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Hammer & Sickle is something of a strange case—it's by no means a perfect game, but it features a perfect game engine. The combat in this game is so beautifully thought-out and constructed I can't imagine myself being satisfied with any other Turn Based Squad Level strategy engine. Really, the engine is so good that a developer could just drop any new set of graphics and maps into it and end up with a great game. Now Nival has proven that they can use the engine to move beyond simple combat simulation and into the world of real RPGs. I hope that next time around they put a little more work into the role-playing aspects, so they finally have a game worthy of the engine it's built on. Although, if they want to just keep cranking out games about people in different time periods shooting one another, I'd probably be okay with that as well.
It's time to brush up on your English comrade because the Red Army has just selected you for a special assignment courtesy of CDV Software Entertainment and Nival Interactive's Cold War spy thriller Hammer & Sickle. The story takes place at the beginning of the Cold War when the Allied forces and the Soviet Union were on the verge of full-blown conflict with each other.
Hammer & Sichel ist ein guter, fordernder Titel, den ich hiermit jedem Taktik-Fan ans Herz legen möchte. Oder besser: jedem Taktik-Profi. Der Schwierigkeitsgrad der Missionen bewegt sich zwischen "schwer" und "unfair", und wer beim Spielstart aufs freie Speichern verzichtet, hat gegen die feindliche Übermacht keine Schnitte. Dafür motiviert die Vielfalt: Die offene Kampagne hat zwar Sackgassen, ermöglicht aber vielfältige Strategien. Wer sich nicht am Mangel an Fairness stört, darf zugreifen.
There haven't been many strategic role-playing games released on the PC over the years. They seem to be a staple of the console world, but PC gamers haven't really been exposed to the fun that this genre provides. Thanks to Nival Interactive, we now have that opportunity. Their new game, Hammer & Sickle, is based on the engine used in their highly successful Silent Storm series. Instead of focusing on combat, like Silent Storm did, Hammer & Sickle attempts to put the focus more on stealth, intrigue, and the player's choices on how to proceed. On paper, it sounds great, and although the way it plays out sometimes doesn't go as planned, the overall experience is a success.
There aren’t many video games about the Cold War. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As wars go for video game inspiration, the Cold War, very frankly, blows. This so-called “war” had lots of diplomacy and no explosions. Borrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiinnnnggggggg! While lots of talking and no death might be hugely preferable outcomes in the real world, it does not make for the most enjoyable gaming experience. That’s why I was surprised to see that Hammer & Sickle is set in American-controlled just as Russo-Yankee relations are really starting to go the way of some baklava left in the sun too long. However, developers CDV took some artistic license and packed plenty of death, guns, and, of course, explosions into their take on the Cold War.
Als Fan von Jagged Alliance bin ich froh über jedes Spiel, das sich ähnlich anfühlt. Im Unterschied zu Sirtechs Klassiker fehlt den Protagonisten in Hammer & Sichel aber eine Riesenportion Persönlichkeit, sodass ich mich nicht mit ihnen identifizieren kann. Das stört in den spannenden Kämpfen aber kaum. Unfair finde ich nur die Skriptereignisse, die der KI einen Vorteil verschaffen. Dank der Charakterentwicklung, Story und Dialoge ist Hammer & Sichel auch für Rollenspieler mit Fantasy-Aversion interessant.
Joku voi ihmetellä, miksi selkeä pettymys saa näinkin hyvät pisteet. Se joku ei ole Storm-veteraani: huonokin Silent Storm on Silent Storm, ja parempaa odotellessa menee tämäkin.
Hammer & Sickle is a love-it-or-hate-it title. Borrowing a lot from their previous game, Nival Interactive has again deployed the very attractive and physically complex system they concocted for the acclaimed Silent Storm. Hammer & Sickle continues the trend in a completely different setting, though again against the backdrop of global war. This time, the action unfolds primarily in Russia, with the protagonist sneaking through various locales and performing covert operations. “Covert operations” is something of a misnomer, however. There is plenty of gun play in this turn-based tactical role-playing game.
