The year is 1985. Matt Carter is a hard-nosed reporter that will do anything to catch the next big scoop. That's why he finds himself behind the Iron Curtain, where his top informant has tipped him off about a secret meeting between the president of the Soviet Union and the American CIA. Little did he know that chasing after this story would put him on the run for his life, ending up in the middle of a plot that threatens to shake the foundations of the U.S.S.R., and turn this Cold War into a nuclear inferno. Coming to a theater near you this summer. A Jerry Bruckheimer production.
Cold War isn't the latest action blockbuster, but it could have been. The story isn't anything you haven't seen before, but it's told with enough action and suspense, with a main character like Bruce Willis in his Die Hard days, that'll leave you playing with a controller in one hand and a bag of overly salted popcorn in the other. Just like the story, the gameplay is derivative, with origins found in Splinter Cell and Hitman, but with enough dashes of originality to give its own unique flavor.
The greatest feature is that two quick shots are all it takes to kill you.
At long range, a bullet has a chance of grazing you and doing only minor damage, but a steady shot still has a chance to taking off half your life. Up close, it's two quick taps and game over. This means you can't take it easy and stumble your way through this game, running off to hide whenever you've caught too much gunfire. If you attract a guard's attention and you're not ready for then, you're dead. Simple as that. What makes this especially interesting is that to take out these guards and other foes you need to either deliberately attract their attention, or sneak up close behind them, putting yourself in a range where they can't possibly miss. So every single enemy encounter has a feeling of rising tension that only fades when either him or you is lying on the cold, hard floor.
Much to my personal delight, Cold War lets you save as often and as many times as you like, meaning that there's no need of repeating a section of the game that you already mastered just because you weren't able to reach the next save point. Something that has been an unending source of frustration for me in other stealth titles. This allows you to test and experiment, since there's more than a dozen ways to deal with a nosy Ruskie.
He's no Richard Dean Anderson, but Matt Carter is pretty handy with whatever he comes across rifling through the pockets of unconscious soldiers, or foraging in darkened lavatories. He's also reluctant to put a bullet in the brain of a guard that only happens to be in the wrong place, working for the wrong boss, so his homemade rubber bullets allow Matt to practice safe shooting. There's a total of twenty eight gadgets he can duct tape together, though some are just upgrades to existing items like a tin can that can expand the ammo capacity of his pistol. In order to unlock these plans, Matt will need to scrounge up tech points, found in folders and blueprints often lying on desks or sticking out of file cabinets. This almost totally removes the strained cliché of finding high powered weaponry just lying in the path of the game's hero. Instead, Matt collects common household items and turns them into a makeshift arsenal.