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Stolen Review

Developer: Blue 52 Publisher: Hip Games
Release Date: April 19, 2005 Also On: PC, PS2 and Xbox

To be brutally honest, until I was presented with the opportunity to review Stolen, I really didn’t hear much about it. You take control of Anya, a jewel thief who tries to go for a big score in the gaming realm but falls flat on her face. If Stolen was released a few years ago, it may actually have been a pretty good title. There is truth to the title though that doesn’t tie to this game. This would be that Stolen actually steals a lot of elements from other stealth games already released, but does a poor job of portraying it.

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Okay, so not all of Stolen is that horrifying. Visually, it really isn’t that bad. While there isn’t texture placed in with a fine tooth comb, the environments are decent. Shadow effects, however, are a little poor. It is sometimes hard to figure out where there is a spot to hide or where there is light. Your character looks pretty good, but the same cannot be said for the NPC’s you encounter. There is virtually no variety at all amongst the guards that are in the museums you are heisting. I mean, couldn’t they have at least changed their colors or something?

Stolen won’t win any awards in audio. The dialogue is fairly well done by your two main characters, but the rest is a failure. Gun sounds are weak and the music really doesn’t tie in that well with Stolen at all. There are plenty of text boxes that would be better explained via voice acting. This puts a pity on learning curve since most of the boxes depict how to perform a lot of options during gameplay.

Stolen really does a good job of stealing concepts from other stealth games. You have a visibility meter, different types of vision, EMP gun, etc. What is interesting is being able to pickpocket guards while they are walking around the level. Incidentally, this was also involved in a little-known stealth game by the name of Rogue Ops, which also featured a female lead character. Hacking and lock picking are easy and a little fun to say the least, but that isn’t enough to make up for everything Stolen does wrong.

You do not even get a real gun to use against the guards. You play a bad guy and don’t have a gun? Something really isn’t right. Sam Fisher and Ethan Hunt both had guns and they were the good guys. All you can do is button mash and hope that you beat up the guard. While you did knock out that guard, he won’t stay out that long and quickly sound the alarm once he gets up from his nap. The NPC’s are quite dumb, so alarms really won’t stop you unless you really can’t play the game that well.

The story mode really won’t keep you busy for long. It can easily be beaten in one sitting, which is really short in this day and age. Not to mention there is no reason to play the missions over again due to the lack of variety. With no multiplayer, there is no reason to buy Stolen even if you are a fan of the genre. Try it for a rental, but it’s not even worth that, unless you’ve run out of your craving for Sam Fisher.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 4
Final: 6.5
Written by Shawn Review Guide