Official Game FAQ for Silent Storm


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#1 DoomMunky

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 06:08 AM

Welcome to the Official StrategyCore Game FAQ for Silent Storm .


The point of this Game FAQ is to gather and organize all the information a new player might need before playing and enjoying Silent Storm (hereafter S2), including info about the game type, how and where to purchase it, and why this game is so special. A Gameplay FAQ will follow shortly, and attempt to answer every question about playing the game you could have, including how the skills work, what mods are available, and how you play the game and win. A Technical FAQ will follow that, and will attempt to address all the technical details about the game, including how to run the game best on your system and any common bug questions. Look for links here.

Please, if you have a question or an answer/solution that is not covered here, post it below and it will be added as soon as possible. Posts on this thread will be periodically deleted to keep it clean, but we will try to attribute solutions to the appropriate persons.

Anyone with a good knowledge of the development process or developer track record will be welcome to post these things, as DoomMunky (the primary author of this FAQ) has very little knowledge about either of those things. Also, any musings on why this game is important in the larger pantheon of strategy titles will be welcome as well

Please do not post spoilers or requests for mission specific fixes here. That belongs in the  S2/S3 Support Forum.

Eventually this FAQ will probably be included as its own page in the main site, so get in now and become a part of StrategyCore history!

This is being built atop the original FAQ thread by polo.



Organization of FAQ:

1) What is Silent Storm?


1.1) Soldiers and Characters
1.2) Graphics and Sound


2) Why is it so special?

3) Where can I get it?

Edited by DoomMunky, 01 April 2005 - 09:30 AM.


#2 DoomMunky

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 07:17 PM

1) What is Silent Storm?

      Q. What is this game?

A. First of all, Silent Storm is a PC-only game, created by Nival Interactive and published by JoWooD Productions. It is a turn-based squad-level strategy game set in a World War II environment in the European Theater. You lead a small squad of soldiers into battle against their enemies, and the bulk of the game takes place in skirmish zones called maps or levels, in which you attempt to lead your men to victory by accomplishing a variety of objectives.

Second, and almost most importantly, S2 has some of the best graphics and innovative gameplay ever seen in a Turn-Based Strategy title. More on that in the Graphics and Sound section.

Q. What does "Turn-Based Squad-Level Strategy Game" mean?

A. Well, here's the best way to describe it: attempting to emulate the action of battle in a methodical way, Turn Based means that the action unfolds in a series of turns. You have your turn, moving your men around and making them perform a wide variety of actions, and then the enemy has its turn, and this proceeds until all the enemy, or all of your men, are dead.

Q. How does a Turn-Based system work?

A. In order to limit the number of things you could reasonably do in a turn, S2 uses what are called Action Points. Every action you can attempt (running, crouching, firing weapons, using medical or engineering items, etc.) takes a certain number of action points. When a character has used up all her action points, they have to wait for their next turn to perform actions again. The gameplay, then, consists of managing your Action Points so that you kill the enemy and don't get killed. Have enough action points to fire your gun or hide behind a tree, but not both? You decide what to do, and deal with the consequences.

Q. Okay, I think I get Action Points. What's "Squad-Level" and "Strategy?

A. Squad-Level refers to the size of the force you control. It's not a battalion. It's not a regiment. It's a squad. Small, mobile, deadly. You can have anywhere between one and six soldiers under your direct command, and on certain missions allies will join you and augment your ranks.

A Strategy game means that the gameplay consists of becoming familiar with your forces, learning to harness their strengths and limit their weaknesses, and deploying them against an enemy force. May the most strategic thinker win!  (This is actually more of a Tactical game than a Strategic game, as Tactics refers to the smaller actions one undertakes to accomplish the Strategic goals set forth by the overall military command, but for some reason this type of game has always been lumped in with the "Strategy" games that have you moving whole armies by the games industry and press.)  

Q. So what? I don't like strategy-type games.

A. Hmm. Go away then.

Q. Another game in the WWII world? I'm tired of that!

A. Yes, we all were, and when we heard that yet another game was using this world, we groaned and gave it a shot anyway. And who knew? It is an evocative, interesting world. If you want modern machine guns and laser-guided missles, go play Operation: Flashpoint.

Q. What is the story like? Is there a story?

A. Yes, there's a story, and it's very strange. It unfolds through a series of captured documents and transcripts of interviews with captured agents and informants, and it can get pretty convoluted. At the beginning of the game you choose to play as soldiers in the Allied or Axis armies, each with a different story. As you progress through the game you learn more about a sinister, nefarious scheme to...well, you know.

Q. You can play as Axis or Allied soldiers?

A. Yup. When you start a new campaign you choose to be either Axis or Allies. Each has a discrete story-line, so there are two full campaigns in the game.