The place is Germany; the time is right between the end of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War. There has been increasing conflict between the United States and the USSR, and of course, you’re put smack dab in the middle of it as a spy. While this makes for an excellent premise, perhaps the game would’ve been better if the plot was a little more specific. Chances are that if you’re not the president of the chess club, you’ll be spend a lot of time sitting around scratching your head, wondering what it is exactly that you’re supposed to be doing, and what move you’re supposed to make next. And although the game does feature a journal where you can read your past and current objectives, if your anything like me, you’ll keep wondering those two little words to yourself over and over again: “But, why?”
I know that the World War II era is getting tired, and initially I felt Hammer & Sickle would be a great game to allow us to experience the mystery and intrigue that the Cold War helped to create. As you have read through this entire review, I was very disappointed and annoyed.
Ogólny werdykt jest raczej pozytywny, biorąc pod uwagę cenę produktu, która nie jest znowuż tak niebotycznie wysoka, a i w środku mamy 15 wirtualnych PLN na kolejne gry. Jeśli olać te niedzisiejszą grafikę (za to ze świetnym modelem zniszczeń), zdusić sobie frustrację spowodowaną wysokim poziomem trudności i pozwolimy się wciągnąć w wir rozgrywki, to z pewnością nie będziemy żałować wydanej kasy. H&S wciąga, choć mimo wszystko nie zasysa na maksa, jednak dobrze skonstruowana ścieżka fabularna powinna trzymać was przy tytule do samego końca, a kto wie, czy nie nakłoni do ponownej penetracji w celu odkrycia innych wątków?
G4 TV: X-Play
Hammer and Sickle has a great premise, mixing the turn-based combat of Silent Storm with an RPG to provide more involvement and more opportunities for conflicts. Sadly, that promise isn't as well developed as it could be. Combat is occasionally brilliant, but the stealth scenes are a real chore. Developing your characters' skills adds a lot to the game, but listening to them talk will give you a headache. Hardcore tactical strategy fans are used to overlooking shortcomings like this, so they'll likely find some fun here. For most, though, this one just isn't worth it.
But there is a competent strategy game in there somewhere; padded between the questionable soundtrack and extremely basic production values. I'm sure that some perverted fellow out there will find some enjoyment. After all, the character customisation is nice and any game that still features communist Soviets has an old-school heart in it.
Hammer and Sickle takes an interesting concept and hammers it into the ground with a ridiculously high difficulty level and several issues and bugs which should have been resolved before the game shipped. Unless you are a die-hard fan of turn-based strategy, you should look elsewhere for your gaming fix. However, if you are the patient type and really want a game set in the Cold War, Hammer and Sickle does deliver a slight amount of entertainment.
PC Gameplay (Benelux)
Hammer&Sickle is een erg ondermaats product, dat alleen dankzij de degelijke Silent Storm gameplay overeind blijft.
Hammer & Sickle is a squad-based strategy role-playing game developed using the Silent Storm engine. It features that game's deep turn-based combat system. It implements a skill upgrade role-playing system that allows players near total freedom in their approach to a mission. Unfortunately, most things outside of combat aren't so good, creating a mixed experience that is recommended only for turn-based combat fans.
PC Games (Germany)
1949, die deutsch-deutsche Grenze: Ein amerikanischer Wachposten löst Alarm aus. Jemand hat den Zaun durchgeschnitten. Wer der Eindringling ist? Sie. Deutschland ist besetzt, die ehemals verbündeten West- und Ostmächte sind zerstritten. Nur die Amerikaner besitzen bislang die Atombombe. Nutzt der Westen die Gunst der Stunde und vernichtet er die ausgezehrte Sowjetunion? Um das herauszufinden, braucht Mütterchen Russland hartgesottene Agenten wie Sie!
