Stealth Inc: The Lost Clones Review

Gaming

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Stealth Inc: The Lost Clones
Developer: Curve Studios
Publisher: Curve Studios
Platforms: PS3 (Reviewed), PS Vita
Release Date: 4th December 2013
Price: $3.99 USD/$4.45 AUD – Available Here

Overview

Stealth Inc: The Lost Clones is the latest DLC expansion available for Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark; the intensive puzzle platformer that will take new and existing players on a run for insanity. The Lost Clones explores a higher degree of challenges within a mystifying and destructive universe, that can only be solved with the right amount of patience, agility and craftiness. So let’s determine whether this test is worth the investment.

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Story

The Lost Clones develops the vague storyline of the original game, by focusing on the fate of missing clones within the PTi industry. As an anonymous clone unit, players must stealth their way through deadly traps across two sectors, to uncover the secret past of the lost clones from the workforce. The DLC expansion reinforces the same urgency to escape the facility in Stealth Inc.; although there is no driving force for players to be concerned about other clones that may be alive.

Gameplay

The fast-paced and complex problem-solving style of gameplay within Stealth Inc. is complimented in the DLC; with twenty new gruelling puzzles for players to torment themselves in for countless hours. Levels are well designed to cater for beginners and existing players to become acquainted with the stealth mechanics for hacking terminal systems, avoiding detection and travelling beyond closed doors.

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As seen in Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark, the gameplay is enhanced through the clone’s distinguishing goggles, which display traffic light signals (green, orange, red) according to degrees of visibility. This system is effective for careful planning and strategic thinking, when it comes to determining the safest and fastest method of solving each puzzle. Additionally, Stealth Inc. allows players to become their own puzzle master in Level Editor. The exciting feature encourages players to use their knowledge and experience with the game to test themselves and friends.

The noticeable difference in The Lost Clones, is that the gameplay is much more brutal and frustrating. Regardless of experience, the DLC expansion ensures that all players will have a difficult time progressing through the chambers without luck on their side. As players advance through the game, there are greater movement restrictions and hard-hitting enemies for players to test themselves against over and over again. Beware of the hazards that work in combination to obstruct the exit; from security cameras, sensor and laser beams, buzzsaw, patrollers, portals and evil robots.

Fortunately, players have the opportunity to redeem themselves of excessive slaughter by earning valuable equipment; including the Holographic Decoy Projector and Camouflage Suit. These upgrades are only accessible for players who complete a set amount of levels within the game.

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A great aspect of Stealth Inc. is the replay value, as players are incentivised to improve their clones time performance and S-Ranking across each chamber. Players are encouraged to achieve their personal best, by competing with the records on the global leaderboards. Needless to say, The Lost Clones still rewards players with trophies for completing both sectors; Return to Blender and Final Cut. Those willing to go the extra mile, will receive credit for locating all the lost clone survivors, collecting all the Helices and proving you can defeat five Lost Clone levels in a row without being spotted.

The Lost Clones is currently exclusive for PS3 and PS Vita, although Curve Studios have not ruled out an iOS release for next year. Players have the flexibility of choice in terms of cross-buying and cross-saving the game with both PlayStation consoles. On the PS3 controller, players can switch between using the left thumbstick or D-pad for movement controls, along with X for jumping, O for crouching and square for hacking and activating switches. Whereas, the Vita offers responsive touchscreen controls that allow for fluid movement and handling during gameplay.

Visuals & Audio

The clear-cut 2D visuals are stunning in creating an ideal industrial landscape for stealthy business; with higher resolution and enhanced graphics that better suit a widescreen. The dark shadows and variations of lighting used throughout the levels give depth to the visual experience and reinforce players to constantly adjust to their environment.

The tormenting techno soundtrack is alluring; inviting players to enter the game willingly and use their absolute concentration to complete every puzzle. The accompanying sound effects bring life to the industrial surroundings and keep players alert upon detection. Audio designer, Sam Robinson and Music Composer, Ricky Honmong deserve a round of applause for their amazing compilation of sound within Stealth Inc.

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Overall

Stealth Inc: The Lost Clones is an extremely addictive and challenging game that will have players on the verge of screaming out gibberish and throwing their controller (hopefully not the Vita) across the room in rage. Although, The Lost Clones is more challenging to play, it is well worth the enduring hours for the satisfaction of completing levels. The DLC expansion is a great addition to the successful and much loved, Stealth Inc. game. Start the test and enjoy the puzzling escapade!

8-5-capsules-out-of-10

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

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