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
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?
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.
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.