“No tux, no licence, no mercy,” says the back of the box and this tagline pretty much sums up Cold Winter on the PlayStation and Xbox - the latest first person shooter to come from Sierra.
Set in a dark world of global espionage, full of international intrigue, action and suspense, the story follows a disavowed secret agent across thirteen single player missions, blah, blah, blah.
What this means to you and me is that your character is inevitably normally in a tight spot with plenty of guards to avoid or more simply kill. The storyline whizzes along at a steady pace and the levels involve the usual sweep and clear tactics.
Unfortunately the guards and friendly forces’ AI is appalling which means that for any hardened first person shooter fan there isn’t much of a challenge here.
This too isn’t helped by the inclusion of a neverending medikit that you can simply apply at any given time.
Gone are those fearful moments that one more hit will see you having to restart the level all over again and for us this takes away the games edge which most gamers are looking for. Delta Force Black Hawk Down, this isn’t.
The levels jump from Chinese prisons to Hong Kong and for the most part they are played out at night. This of course does bring a certain atmosphere to the game, although it also means that you’ll either have to turn up the brightness of the television or close the curtains if you’re planning a day time gaming session.
Weapons are the usual array and like other games before this one you are restricted to carrying only two at a time. What you can do however to increase you cache is by picking up bits and pieces to make weapons such as petrol bombs. All you need is to find a rag, some petrol, a bottle and a match and you're in business.
There are some nice features here. Tables and crates are interactive and can be turned into cover when you get involved in a shoot out with some guards. Likewise you can search the bad guys once they are dead and their level of training - ie dumb security guard or trained elite solider will determine how long it takes to search them and what goodies you may find.
Overall this is a good game, but our concern is that the AI is too shockingly poor and won’t offer any real challenge. Plus, with only 13 levels most gamers will whiz through this in no time at all.