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Cold War review

AT A GLANCE
  • The accurate maps from a fallen era
  • An engaging storyline
  • At least it's cheap
  • The tiresome menus
  • Scavenging like a hobo collecting cans
  • Running blindly into showers of bullets

After the better part of a day’s play, we stopped loathing Cold War, and actually started enjoying ourselves. We began to appreciate the horrific menu-obsessed mechanics, which relegate almost every action into a time-consuming bore. We agreed the animation no longer seemed like a slap in the face to anyone who spent money on their cutting-edge game machines, and instead seemed minimalist, thus freeing more memory to be squandered on character-building design flaws.



When all was said and done, we agreed that Cold War was the game of the month. Then we all sat back and drank hot toilet water with a brown crayon dipped in it, and agreed that it was the best coffee we’d ever tasted.

Such is the standard-lowering effect Cold War has on you. And it’s a shame, as on paper, it’s a decent concept. Cold War’s main sell is the ability to take the raw materials curiously littered around the real-life locales of the former USSR to create devices such as mines or silencers. Great in principle, sure - but what it boils down to in practice is an endless crawl around the landscape picking up bottles.  Rather like community service but less fun and fulfilling.



Regardless, it might have worked if it, like everything else, wasn’t bogged down in a mire of never-ending menu screens. Not that the action on the ground fares any better.  The snail’s pace at which our hero struts around gives the illusion that he’s soiled himself. Perhaps he’s just so damn cool under pressure, since he never accelerates faster than a brisk jog, even under heavy enemy fire. 

Let it not be said that we at Games Radar don’t love a challenge, but the ridiculous hiding system skews your perspective, leaving you to make a decision about when to come out without any context of who or what is out there. The only balance to be spoken of is the garbage enemy AI. Feel free to open or slam any doors you want because they’ll never notice.

Still, if you can forgive the game’s many idiosyncrasies, then there is a decent enough plot and enough neat touches to eke out some enjoyment. But despite the fact you can save at any time (which is never a good sign) the game is so unforgiving - both of human error and its own design flaws - that it won’t be long before frustration ends play.  

More Info

Release date: Sep 27 2005 - Xbox
Oct 03 2005 - PC (US)
Sep 27 2005 - Xbox
Oct 03 2005 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox, PC
Genre: Action
Published by: DreamCatcher Interactive
Developed by: Mindware
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Language, Tobacco Reference, Violence

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