Alias PS2 Review

Licensed games such as this are often primarily targeted towards the more casual minded gamer, who perhaps don’t play games all that often but may very well be huge fans of the TV show, owning almost all the merchandise and whatnot, including the videogame. It makes a fair bit of sense.

It’s based off a TV show, it’s devoid of any real challenge and just about anyone can pick up and play it, Alias screams of “mass market appeal” and this is certainly one of the main concerns I have with the game. Hardcore gamers will probably polish the game off in a solid day of play, which just isn’t good enough when the game, like many in the genre, doesn’t have any immediate replay value to speak of.

The almost patronising level of guidance that you are given doesn’t help this, the game informs you of where you can jump, where a gadget is required and often shows you where you should head next. It simply just holds your hand far too much for my liking, which is fine for the casual gamer but distressing for the hardcore, especially those who have just come fresh from finishing the mildly challenging Splinter Cell 2.

Alias is like a slightly lighter version of the above mentioned game, there’s no stalking about in shadows and no need to worry about concealing the bodies of your enemies, as they just simply fade away, which feels a bit old fashioned. Again this will suit the requirements of the average casual gamer down to the ground though. Sydney can do almost everything Sam Fisher is capable of, such as clambering along pipes and more conventional moves such as sneaking, crouching and pressing against walls, and, of course, like any competent agent she also has some rather flashy gadgets at her disposal.

Stealth may very well be paramount in Alias (though there’s still a fair amount of occasions that you have no choice but to fight) but that isn’t to say that once you’re detected, that you’re as good as dead. Not only does Sydney take much more damage than the likes of Sam Fisher before she kicks the bucket, but she is also much more capable of directly attacking the enemy with a nice set of fighting moves. Stripping an adversary of their gun and gunning down every enemy in the room is hugely satisfying as is whacking the enemy across the head with a brush or some other sort of lethal everyday object.

Breaking up all this action and sneaking about are some rather poorly Implemented puzzles, which have you hacking into security systems and then proceeding to passcode guesswork. These sections simply just aren’t fun and are more frustrating than anything else. They are also used all too often throughout the game and more variety would have certainly been welcome. Besides this, there’s also a lock picking mini game, which is blatantly inspired by, but a bit more complex than that of Splinter Cell.

Alias’ visuals are decent but are never anything more than workman like. Sydney herself has a nice level of detail, but her surroundings are often a bit dull and not very attractive, there’s no amazing shadows or mesmerizing sunsets to gawp at here, or much else for that matter. Yes, it’s certainly no Splinter Cell: Pandora tomorrow as far as looks are concerned.

Alias is by no means the greatest stealth game available, but it’s still an immensely enjoyable title that unfortunately suffers from a few key faults. Namely the tripe puzzles, lack of challenge and the fact that the game is just too short, with no extra difficulty levels, throwing any immediate replay value straight out of the window. Other niggles include the fact that it takes an absolute age to save your game and there’s sometimes a little too many loading interruptions during play. Problems aside, Alias fans will probably find much to enjoy here as will the die hard stealth fan. Not a bad effort at all.