is the perfect example of good ideas gone bad. It's
a stealth action game that borrows heavily from Metal
Gear and Splinter Cell but is unable to even pay tribute
to these classic due to buggy gameplay and low production
values. Stolen would need to spend more time in development
before I could seriously recommend it.
if you're a hardcore stealth fan it's hard to overlook
the problems inherent in this game. The various gameplay
elements are just too shallow to hold your interest.
You only have one button for combat and once you learn
how to sneak around guards you've pretty much aced
the game. About the only time you'll trigger an alarm
is when you get bored of doing the same old thing
and decide to take a few risks just for the hell of
it. For a game that should always keep you on the
edge of your seat, it barely keeps me from getting
up and ejecting it from my console.
with stealth, Stolen utilizes combat, acrobatic moves,
puzzle solving, exploration and collecting - none
of which are challenging or rewarding. Most of the
game is played in the shadows. Even though the focus
is on stealth the darkness becomes overbearing after
a while. Except for the odd lit room and guard post,
most of the interiors are indistinguishable from one
another. The darkness that is your greatest resource
seems to become your worst enemy after time. In this
way, Stolen tends to make me SADD.
is the protagonist. She's a professional thief. With
moves that allow her to jump, swing and climb she
gains access to various buildings to steal unique
items. For each mission there is one main item to
steal but Anna is at liberty to collect anything of
value. The missions are haphazard and like the storyline,
are vague. You have only the roughest of idea of where
you're supposed to go. There are no clear paths. I
find it unrealistic that a professional thief wouldn't
have clients that could provide a detailed map of
the layout of the interior of a building.
the light meter, Anna can determine her level of invisibility.
As long as you're in the dark part of the ballpark
you won't have any trouble passing the guards. You
can even make plenty of noise and you won't alert
these idiots to your presence. If they do manage to
spot you they will run after you but all you have
to do is shoot the lights out and plunge them into
total darkness. In an unsuspected twist the guards
actually pull out flashlights to continue looking
for you. I thought this was a great idea but all you
have to do to foil them is keep moving around to avoid
the cone of light and they'll give up after a superficial
search. These guys are so lazy I wonder if they used
to work in our offices.
can't kill the guards in Stolen but you can knock
them out. Unfortunately they don't stay down for long.
After a few moments they will begin to stir and sound
the alarm if you don't get back there and throw another
punch or two at them. That brings me to the combat
system which consists of only one button. As you button-mash
the controller you will alternate between punches
and kicks. There are no blocking moves, dodges or
combos. I'm all for simplicity in control systems
but this is just downright ridiculous.
a spotty and confusing storyline and poor voiceacting,
Anna comes across as an unlikable thug instead of
a sexy, elegant cat burglar. Graphics suffer from
the jaggies and a low framerate, not to mention the
relentless lack of color. The soundtrack is good and
is about the only thing in the game that could be
considered top-shelf although we could have used more
of it since ambient sound effects are sparse which
makes the game feel too stark.
you're not already feeling isolated from spending
so much time in front of your TV set playing videogames,
Stolen may be able to take you directly into a state
of clinical depression. Even at half price, Stolen
still wouldn't be much of a steal.