It would be a shame if this gets lost in the Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 storm, as it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It might just be the perfect tonic to military shooter fatigue.
The aiming still feels a little loose, as I noted with my Gamescom preview, but the game plays quite well forgoing iron-sight aiming and just blasting through. There is a large amount of auto-aim when you pull up your sights and watch as they pull across the screen to the nearest enemy. As with most titles though I’m sure you’ll be able to tone down the sensitivity and turn off any auto-aim functions so you can maintain control.
The level I played took place just after the dam level, in an underground lab with lots of corridors and loading areas. Generic? Yes, but the steady flow of goons meant that the location didn’t really matter. Armed with a sub-machine gun and a silenced pistol I made my way through before interrogating a scientist to get a password. The only gadget available at this time was a mobile phone for scanning, but it wasn’t needed for this action-orientated level. It’s important to note though, that you can attempt to adopt a more stealthy approach by avoiding groups of guards, performing silenced headshots and shooting cameras. Although, this level proved difficult to play quietly because of the large number of guards. That, and I quite enjoyed charging in and seeing how many henchmen I could take out with one clip of sustained sub-machine gunfire. Four’s the number to beat.
The melee attacks are sharply animated, with naughty throat chops leading the way between firefights. From two different previews now, I’ve seen the game handle stealth and action with a high level of promise. The only concerns were the few areas of the game stalling for up to five seconds and graphical pop-up, like coming out of a door to face a chasm, only for the bridge to load at my feet a few seconds later. This was admittedly unfinished code, so fingers crossed it’s cleaned up in time for the November 4th release date so we can attempt to complete a level with just the throat chop takedown.