Q. Do I have to play as the other one to beat the game? Can I play just one campaign?

A. Heck yeah, you can! You only have to play as much as you want. You'll get more gaming bang for your buck if you play both campaigns, and there are some great differences between the two campaigns, but if you don't want to play as the Axis forces (or the Allies!), you don't have to.

#3 DoomMunky

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 07:18 PM

1.1) Soldiers and Characters

Q. I heard there were RPG elements to this game. How does this work?

A. Yes, there are Role Playing Game (RPG) elements to this game. As you use your skills, you gain prowess in them, and as you kill enemies, you gain experience points which translate into new skills and abilities for your characters. This means that as you get further in your campaign, your soldiers get more and more skilled. By the end of the game, you are leading a truly elite squad.

Q. Do I get a choice in what kind of character I play?

A. Absolutely. You choose the main character of the campaign, modify his or her stats, clothing, voice, hair, and face. You can even give him or her glasses and facial scarring.

Q. What about the other soldiers?

A. They are the soldiers that your chosen side (Axis/Allies) has set aside for special duty, and you can choose as many or as few of them to accompany you on missions as you wish, up to the limit of six in your squad. There are many different soldiers available to choose from, representing many nations and many skills. Each has a unique voice, face, and costume, and their dialogue is frequently hilarious. We love it when Abala says, "I am causing injury" in his Indian accent, and he sounds so proud and excited!

Q. Are there character classes, like in an RPG?

A. Yes, there are six different classes to choose from: Sniper, Scout, Soldier, Engineer, Medic, and Grenadier. Each has a different specialty and tactical usefulness. The Sniper is pretty bad at close quarters battles, but the Soldier excels at it. Scouts are sneaky, used as spotters and ninja-type silent assassins, and Engineers excel at unlocking or booby-trapping doors and chests, and set mines pretty well, too. Medics excel at the healing arts and Grenadiers toss grenades around like firemen toss candy at a parade.

Q. How limiting are the class skills? Will my Grenadier be unable to use rifles?

A. Heck no. There are no class limitations like in other games; just because you're a Medic doesn't mean you can't use a kick-butt heavy machine gun, but you probably won't be very good at it for a while. Every skill is trainable, though, and as you rise in level and use the Burst skill more, you get better at it. One of the great things about the character system in S2 is that you can customize the performance and skills of every member of your squad, so that by the mid-game, you're developing a very well-rounded fighting force.

Q. Wait, I want to make an all-Sniper All Star Squad. Do I have to use every class?

A. No you don't. You can make up your squad however you want. You might eventually run into a situation that your very specialized squad stinks at dealing with, but you can go back to base and recruit different soldiers if this is the case.

Q. What? You mean I'm not stuck with the same soldiers the whole game?

A. Not at all. You can recruit or fire at will, as long as you're not in the middle of a mission (which makes sense, as the whole recruitment roster proabably doesn't want to travel to every strange locale with you...).

Q. This sounds pretty sweet. What happens when my soldiers die?

A. You recruit new ones. On the easier difficulty settings, it's hard for your soldiers to be permanently killed. If they get whacked in-mission, chances are you can carry their body out of the mission zone and they'll survive. But this will be covered more in the Gameplay FAQ.

#4 DoomMunky

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 07:19 PM

1.2) Graphics and Sound


Q. Okay. The core game sounds pretty robust. What are the graphics like?

A. Totally crummy. With good gameplay, you can't have good graphics! You know that!    No!! Just kidding. The graphics are pretty darn good.  Silent Storm uses a fully 3D graphics engine and a movable camera, so you can get any angle on the action that you want. The textures are well-done and detailed, and there are nifty things like particle effects, shaders, and vertex lighting. Here's a link to some screens at GamersHell.com. Check the later pages for some really great ones.

Q. Wow, those graphics are pretty great, actually! Do I need a super-burly system to run this game?

A. No, you don't. The minimum specs, according to the official site, are:

Minimal:

    * Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 9.0
    * 800 MHz Pentium III / Athlon
    * 128 MB RAM
    * 32 MB 3D videocard GeForce2 / Radeon 9000
    * 3 GB hard disk space

If you wish to take advantage of Silent Storm's full potential however, the recommended specs are:

Recommended:

    * Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 9.0
    * 2,2 GHz Pentium 4 / Athlon
    * 512 MB RAM
    * 128 MB 3D videocard GeForce FX / Radeon 9700
    * Dolby Surround 5.1
    * 3 GB hard disk space

Q. I heard this was a really demanding game, graphically.

A. Actually, that's a funny thing about the game: If you have the graphical power to turn all the settings to the highest, you're going to be in heaven, but if you can't dial them all the way up, you'll probably be just as happy! The game still looks amazing without all the settings all the way up.

