Stealth Inc. 2 Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Stealth Inc. 2 Review

A Game Of Clones



Stealth Inc. 2 is a sequel to Stealth Bastard Deluxe and, believe me, this is a huge step forward from the original. This is not only visible through the visual upgrade but the story mode gives players the opportunity to explore and complete, ranging from fairly easy to utterly devious, puzzles outside of the original test chambers. Even though the story falters when it comes to explaining what exactly is going on in the facility through speechless texts and hardly any stealth until the game is well underway, Stealth Inc. 2 manages to maintain the gameplay by gradually introducing difficult test chambers along with you constantly obtaining new gadgets and gizmos.

First off, the story is quite linear and takes inspiration in how Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee weaves its own tale. A corporate man is fighting for a head position of high scorers for a company called “PTI” by testing on these stealth clones. These little guys, strangely resembling minions from Despicable Me, wear green goggles on their heads and will be forced, by PTI, to run amok in their death chambers. The reasoning behind the whole ordeal is that the company harvests the rogue gnomes as meat for happy meals for kids and adult with an addition of the goggles as toys – pretty grim. You play as one of these little buggers and can either rescue or sacrifice them to save your own hide. Although, this is all I could read and watch from what was being portrayed. I found the plot difficult to grasp because of how scenes were interpreted.

Gameplay-wise – in comparison to its predecessor – this title is an immense upgrade. Rather than Stealth Inc. 2 being a series of chapters chosen at the menu screen the game begins with an opening cut scene and a prologue. The prologue not only helps players ease into the game but showcases the surroundings and how the open world works. A concrete example would be how Metroid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night had their map layouts depicted, with a central hub from which the game lashes out forward in many directions.

Now add a vast amount of test chambers and cloning teamwork to the mix, which will give you a pretty good idea of how Stealth Inc. 2 works. Judging by my experience with the game, new players should be having less difficulties here than they might have had in Stealth Bastard Deluxe. Firstly, the beginning world is ludicrous – along with world #2. I found no obstacles I couldn’t figure out and solved every puzzle without getting any higher than a B ranking. Secondly, there hardly was ever any stealth portrayed in these first two chapters. Shadows were such a key part in solving puzzles in the first game, which is why I was so disappointed to see that the only real dangers were the Sentinel – mini bosses of sorts. After world 3, however, upon unlocking the Jack Boy ability is when things get tough. This was where the game picked up the pace and all the critical thinking came barging back into play.

Before each consecutive puzzle chamber there’s text projected on the walls by the man who watches you terrorize the company he works for and boy can he be mean. Sometimes he can taunt you to the point you’ll hear his laughter echoing in your head. Although annoying at times, he keeps the game interesting and challenges you to keep getting better.

I strongly recommend taking advantage of the controller while playing this game. I can’t describe the pain I went through while keyboarding my way through this game other than by comparing it to the act of getting shredded at ever turret or perhaps getting to let every laser melt your cute minions’ faces.

Stealth Inc. 2 has brought back level editor, community maps, and leaderboards which will allow players to pass through even more grueling tests – all the while being able to create your own challenges. The leaderboards will grant players access to previous test chambers to beat the times of other stealth goons around the world. I’ve got a slight gripe with the fact that I couldn’t find an option to reset all progress or perhaps review previously seen cutscenes – both of which would make for a nice addition in some future patches.
Graphically, the game has been re-designed to look up-to-date by modifying the 3D and 2D elements. The game of lightning and shadows is beautifully rendered here and can be seen most clearly when the elements of background fall apart. The cinematics are drawn in a comic book art style with textures and colors being grey, black, green, yellow, and red. This made the Stealth Inc. 2 seem much darker, cynical and grim, which actually fits the overarching theme – the notion of feeding the test subjects to the general population. Apart from the gloomy tone the audio adds a grungy, dubstep/electronic mix to the game. The sound was feeling pretty raw as leaping between the shadows and dodging sight cones wasn’t enough to get me pumped. The music does get repetitive – at times – and it doesn’t really help when you’re getting slaughtered left and right every step of the way.

In conclusion, Stealth Inc. 2 is a much deeper game than its predecessor was, offering a wide variety of collectibles, along with online records and custom maps to play through and conquer. Alas, Stealth Inc. 2 only dabbled in stealth in the beginning and there’s a great lack of concrete storytelling devices here, which is a shame. Apart from that, Stealth Inc. 2 is a pretty sweet deal and a grand addition to virtually any Steam library!