Stealth Bastard Deluxe ReviewPC
key review info
- Game: Stealth Bastard Deluxe
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
With every new level played in Stealth Bastard, the game from Curve Studios, I expected something more; a better twist hidden somewhere in the level, another approach, a new mechanic to use in order to progress to another area that finds an even more interesting way to kill the main character.
Players inhabit a series of interchangeable clones who need to explore a complex facility that is fairly sentient and determined to stop them via any possible means, ranging from walls that close it to laser beams that turn the squishy human bastards into a kind of meat paste.
The deaths are brutal and can only be avoided by paying attention to light and shadows, watching the way the various levels are built and how elements like cameras, sensors and robots interact with one another.
The main character has goggles that are green as long as he is invisible and avoids dangers and turn red when the situation is less than rosy, which should mean that getting out of a problem area is possible.
But the player rarely has time to see the transition from green to red and react, but each death brings important information about the level and the way the cameras and traps are spread around.
The player can then try another approach, evaluate his success and then move one step closer to the end of the level, all the while dying gruesome yet repetitive deaths.
This means that Stealth Bastard is basically a puzzle game where failure is expected (the mysterious writing on walls even mentions the phrase at some point) and not a platformer.
Losing a clone is just a sign that players need to try a new strategy or simply move faster through an area, which is a way of thinking that might bewilder the modern gamer, accustomed to keeping the hero alive all through the game.
The transition is improved by the excellent checkpoint system in the game, which always brings the clone protagonist back just in front of the trap system that killed him before.
There are moments in Stealth Bastard, especially in the so-called boss levels, when the game seems unfairly hard and players might come close to abandon it entirely, but my advice is to simply play something else for a few hours and return to the puzzle title later in order to search for a solution with fresh eyes.
There’s also replayability built into the game experience from Curve Studios, linked to the various suits and their capabilities, but most gamers will probably not be bothered to go back and try them again after surviving the ordeal in the first place.
The art style of Stealth Bastard is also designed to appeal to players who value well used color and clever transformations over high quality textures and smooth movement.
The game is appealing, but I often felt that the game world could have used some more details and more personality.
Unfortunately, we were not able to capture a gameplay video, so here's a launch trailer instead:
The music is very different and I often left the game running in the background while I did other world just in order to be able to enjoy the soundtrack, which is an infectious mix of 8 bit and modern themes.
The game also offers leaderboards designed to make it easy for friends to compare their times and performance and I can see many determined players spending hours trying to get to the top for their favorite levels.
I’m not sure whether Stealth Bastard has enough innovation to make it interesting to those who like the platformer genre or whether the game is simple enough to pick up and play for those who have never before played anything similar.
The core mechanics are solid by themselves and Stealth Bastard does deliver some genuine impressive movement-based set pieces, but there are moments when the difficulty level was enough to push me to abandon the game entirely.