bullets ricochet and their stopping power depends on the weapon. The effects are exaggerated for a more cinematic experience (a hail of non-fatal bullets only make the target shake, but a single fatal bullet can send the target flying).

Ragdoll physics

Ragdoll physics is a type of physics engine procedural animation which is often used as a replacement for traditional static death animations in video games and animated films.

Stopping power is the ability of a firearm or other weapon to cause a target to be incapacitated, and thus stop the target. This contrasts with lethality in that stopping power pertains only to a weapon's ability to incapacitate quickly, regardless of whether or not death ultimately occurs. Which gun cartridges have the greatest stopping power is a strongly debated topic.

Plot

The game's story takes place during World War II in an alternate history. Thor's Hammer Organization (THO), is a shadowy organization with connections all over Europe and the goal of world domination. THO knows that this goal cannot be attained while there are powers capable of challenging them, and aims to use its connections and advanced technology to make sure the two sides of World War II devastate each other, while THO makes a grab for power when both are exhausted. The obvious influence of Norse mythology on the organization's name is further shown by the fact that all THO members use a mythological name as their call sign.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Norse mythology body of mythology of the North Germanic people stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period

Norse mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities, beings, and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, and folk tradition.

In exchange for the services of both Allied and Axis higher-ups, Thor's Hammer provides them with some of their inventions, including Panzerkleins. Panzerkleins are very difficult to destroy, as they are essentially immune to small arms fire.

Reception

Reception
Review score
PublicationScore
X-Play Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [3]

Silent Storm was awarded "E3 2003 Best of Show" in the tactical genre by Wargamer.com. [4] The game's Metacritic score, GameTab score and MobyRank are 83, 82.93% and 84, respectively. [5] [6] [7] The game however suffered from a lack of sales in the United States, partially due to lack of marketing.[ citation needed ] While praised for its tactical depth, aesthetics and the quality of its game engine, [8] [9] [10] the game has been criticized for its "silly", "over-the-top" story and voice acting, [8] [9] and for its inclusion of science fiction elementsspecifically the Panzerkleinsand their effect upon game balance in the latter stages of the game. [9] [10] [11] [Note 1] The game's "tired", "played-out" World War II setting, [9] [10] poor performance on contemporary hardware, [9] [11] lack of meaningful managerial features, [8] and lack of multiplayer, [8] [10] were also noted.

Silent Storm won PC Gamer US 's "Best Turn-Based Strategy Game 2004" award. Mark H. Walker of the magazine praised its "sweaty-palm firefights, clever leveling system, and its use of its World War II setting". [13] The editors of Computer Gaming World nominated Silent Storm as their 2004 "Strategy Game of the Year (General)", although it lost to The Sims 2 . They wrote that it "almost walked away with the award because it exhibited an addictive combination of turn-based strategy and roleplaying that hasn't been so well executed since Jagged Alliance ." [14] The staff of X-Play nominated Silent Storm for their 2004 "Best Original Game" award, [15] which ultimately went to Katamari Damacy . [16]

Footnotes

  1. Fans critical of the mobile suits' power have created a mod that removes the suits entirely. [12]

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References

  1. Interview at GamersHell
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    Jonric. "Silent Storm Interview". RPGVault. Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007.
    Calvert, Justin (June 3, 2003). "New Silent Storm details emerge". GameSpot . Retrieved 26 November 2007.
    Thorsen, Tor (January 15, 2004). "Silent Storm makes golden sound". GameSpot. Retrieved 26 November 2007.
    Stock, Robert (January 20, 2004). "Silent Storm". Just RPG. Archived from the original on 15 December 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007.
  3. Keil, Matt (June 4, 2004). "Silent Storm (PC) Review". X-Play . Archived from the original on December 6, 2005.
  4. "Press". JoWood Productions. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  5. "Silent Storm (pc: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved 29 December 2008.
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  7. "The Press Says". MobyGames . Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Rausch, Allen (February 25, 2004). "S2 - Silent Storm". GameSpy . IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Butts, Steve (January 27, 2004). "Silent Storm Review". IGN . Retrieved 11 December 2007. There is one aspect of the game that really stood out as ridiculous to me. Since it's kind of integral to the plot, I don't want to spoil it. Just watch out for the suits.
  10. 1 2 3 4 Kasavin, Greg (January 26, 2004). "Silent Storm Review". GameSpot . CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  11. 1 2 "Silent Storm Review". 1up.com . IGN Entertainment Games. January 1, 2000. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. But worse, late in the game Silent Storm falls victim to the nerd imperative of sci-fi elements that, though some gamers may enjoy, I found totally unnecessary and detrimental. After fighting so many tough, gritty urban battles, the introduction of Panzerkleins (powered li'l mech-like weaponized body armor) and ray guns struck a really sour note and seriously undermined the great WWII feeling the game had created up to that point.
  12. "Cookie's No-PK Mod - StrategyCore Forums". January 26, 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2007.
  13. Walker, Mark H. (March 2005). "The Eleventh Annual PC Gamer Awards". PC Gamer US . 12 (3): 33–36, 38, 40, 42, 44.
  14. Editors of CGW (March 2005). "2004 Games of the Year". Computer Gaming World (249): 56–67.
  15. X-Play Staff (January 18, 2005). "X-Play's Best of 2004 Nominees". X-Play . Archived from the original on November 7, 2005.
  16. X-Play Staff (January 27, 2005). "X-Play's Best of 2004 Winners Announced!". X-Play . Archived from the original on March 15, 2005.