Death By Degrees Review: Should You Buy?

Death by Degrees

Death By Degrees Review: Should You Buy?

Death by Degrees blends fighting, puzzle solving, and stealth all wrapped up in one big, adventurous story. This game was published and developed by Namco in 2005 for PlayStation 2. Nina is the main protagonist and is an assassin hired by the CIA to infiltrate “Kometa”, a criminal organization. Read on to discover whether or not this game is worth the time and money.

Death by Degrees Storyline

Death by Degrees
Nina dual wielding takes on team of enemies.

Death By Degrees blends a unique mixture of combat and adventure. Beautifully rendered environments set the stage for game play, including combat in a weapons research facility, a cryptic prison and a level onboard a luxury cruise ship.

Aboard a cruise ship for a fighting tournament, Nina becomes embroiled in some subterfuge when some undercover Brit agents from M16 mysteriously disappear. She learns that a high-tech weapon is in the wrong hands. To retrieve it and save the day she’s going to have to find her way deep into the enemy’s lair. To do this she will fight countless guards, use stealth to avoid detection, and solve puzzles to gain access to new areas.

Wanting Gameplay

Death by Degrees
Nina fights with sword.

Nina is capable of using guns, swords and her Evil Mist but her fighting skills are just as deadly – although none of them are particularly fun to use. The R stick targets the enemy. This is necessary for a 360-degree combat radius. Nina starts out with only a few moves, but she can purchase more. For a time, all you’ll find yourself doing is moving the stick and pushing it forward to activate some moves. Throws and submission holds can be added to the mix but it’s so easy to see that the animations are pre-rendered that it feels unnatural.

Many of these are locked doors in which you must use scanned fingerprints to access. It’s a time-consuming process and one that tends to disrupt the pace of the game. There is no multiplayer mode but there are some mini games to unlock.

Protagonists Abilities and Features of Death by Degrees

Death by degrees
Nina ninjas her way across the roof.

One of Nina’s best moves is her ability to crush bones and target vital organs. Using her X-ray vision, she’s able to locate the vulnerable, internal targets within the enemy. By aiming the cursor on the glowing red area and pressing the stick you will activate an animation of Nina delivering a deathblow to her antagonist. This works fine for the first part of the game but eventually you will run into stronger opponents that don’t seem phased by a broken neck or a mangled heart.

Some features of the game include a 360-degree combat engine that allows Nina to counter enemy threats on all sides at any time. Utilizing both the analog sticks to unleash a flurry of attacks. Master an array of firearms, blade weapons, and acrobatic combat moves. Lastly, the player can make use of Nina’s signature Tekken moves, including throws, submission holds and the lethal Evil Mist.

Last Thoughts

There just wasn’t enough attention paid to the details of the different facets of the gameplay. All of these elements would not be able to stand on their own for an entire game and are barely passable when combined here. Nina is a robust chick with lethal moves; however, Tekken fans will be disappointed in just how little control they have over Nina.

Death by Degrees is a few notches above a budget-title in terms of presentation. The graphics are decent but there are some low-quality textures that reappear throughout the levels. The animation isn’t smooth and load times are longer than average.

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