In Cold Blood (PC) Review

By André Eriksson 01.04.2016 2

Review for In Cold Blood on PC

As part of Revolution Software's 25th anniversary celebrations, Cubed3 takes a look at the company's agent thriller adventure, In Cold Blood. With good graphics and an engaging story, it strikes several chords that would have made it a must buy in the past. However, has the test of time been too cruel on it, or has it still managed to hold its head high amongst the competition in today's world?

Agent Cord is sent into enemy territory to retrieve a friendly agent from the hands of the enemy nation, Volgia. When he gets there, he finds out that it is too late to save his friend, but stumbles upon knowledge about the state and its military powers, information beyond what he could have ever expected.

The setup is perfect for a spy thriller and offers a lot of tension, action, and a sense of urgency throughout. While being made way back in the year 2000, the graphics and special effects are extremely well-made for the time, offering a great aesthetic experience, highlighting the environments, and giving off a natural feeling of replicating actual real-life locations rather than merely being parts of a game map.

There are some pretty obvious flaws in here, though, ones that have been exacerbated over time. The biggest, and most apparent, one is the control system, which is based on an ancient 3D control and camera mode that was slightly common before (and for a while after, actually) titles such as Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time set the new standard.

Screenshot for In Cold Blood on PC

The game is controlled by pressing the up key to move upwards, the down key to move backwards, plus the left and right keys to turn the character around on the spot, with no other way to carrying out any of these manoeuvres. Anyone that has ever played an old 3D adventure game or a WoW-esque MMORPG knows how useless this control scheme is on its own, hence why there is the possibility to adjust the camera for a quick turn. However, that option does not exist within the settings of In Cold Blood, so the player is required to key-turn, without the camera following them when doing so.

This wouldn't have been such a problem if it didn't take an extremely long time to turn. When standing still, it takes somewhere between two-to-three seconds to turn 180 degrees, while walking takes somewhere around five and two-to-three seconds when running. This is unacceptable while being hunted or doing something that is timed, and becomes frustrating. However, that isn't the only thing about In Cold Blood that is slow…

Overall, when exploring new areas, players are going to want to walk to not draw guards' attention by making sounds. This might seem like a good mechanic, but the issue is that the walking pace on the whole is too laboured, and the running isn't that much faster, either. While it gives a sense of realism, it certainly isn't enjoyable. The pace never changes, no matter what is done, and this mixed with sometimes inaccurate action-taking that might force the character to walk across the screen towards the wrong switch or door when trying to open it makes this very painful to watch.

In other words, In Cold Blood is a product of its time, showing its limitations more today. It put all of its focus on graphical development, which created gameplay that, while acceptable when released, hasn't aged well at all. In between slow controls and sometimes inaccurate actions, the age of the title is painfully apparent. This is extremely sad as underneath all of that hides a good story and a title that is well worth to play through thanks to the tension the story invokes.

Screenshot for In Cold Blood on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

In Cold Blood is one of those games that while a little flawed at its release, it still was on par with what was acceptable at the time. However, over 15 years down the road, it hasn't survived particularly well. The control and camera systems are an ancient relic from the past and are for good reason not used anymore, and the pace is too slow, in part due to this. This is sad as there is nothing wrong with the story or the game concept, with them in fact being quite enjoyable.

Developer

Revolution Software

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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

Our member of the week

I remember that looking pretty good for the time on Playstation.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Indeed. It still looks really good with all its details. It gives the game and its environments life in a way few games did at the time of its release.

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

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