Monday, 18 April 2016

Alekhine's Gun

The setting for Alekhine's Gun is actually quite exciting when first hearing about it. Set during the Cold War you play as a KGB Operative turned CIA agent in a stealth action game. Sounds pretty awesome right?  Well mix that with an absolutely awful delivery that quickly sucks the fun out of everything and becomes an absolute slog.

Developed by Maximum Games and out now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC,  Alekhine's Gun is a bag of ass. It may sound harsh but everything they set out to here fails miserably. First off, the story in which the game is set in has so much potential but it becomes shite almost right away. The scenes are delivered in boring static images and the delivery is laughably bad. It kills every molecule of interest you may have in where it goes right away and only becomes a nuisance. Thankfully though consistency is carried out through the gameplay which is also terrible. It very much seems like it's trying to be a lower-budget Hitman and boy does it nail the inferior Hitman feeling. It very much wears its influences in its sleeve but it's a vomit-soaked sleeve that just get everything it attempts wrong.

The gameplay itself is insanely simplistic, especially when you consider it comes out around the same time as the new Hitman game (which is awesome by the way). Nothing feels deep or lived in and it all feels very generic. Visually, there's nothing impressive in its arsenal and what's most surprising is that game doesn't even run that smoothly on consoles.

The biggest offender of all of this though is probably the AI which is erratic and ridiculous. Guards patrol set paths and some of the fun of these games is figuring all of that out. The only problem though is after meticulously figuring it all out and somehow things still go wrong, you can very easily escape a hostile situation in stupid ways. How stupid? Well, should you screw up and have a bunch of guards on your tail, simply running into a different room and closing a door can almost immediately stop all pursuing foes. There is a lack of fear, or consequence to your actions meaning it doesn't respect itself as a challenge and you won't respect it either. Like you've always heard: For anyone to love you, you must first learn to love yourself.

Oh yeah, there's plenty of bugs too, and not the fun kind. You will glitch into objects as well as fall through the floor on multiple occasions leading to a hard reset and lost progress. It's a frustrating affair that is usually saved even for a few fleeting moments by funny bugs but the ones here just make everything even worse.

It's disappointing really. There is definitely a market for these style of stealth games and they've come few and far between in the last few years. You can see the potential in the title and where the developers wanted to go with it but ironically enough considering the kind of game it is, it fails miserably on its execution.

More like Alekhine's no fun. 1/5.


Jason Redmond

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