While contemplating stompy robots and silly names, Pardoz mentioned Silent Storm in the comments which rang a vague bell, possibly from a previous wave of UFO: Enemy Unknown nostalgia when the XCom games came out on Steam, so I thought I’d try and track it down.
It proved a bit tricky; Silent Storm doesn’t seem to be available from Good Old Games, Steam or other download services, and the best Amazon & co. could offer were pricey used copies (the expansion, Sentinels, seems more readily available, but I’m guessing it’s not much use without the original game). Fortunately a friend had it kicking around in his collection, so I nabbed it from him and it’s proved to be quite a gem.
Silent Storm is pretty much UFO: Enemy Unknown in World War II, the ten years of development between the two resulting in higher resolution graphics on a fully pan-and-tilt-and-zoom-able map, but the core gameplay will be instantly familiar to XCom veterans: send your little squad of 6 out on turn-based missions to shoot the bad guys, nick their cool guns, and back home for tea and crumpets (or kaffee und kuchen, as you can play either Allies or Axis). The strategic aspects are a bit more straightforward than UFO, eschewing the base building, recruitment, alien interception and research aspects for a pool of 20 soldiers from whom you can pick 6 for each mission, and a more structured story where clues found on missions lead to further tasks. It’s really most splendid, and once I’ve finished it I might well grab Jagged Alliance 2, another turn based game I missed out on at the time, and rather more easily available from GOG and the like.
[2012 update: it’s now available at GOG, huzzah!]
As I recall, Sentinels is actually a stand-alone sequel, rather than expansion. It adds a few mechanical twists – weapons have (and lose) durability, and since the setting is post-War (you’re a private contractor now) there’s a rather JA-esque money system – you’ll need to buy ammo and weapons, pay for repairs, and hire new squaddies, funding yourself through payment for successful missions (and looting anything you can carry off the battlefield).
Glad my comment turned you onto the game – it’s an oft-ignored gem, and one I really wish were more readily available.
Ah, nifty, I might need to check Sentinels out again after finishing the main game, the illustration on Amazon says something like “The Official AddOn To Silent Storm”… which, come to think of it, should work with the borrowed copy if it does need the main thing! Splendid.
Great shame it’s not on Good Old Games or similar, it still holds up really well.
Just dropping in to say, Jagged Alliance 2 is awesome, very much recommended.
That seals it, then, Jagged Alliance 2 now downloading from Good Old Games!
Aaaah Jagged Alliance, how I miss you.
I think I read a while back they are making an MMO out of it. That makes me simultaneously happy and utterly frightened. I am not quite sure why.
Yeah, Silent Storm is a nice tactical game, up until the point where your squad begins to resemble some steampunk space marines able to level an entire map – and make a crater if there was a basement – (eh, destructible environments…) with their guns.
I think I might just be reaching that point, the laser cannons aren’t really fitting into the WWII theme so well…
And have you reached the “mech suits” part yet?
Yup, on that same mission. I quite like the idea of “Weird WWII” with technological and/or supernatural elements, but they do seem to tilt gameplay a bit unfortunately.