Preview: Project: Snowblind (XB)

Publisher: Eidos / Developer: Crystal Dynamics / Genre: FPS / Release Date: 02-15-05

I have always liked snow. Ever since I was a little girl, the image of icy fields and trees was a tantalizing daydream. Unfortunately, I have never experienced snow around Christmastime, being from central Alabama and all. When I was assigned this particular game, I thought, “Oooh, goody. Snow!” Okay, so I was completely wrong, as I quickly discovered when I visited the Project: Snowblind official website. According to the gameâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s makers “snowblind” means “the complete system shutdown of all internal electrical and bio-mechanical systems (created by an EMP blast or similar electrical disturbance in the local vicinity) and leaves bio-augmented soldiers temporarily vulnerable and totally exposed on the battlefield.” Well…I learn something new every day.

Crystal Dynamics’ Project: Snowblind is yet another futuristic war game. Set in 2065 Hong Kong, the game centers around Nathan Frost (FrostSnowblind…cute? No.), a Lieutenant in the Liberty Coalition, an international army. Frost becomes the guinea pig of an experimental surgery after suffering near-fatal injuries on the battlefield; however, the surgery transforms him into a “weapons-grade warrior” capable of things average soldiers could never do (like shocking me with its unoriginality). His super soldier abilities are quickly noted, and Frost is deployed to the frontlines of war. However, he and several of his fellow soldiers find themselves stranded in enemy territory and unable to contact or rejoin their unit. Frost and his comrades must fight their way out and, while doing so, prevent their foes from unleashing a secret weapon that will DESTROY THE WORLD!!!! (no, not really… just “plunge [it] into darkness”).

Gameplay, while not being a picture of originality, is filled with features that will have some players salivating. For instance, Project: Snowblind will please nearly every fan of the first-person shooter genre as it will employ two types of levels — infiltration and total war. Infiltration, naturally, refers to Frost working alone on stealth missions. Total war missions are battlefield-type fights in which Frost fights alongside his computer-controlled colleagues. Furthermore, Frost is equipped with various abilities — most notably the tool that allows him to control robot foes for a brief period of time, the Riot Wall — a handy portable shield that he can just pull out and hide behind (everybody needs one of those), and invisibility. The game is also filled with numerous weapons that show players — when they target — exactly how much ammunition they have (canâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t have the lazy bastards forced look to the side of the screen, after all) and a variety of vehicles that players will be able to commandeer during the eleven mission (that span sixteen maps).

The game will also feature an online multi-player mode — that will support up to sixteen players (XB and PS2).

One element of the game that sets it apart from the rest of its generic crap is its graphics. Unlike typical futuristic games, the game is not shrouded in dark, grimy shadows. However, it conveys that people in the future have retained their love of color — and it actually makes the game a little more believable.

Project: Snowblind is set for release in early 2005, but I, for one, will have no problem waiting for it.

*Note: All game-related quotations were taken from the Project: Snowblind website.