The thing that gets turned on if you go above 16-bit color mode is the lighting engine.   This will be discussed more in the Technical FAQ, but let's leave it at this: Play S2 on anything better than the default system listed above and you'll be fine (and very happy).

Q. What is the sound like?

A. S2 has great sound, from the whisper of leaves falling from the tree you've just destroyed to the hard *thunk* of bullets tearing into wooden walls. Everything sounds just the way it should. There are even different sounds for different types of bullets impacting the same surface. Fire a rifle and a pistol into a wall and the impacts sound different.

Q. And music? What's the music like?

A. It's martial, dramatic, and exciting. S2 has a cool dynamic sound system that responds to the action. Nothing like spotting the enemy and having the soundtrack crank up the intensity. Very "dramatifying", if you know what we mean.

Q. Are there voices in the game?

A. Yup! Every character has a unique voice and will respond to your orders and to events, often in funny and/or surprising ways. (You can also turn them off if you don't like them) Upon shooting the enemy they occasionally respond "No one said it would be this dangerous" in a faux-Russian accent. And you feel sorry for them. For a second. Before you drop a grenade in their laps. In sum: good, cheesy voice acting that's a lot of fun.

#5 DoomMunky

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 07:19 PM

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2) Why is it so special?

Q. Yeah, what is it about this game? Its fans are crazy about it!

A. The thing we love about S2 so much is, well, the whole dang thing. The whole package is very well done, and every element contributes to a funny, fun, and challenging game.

If there were one thing about it, though, that really pulls us it, it's the fully destructible environments. Let us say that again: Fully Destructible Environments. You can blow holes in any wall. Shoot up through the floor. Knock down buildings. Blow doors open. Shoot windows out. Stray bullets damage light poles and shred park benches. Furniture is wrecked. Need to go up a floor but the stairs got blown up? Shoot a hole in the ceiling and climb up. You know all those explosive barrels in other games? Well S2 has them too, and these suckers can take out a building.

Q. Holy crap. Really?

A. Really. And the great thing is that it's not just a candy-ass way of pulling in the Quake fans. The destructible environments really contribute to the tactical depth of the gameplay. In other games, if an enemy is hiding behind a table, you have to run around it to get at him, right? In this game, you shoot through the table to get him. And, if you shoot the table enough, it will fall to pieces and expose him. Enemies holed up in a well-defended room? No problem: make a new door with your trusy rocket launcher or machine gun! Can't get through a pesky, well-defended gate? Blow holes and sneak in through the back! You have Grenadiers and mine-laying expert Engineers at your disposal! USE THEM!

While you can blow up trees and bushes, you can't actually take chunks out of the ground but let's not get greedy...

Q. I don't believe you.

A.
The Water Tank Had It Coming
That Building Got in the Way of My Rocket
After the Party, Johann Had Some 'Splainin' To Do

Q. Holy crap! Is there also ragdoll animation?!?

A. Thanks for the leading question! Yes, there is! When enemies (or your boys) die, they do what they would do if they were real. In other words, if they get a bullet to the head, they are blown backwards and crumple to the ground. If they were too close to a grenade or land mine, they are sent flying through the air, limbs flailing, to come crashing to the ground in a limp heap. You can shoot guys out windows, kill them so they fall through holes in the floors, watch them fall bonelessly off tall buildings, and just generally cause ruckus and mayhem to the poor saps.

Q. What's with the fans of this game? They're so sexy and funny and cool.

A. Well, what can you say to that? Thank you, anonymous question-asker person!

Q. Where can I get this amazingness?

A. Good question! Go here to find out.

#6 DoomMunky

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 09:10 AM

3) Where Can I Get It?

Q. Where indeed?

A. First of all, most online retailers stock this game. If you live in the UK, you can find it cheap at Amazon.co.uk, and, if you want to get the totally awesome expansion pack bundled with it, you should pony up a few more bucks and get the Gold Edition from Amazon.co.uk.

In the US, you can get it pretty cheaply at GoGamer.com, or you could splurge and get the Gold Edition there, too.

GoGamer.com is pretty much the only place we know of in the US for getting the Gold Edition. It's a good store, too. When DoomMunky got his copy from them recently, it came with a free copy of Secret Service:Security Breach! Yes!!

Q. So the game is pretty easy to find?

A. Yeah, it really is. If you're having problems, post on the forums here at StrategyCore.co.uk and we'll do our best to help you!

Thanks for reading! Now go out and get playing!


--Created Pretty Much Entirely By DoomMunky




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