Review: Stealth Inc. 2: A Game Of Clones (Nintendo Wii U)
- Release Date (NA): October 30, 2014
- Release Date (EU): October 30, 2014
- Publisher: Curve Studios
- Developer: Curve Studios
- Genres: Stealth
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Core Mechanics and Environment
Remember Portal, Valve’s award winning puzzle game filled with tension and survival? Shrink that down, make it 2D, throw in a cute little goggled protagonist, and get ready for some more sadistic test chambers to challenge. Stealth Inc.’s gameplay revolves around taking control of a rogue clone, and escaping the facility you were created in.
You’re going be spending a lot of time in the shadows, avoiding deadly sentry guards, security cameras, watch dogs, and some deadly traps along the way. Stealth Inc. is all about, obviously, using cunning stealth and versatile gadgets in order to progress through the levels.
The interesting part of this game is the fact that you do not have a means of attacking anybody. The game is mostly focused on defense and tactics, going for a more cunning approach than an all-out explosive gun fight. I rather liked this push for defensive strategy, as it really made me stop and think about the way I progressed through the levels.
The items you obtain throughout the game range from the Jackboy, a hacking tool allowing you to take control of certain security tech in the game and use it to your advantage, to the Inflate-a-Mate, a blow up doll (for more practical uses, not what you are thinking) that can be used to activate floor switches, and give you a boost up to elevated platforms. There are plenty of other gizmos and such that you will have to utilize in order to master the shadows and escape the evil laboratory you have been trapped in!
The game does a wonderful job of teaching you how to play the game just by letting you play the game. There’s little to no tutorial other than cryptic messages that have been left by other clones to give you hints on how to escape. Again, all of this feels very reminiscent of Portal, and it is a blast to play through. It also feels genuinely rewarding to solve test chambers, with the game never growing a sense of ease or cheapness to it. Everything gradually grows tougher, but still doable, and satisfaction comes with every solved murderous level.
Some Extra Goodies
One thing I was delighted to see was the added co-op play introduced to the game, with unique input for anyone using the game-pad controller. While the main player can use any number of other controllers to control the clone, the gamepad user will be able to control and manipulate the various gadgets at the clone’s disposal. The way the gadgets work will be changed, and the need for communication between the two co-op players grows stronger. Sometimes certain hacking terminals will only display codes on the gamepad that the second player has to frantically shout out how to input it for the first player, lest the trap set off and both of you die. Other times, gadgets will need to be manipulated using the touchscreen in order to help your clone reach other destinations, or clear rooms with enemies. It feels very akin to the Murphy style levels in Rayman Legends, or the platform building ability in New Super Mario Bros U. And as always, the gamepad user can also choose to play deviously, and make the challenge even harder for the main players clone using clever alerts and tricks with the gamepad. It was very nice to see an indie game take such clever utilization with the gamepad, and it’s something I hope to see from other games in the future.
Fortunately the fun doesn’t end when you complete the main game either. Curve studios has included a level editor, and downloadable levels that you can share and upload online, for others to download and play on their own. This is a wonderful addition to the game, and keeps the gameplay longevity going for hours, with some online test chambers being absolute monsters to try and complete.
Visually, the game is cute and dark at the same time, and while it doesn’t boast anything really outstanding, still carries a wonderful atmospheric aura to it. While the soundtrack is rather repetitive and can get quite annoying to consistently hear on repeat, it doesn’t take away too much from the overall game-play aspects.
The other funny issue I ran into when deciding on screenshots for the game was how samey everything looked. There is really no change to the overall visual style of the game, and I realized that almost every test chamber looked like its counterpart. While I did not notice it too much while playing, it is still something that could obviously make someone feel they are playing the same things over and over, and could quickly tire them out of the game.
+ Tough but fair
+ Downloadable levels
+ Co-Op is a blast
- Repetitive sound elements
The gameplay overall is tight, responsive, and the gadgets add a lot of fun ideas to the mix.
With the inclusion of downloadable levels, the lasting appeal of the game can go on for hours and hours. The only reason I can't give it a ten is due to the repetitive level design that has plagued most of the online levels, but the degree of difficulty is still enough to keep you invested in Stealth Inc.
out of 10
(not an average)
Stealth Inc. 2 is a fantastic addition to the growing indie support the Wii U is getting. Curve Studios did a wonderful job of showing just how much thought and care they put into their game, and it really is an indie game you should pick up the next time you are browsing the Eshop.