Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones (Wii U) Review

By Shane Jury 20.11.2014 2

Review for Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones on Wii U

As the developer of notable titles such as the Hydroventure games and Lone Survivor, Curve Studios is certainly no stranger to Nintendo's download space. One of its previous titles, Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark, did not grace a Nintendo machine at all, sadly, instead beginning life on Microsoft Windows and Steam, and seeing expanded versions release on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. The announcement of the sequel, to the joy of many who enjoyed the first game, was met with slight confusion when it was confirmed to be a Wii U exclusive, despite the first game not being on the console in question at all. Now that Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones is up and ready for a download, the question remains, does the run of solid software releases under Curve Studios remain strong or is this a game not fit for the test tube, much less exclusivity?

Stealth Inc. 2 casts the player in the role of a small goggle-eyed clone creature as he and the many others of his kin are put through numerous dubious tests by a high tech and sinister cloning facility. The story of why this is happening - and the continuing tale of the clone's attempts to escape certain death and doom - is told through comic-style panels and text that appears periodically in set places as the player progresses. The former uses somewhat static set pieces and plain text and isn't too imaginative, but the latter is conveyed through witty dialogue and charm, there to help as a tutorial of sorts, but not afraid to criticise mistakes after the umpteenth casualty. This company backdrop acts as the game hub, and causally exploring it gives access to new smaller chamber levels to try out by way of separate doors.

Screenshot for Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones on Wii U

The environments progressed through are rich in detail and crafted brilliantly, with sections of the levels shifting about as the clones venture on. This impression of evolving levels keeps gamers on their toes as the game often pulls a fast one in doing the unexpected, like a platform gap that shifts in position the closer the player gets or a spike trap coming out of nowhere. In many other games this would be incredibly frustrating, as these shifts often lead to instant death, but Stealth Inc. 2 offers both unlimited lives and the keen incentive to replay these smaller stages and improve the score for the online leaderboards and level rankings. As tough as these stages can be at times, they are designed almost to perfection, never becoming overwhelming in what is required to be done, but always introducing a new element or giving that 'Eureka!' moment. The flowing text commentary, as snarky as it can be at times, helps when these new elements are in place, gradually easing gamers into their use.

Game control is somewhat of a mixed bag. The basics are as simple as can be; left stick or D-Pad to move the little clone, B to jump and grab ledges, Y to hack terminals; easy enough and fully responsive. Later on, however, in certain chambers a special Inflatable Buddy can be used that can be thrown, recalled, and inflated with the shoulder triggers. The choice of having to hold down the left trigger to drop the Buddy at the clone's feet or a quick tap to throw it is a questionable one and far from intuitive.

Screenshot for Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones on Wii U

Stealth Inc. 2's exclusivity to Wii U eShop has given Curve Studios more reign to take advantage of the console's stronger aspects. This includes the aforementioned online leaderboards that are seamlessly integrated into gameplay, but also Miiverse postings that can be done at any point during the levels and are left in the place they are posted up at with an unobtrusive Miiverse icon for other online players to see at their leisure. A fully featured Level Editor is also included, allowing users to create their own chamber challenges with ease using the GamePad, and to then share and play them online as well. Off-TV play support is also included, but the game doesn't allow for a single player to play the standard campaign without the GamePad, likely to facilitate the previously mentioned features.

Screenshot for Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones on Wii U

The game's co-operative feature does bring other controllers into play however, specifically the choice of the Wii U Pro, Wii Classic Pro, or the handy Wii Remote and Nunchuk. The player using one of these has the TV screen, and the GamePad player uses their own viewpoint to manipulate the environment and help the other through the main game. Certain moments, like when hacking terminals with one player reading out the numbers that appear on the GamePad and the other having to input them on the TV screen, showcase the potential of the Wii U's parallel screen possibilities better than a vast majority of other software. This feature does however have an effect on the game's frame-rate, cutting it down from the silky smoothness of the single player equivalent, but the result is not detrimental to the game's required precision on jumps and switches.

Stealth Inc. 2's main story is an extensive one, but even when exhausted there is plenty to return to. High scores between friends and rivals that becomes a race to shave seconds off the times, creating and downloading new levels with ease, helping a friend through the game as a team and seeing all the creative Miiverse messages - £12.99 quickly becomes a bargain for one of the best Wii U games of 2014 (retail or eShop!), in a year of many great releases.

Screenshot for Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Just past its two year anniversary, the Wii U eShop is already home to a vast number of heavy hitters, and Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones stands amongst the best of them. With a subtle yet engaging plot device and atmospheric environment, dastardly devilish challenges, and a shelf life of features beyond many other games, this stealth puzzler is an easy sell.

Developer

Curve Digital

Publisher

Curve Digital

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

been eyeing this but to many games to get thru right now. hopefully its a tenner or undeunder when im ready to buy. added to watch list

It's amazing! One of my favourite games from EGX. I love how they added a back-story element, which was one of the points I wish was in the first game. Some of the things are quite amusing - sarcastic British humour creeping in.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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