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Posted on May 31, 2006 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

SiN Emergence – Game Review (PC)

James Lombardi

Now that’s one stylish lighthouse. A whole world is before you… unfortunately due to linear gameplay you don’t get to explore it.

Graphically there isn’t much to say. SiN Emergence uses the Source Engine so expect some top notch visuals. Unfortunately, the Source Engine continues to have some problems with animations (aside from facial animations). Like most Source games, the way people move seems a bit awkward. However, since it uses the Source Engine, it has fantastic physics and you can expect to be able to interact with most of the environment (and there are lots of things that like to blow up in the environment). I will complain that my favorite use for advanced physics engines is having the opportunity to blow out catwalks and other things with enemies standing on or under them, and the opportunities for that are minimal here.

The audio in the game had some great work put into it. I have become absolutely addicted to the title menu song (“What’s the World Come to”) made by Zak Belica of Ritual Entertainment and lyrics hauntingly sung by Sarah Ravencroft. After hearing it while loading up the game a couple of times, I finally bit the bullet and bought the album on iTunes. The rest of the tracks are also good instrumental pieces that you’ll find similar to some other FPS music out there. My only complaint about the music is that the main menu track is only three minutes long. The sound effects are of good quality and help to immerse the player in hectic combat.

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I told you, you’ll see these signs everywhere! I personally like the "Hulk" one. The game keeps track of all your stats. Headshots, deaths, kills, etc. are all factored in to give you a challenge rating.

The game is pretty solidly constructed and the few major bugs present upon release have already been patched. Some people report stuttering problems similar to initial problems some had with Half-Life 2, but I ran into no serious problems and no crashes. Documentation is nil, and quite frankly, unneeded. The game is a straightforward action FPS.

And that’s the best way to describe the game as a whole. It’s your straightforward fast-paced action FPS. There’s a great story building in it (remember, this is only the first episode) and the gameplay is quite fun, albeit quite restricting. If you can stomach a game that’s very linear and scripted, you should have no problem getting into this one. Normally, I despise games that force the player along such a tight path, but I found that in SiN Emergence it didn’t detract from the experience too greatly. The running and gunning felt very cinematic and the game really capitalized grabbing the player and never letting go. And I for one can’t wait for the next episode.

Armchair General’s Rating: 84%

48/60—Gameplay
18/20—Graphics
10/10—Sound
08/10—Documentation and Technical

Pros: Great graphics and audio. Fairly non-stop addicting action. Great approach to difficulty. Huge… tracts of land…

Cons: Very linear gameplay.

Last Word: If you like a tough, gritty, fast-paced first person shooter, you owe it to yourself to at least check out this first episode in what could be a great series.

Discuss SiN Emergence on the Armchair General forums.

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