Tough-as-nails puzzle platformer Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark sneaks onto PlayStation 3 and Vita on 24th July.
Swearing creatively; difficult thing to get right. You just about get away with 'Stealth Bastard Deluxe', but as soon as the subtitle 'Tactical Espionage Arsehole' comes up we go from laugh to cringe. It's a bit try-hard, and its greatest sin is misrepresenting the game behind it - SBD is a refined and original take on the sneaking genre, not a crass parody. The most heartfelt profanities here are delivered, as they should be, by the player.
SBD is first and foremost a 2D platformer from the modern indie school - precise twitch controls, instant restarts, and plenty of messy deaths. Insert obligatory Super Meat Boy comparison, except in this case there is a similarity in how SBD has come to market. This is an expanded and remade version of a freeware original from Curve Studios, the team behind Explodemon, and Stealth Bastard's big idea was speedy sneaking. All the stuff you expect in a stealth game, faster.
This is an expanded and much-polished remake, but despite the instant premise it takes a good few levels to warm up, as the opening takes its time to explain the basics when the stealth mechanic is really quite simple. You're either in the gloom and not visible (the character's goggles glow green), in dull light and partially visible (amber), or in bright light and fully visible (red). Levels are made up of dark corners and big bright expanses, with all sorts of cubbyholes and grey areas in-between. They're all filled with switches, cameras, lasers, turrets and sensor beams that interlink, as well as light sources and terminals that need hacking. These ostensibly simple and easily-manipulated elements will kill you so many times it's untrue. SBD's that kind of game.
Indie game Stealth Bastard Deluxe launches on Steam on 28th November, Curve Studios has announced.
It costs £6.99 / €8.99 / $9.99.
The fast-paced masochistic stealth game first released for free via the Stealth Bastard website a year ago. Downloads are now up to 135,000.
Indie game Stealth Bastard Deluxe launches on Steam at the end of November 2012, Curve Studios has announced.