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

By Thom Compton 13.09.2015

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

Once upon a time, Curve Digital, also known as the studio who ported Lone Survivor and created Explodemon, made a game that included everything a platforming fan could ask for. Tough as nails gameplay, sneaking around in the darkness, and a title that contained swearing. Yes, Stealth Bastard: Tactical Espionage Arsehole, or Stealth Inc. as it was later called, was a testament to stealth platforming. Following the Wii U review, Cubed3 finds out how Curve handles taking that experience and intensifying it for a sequel on PC.

Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones starts off introducing its chaos with the exact degree of tact expected: assault the player with tough platforming immediately, teaching them how to play. This also holds the primary tenant of what makes the Stealth Inc. games so intriguing. Those with the controller in hand are there to enjoy being consistently humiliated. Curve's platformer throws curve balls as fast as it can come up with them.

As unfair as the game tends to be, it's always handled like a jab to the user to get better at anticipating these unfair moments of chaos. It plays by different rules than most platformers. Standing still too long? Getting bored waiting for something important to happen? In just a moment or so, things will probably get very chaotic. Once the rules that follow are instilled, they can easily be learned to anticipate them.

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

The original Stealth Inc. lined up levels in a very traditional fashion, and any of these could be picked as long as they were unlocked. Stealth Inc. 2 chooses a much more interesting approach. Players are guided around a facility filled with other clones (who act as collectibles) and aim to locate each test chamber in a Metroidvania style. This tends to be more interesting; however, it quickly becomes very easy to get lost in the hallways. The layout is a touch repetitive, especially within each "zone."

Gadgets are also streamlined, making them much more important than in the previous game. Every zone contains a gadget that the zone is built around. Overall, they are pretty inventive, save one. The gadget that allows for the hijacking of robots is not only fairly trite, but overtly boring. Otherwise, they are pretty amusing. Completing a zone allows the use of the gadget in the facility, which unlocks new areas and allows for more clothing (the last collectible type) to be found throughout.

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

One of the hard things when reviewing a game is distinguishing the systems it is available on, and determining if the experience is the same everywhere. Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones runs brilliantly on consoles, but this review is for PC. Sadly, PC gamers will not enjoy the same fluid frame rate that is presented on other systems. This distinction is important, and PC owners should consider it when looking into this title. Because of PC, it barely works.

At least, tweaking is definitely required. Upon loading the game up, an error is presented, stating a file is missing. Google is littered with fixes for this error, and fortunately the fixes work. Unfortunately, after fixing it, the true thing holding back the latest Stealth adventure arrives. That is, one of the worst frame rate issues in a PC game in years.

The frame rate is set very low, and the only way to adjust it is to close the game and change the resolution in the launcher window. For example, optimum settings during playing for this review where a resolution of 640 by 400, with anti-aliasing turned off and in full screen. While that may sound like a lot of jargon (because it is), Stealth Inc. 2 would only run once it was so pixelated it looked like an early PlayStation game. Even then, the main character still tends to run as though the floor is made of molasses. Without these settings, if set higher, he runs so slow the game becomes unplayable.

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

This is a deathblow for the experience. It can take a while adjusting the settings, running the game, and then testing it by loading up the whole game and playing. It's extremely tedious when the adjustments still don't resolve the issue. Considering how fluid the experience is on consoles, it's extremely bizarre how rough it is on PC. However, there's no looking over trying to play a title that runs this slow.

Sadly, Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones had the potential to outperform its predecessor. The Metroidvania layout, the humorous wall writings that constantly make fun of the player and the sense of accomplishment all scream great experience. Unfortunately, it barely runs on PC. Being constantly bogged down with lag and a frame rate issue nullifies any good that could have come from the game. The tedious process of adjusting the settings only seals its fate further. What's left behind is something that could have been great, had it only proved to be functional.

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

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

Regardless of how well constructed a game's design is, it is still a medium that requires technical finesse. While there's nothing to indicate Curve Digital doesn't possess this, Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones on PC isn't a great showcase for what they do possess. While the things that lay under the broken veneer are definitely interesting and possess the ability to create a great title, this is too broken to enjoy. Hopefully these issues are fixed, but for now, this isn't the experience it should be.

Developer

Carbon

Publisher

Curve Digital

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

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   

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