PN Review: Stealth Inc. 2 A Game of Clones
Now this may come as a surprise to you, but during my time at PAX Prime 2014, I played a BUNCH of games. Shocking right? Everything produced by Triple A companies, Third Party and Indie Developers. However, one of the many games that stuck out to me, was a little stealth platformer that tested my reflexes, intellect and overall problem solving skills.
Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones, starts up with a day in the life of one of the hardest workers at PTI. The work day is about to wrap up, until he realizes that a certain someone is about to ruin his winning streak of “Employee of the month”. To do this, another clone must go through the testing process. Saying that the Clones at PTI are “expendable” is to mild of a word for the way they’re treated, dying over and over again just to test out particular items made for mass distribution. What items are exactly being tested? Why the constant murder of these innocent clones?
All you need to know, is that you play as the Clone who has had enough of the senseless killing of his cloned brethren and seeks to escape this corrupt organization. The only thing that stands between him and freedom is a series of grueling tests.
Platformers have always been one of my top favorite genres in gaming and Stealth Inc. 2 is no exception. When starting a test chamber, your obvious goal is to get from “Point A” to “Point B” in one piece. While simple, the developers at Curve Digital wanted to make sure that you had to earn your victory. Lasers, Sentry Robots, Giant Blades of Impending Doom, I would like say that the only thing that wont kill you is the floor, but at times, those can kill you too. While death will become second nature during your playthrough, it’s set up as a learning experience.
This game is very “trial by error” and truly believes in the concept of “look before you leap”. While someone could see this as repetitious and annoying, the feeling when you finally solved a test chamber that was giving you trouble is very rewarding. There were many times where while I wanted to pat myself on my back, I instead face-palmed and laughed on how the answer was right in front of me the entire time.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for hidden clones in test chambers as they not only go to your completion score, but have a heart! They’re thrown in there just as much as you are. Help a fellow clone out!
Stealth Inc. 2 gives players a very large HUB world to explore yielding new test chambers, outfit customizations as well as some hidden areas. This can give gamers a chance to take a break from test chambers and also an idea on just how large the PTI Building really is.
After completing each test chamber, you’re ranked by three specific goals. How quick you finished the chamber, how many times you died and how many times you were spotted. The ranking system goes all the way up to “S” and achieving it will pretty much take memorizing the entire level, but all worth it when it comes to being at the top of the leaderboards.
The overall level design in Stealth Inc. 2 is beyond clever and creative. While playing, you can really tell there was a lot of time and effort put into each puzzle as nothing feels too easy or rushed. Eventually, you’ll come across some gadgets to give you a hand, requiring you to use everything that you’ve learned in order to complete new chambers. While you may catch yourself stuck on some test chambers, nothing feels impossible, making victory all the more sweeter.
Some levels not to your liking? Think to yourself: “Why I do say, I believe that I can conjure up a cracker jack level of my own!” You can throw in the British accent if you want, just seems right to me. Stealth Inc. 2 allows players to use their imagination to the fullest via the in game level editor. It’s really great seeing what other gamers are capable of, as you can play said levels once posted online. One of the draw backs that I encountered through the level editor was just how confusing it can be when looking for the proper platform or object. It may take a few attempts to find the right pieces when constructing your level and just figuring out where everything is within the menu.
In the end, this is a must have for Wii U owners. Everything feels well thought out, giving players a challenging experience without coming off as impossible. While the level editing system can seem difficult at times, it pales in comparison to the time spent in the main campaign. If you’re looking for something different when it comes to platformers, Stealth Inc. 2 is the game for you.