Death to Spies

I couldn’t find a thread about this. It’s a slightly older game that just showed up on Steam along with its add-on or sequel for $35. It looks like Hitman in WW2. Anyone played it? Usually games like this that I haven’t heard of and have that fine eastern European musk aren’t worth bothering with, but you never know, and I like the subject matter.

I wrote this about the demo

1C felt the need to translate the Russian title so SMERSH becomes Death to Spies for Western audiences. Its a third person shooter that borrows heavily from the Hitman series but with the realistic grounding of the Hidden and Dangerous games. The premise has you as a spy and sabotage expert on the Eastern Front with SMERSH.

The demo is interesting and manages to be far less frustrating than you’d expect from something inspired by Hitman. In the IO games there’s inevitably a moment of exact timing that goes wrong throwing the mission to waste. They’ve gone better about it over the years but there’s always an element of “save & reload.” At least with the demo SMERSH is more forgiving… sort of. The map is huge and if you can pick and choose when and where to take out the target. If you hit tab a simple overlay map appears showing the location and headings of all the nearby soldiers. Animations are fluid and the control is precise and simple. To raise your posture its mouse wheel up. To fall to the ground its mouse wheel down. Its very easy to draw your weapon to make a quick but exact shot. Silencers aren’t truly silent and if there’s some noise you can see on the overlay map that the nearby soldiers will turn and if truly provoked move towards you. If you need one to come to your position you can hit the whistle key. The first half of the “less frustrating” is the presentation of information and the ease of control. The map is simple, informative, and can be viewed while your moving through the level. The mouse controls are quite responsive and without any sense of delayed action or skating across the ground. My one complaint is the jumping. It only moves you six inches into the air and if you don’t time it correctly a five inch barrier can stop you. The second favor to the player is the disguise system. Uniforms are tiered by rank. Only higher ranking enemies will see through your disguises and if you can’t recognize them visually you can raise the map where their cones of vision are displayed. You still have to pay attention to what your doing but you don’t have to walk through the mission watching your suspicion bar. Enemies do however react to silenced firearms, soviet issue backpacks, and other breaches in your disguises.

The “sort of” comment has to do with the essential conceit of the formula. You don’t want a general alarm on the level and some mistakes are unrecoverable. Quick save remains a valid crutch and unlike 47 in the Hitman games your character is quite vulnerable to firearms. You can however borrow vehicles, plant explosives, booby trap doors and bodies, and make havoc as it suits you. When you do get into a firefight multiple opponents in the open will probably kill you. If your in a building you have reasonable odds unless they start throwing grenades through the doorway. Because of the control combat is much more satisfying than in the Hitman sequels and when it comes it’s actually enjoyable rather than a cue to hit the reload button.

The game looks dated but the animations are reasonably sharp and the sound effects are quite tolerable. They did however cast heavy American accents for the now English speaking Russian characters. That part is K-19 bad.

I never got around to getting the full game but I really enjoyed the demo.

You might want to watch GoGamer. I got Moment of Truth for like $6 during one of their 48 hour madness deals like two months ago. It was back last week, but I think it was going for $22. GoGamer’s PC prices during the 48 hour madness have been kind of screwy lately though.

As for the game itself, I haven’t played it yet. From what I’ve read though it helps fill the void for the lack of Hitman games, though it’s really hard and involves trial and error.

I enjoyed the full game. It’s a little dated and trial-and-error-ish, but holds up well against other stealth offerings and has some different ideas.

Agreed, it was one of the more enjoyable sneak-shooter games I have played. There just aren’t many games that have that kind of gameplay. I usually go out of my way to try any sneak game and this was probably the last one that I really enjoyed.

Since Hitman has been mentioned a lot lately I decided to fire up Death to Spies: Moment of Truth. I tried it a few months back, but I got frustrated and never made it past the first mission. This time I pretty much made myself beat the first mission and it took almost 3 hours. It is just about the worst mission you can give to a player when they are just starting the game. Finished the game tonight and thankfully most of the missions weren’t annoying and frustrating. Rather liked some of the scenarios even though the execution was rather rigid most of the time. Hated the visual style, game looks like they just discovered filters in Photoshop for the first time. Enjoyed it overall, fuck that first mission though. Think I might attempt to kill every single living thing in that first mission now.

Guess I’ll try out the first game sometime. I completely forgot they are making a third game, saw a vid of it awhile back but haven’t heard anything about it since.

Played the first game up to the 7th mission and loved it. It was completely absorbing, and each mission took a very long time. The 7th mission kicked my ass though, and I moved on.

I bought the sequel, but haven’t even tried it. You need serious time commitment to play these.

No idea a third was in the works.