Overall Hammer and Sickle is a game that will be enjoyed, but only by some. If you like point and click RPG/Adventure games and can find it at the right price it's just about worth a go. The idea of a Cold War Russian agent infiltrating the ‘enemy’s’ sector could (and should) have been so much more, but the frustration and abundance of small flaws induced by Hammer and Sickle sadly point to another missed opportunity in our books.
Im Nachfolger des Taktik-Hits Silent Storm fechten Sie rundenweise Kämpfe aus. Allerdings agieren die Gegner dümmer als Kühe nach der Notschlachtung und Passanten laufen einfach in Schussbahnen. Auch der unfaire Schwierigkeitsgrad zieht den Spielspaß steil nach unten. Dafür gehen die Missionen und interessanten in Ordnung. Für Zwischendurch.
Hammer & Sickle is an idea that went much further than necessary with graphical problems and sound that seems out of place. Better to pass on this one.
It was tough enough playing through this the first time. There’s noway I’d go through it again, and I’m sure most would agree with me. Itried over and over again to like this game, I really did. But the moreI played, the more frustrated I got and came to find that it’s more ofa disappointment. CDV and Nival have a good concept with this game, here’s hopingthey take note of all the discrepancies and turn it into the game I washoping this one would be.
Les créateurs de Blitzkrieg et de Etherlords se frottent pour la première fois au jeu de rôle. L'univers choisi est celui de notre bonne vieille Terre, à Berlin, pendant la guerre froide...
Je voelt je oud worden terwijl je wacht tot de computer zijn beurt afgewerkt heeft. De halve verhaalslijn en de absurde moeilijkheidsgraad maken het er allemaal niet beter op.
Eventually, the mire of frustrations, constant reloading, harsh difficulty level, bugs and generally poor design wears you down. Rabid strategists will appreciate the game's saving grace, the combat system, and may find themselves more tolerant. Good luck to them. They'll need it.
Un contexte original, un genre très peu représenté sur nos PC, Hammer And Sickle aurait pu être un jeu à conseiller. Hélas, les points faibles sont trop nombreux. Ainsi, la narration est lacunaire, la réalisation perfectible, l'ambiance "guerre froide" très mal retranscrite à cause d'une bande-son risible et pour couronner le tout le gameplay pâtit du niveau de difficulté mal réglé et d'objectifs peu clairs.
File Hammer & Sickle under "strong concept, weak execution." On paper, it sounds awesome. Start with turn-based squad combat. Place it in the context of RPG-style exploration and character interaction. Include lots of loot to grab, stats to track, and abilities to improve. Then set it during the early years of the Cold War. On top of that, Hammer & Sickle has an impressive pedigree: it's co-developed by the folks behind the well-regarded Silent Storm. The potential of Hammer & Sickle is obvious, but much of the game is muddled, sloppy, and terribly tedious. It's also very short, with few missions to complete or areas to explore. Fun is always just around the corner in Hammer & Sickle, but it rarely arrives.
With an acclaimed codeveloper like Nival Interactive and an intriguing premise set during the dawn of the Cold War in the 1940s, you wouldn't think that Novik & Co.'s Hammer & Sickle could lose. Nival certainly knows this territory, with the excellent squad-based WWII sim Silent Storm on its list of recent credits. And who could resist such an interesting, unexplored setting? It's easy to see why so many squad-combat fans were eagerly awaiting this game's arrival in stores. Unfortunately, it has proven to be a bit of a miscalculation.
Except for true masochists who believe that hair-pulling frustration equals enjoyable realism, Hammer & Sickle offers nothing worth paying for -- except maybe time to catch up on your reading while waiting for your turn to load.
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN)
Hammer & Sickle is another example of how a cool concept can be completely destroyed by poor execution. Most of the game feels undeveloped, as though it was rushed through the balancing and playtesting stages – it’s just an absolute chore to play. It’s more of a surprise that veteran developer Nival let Novik put this one out, especially considering the potential damage it could do to their reputation, which has been established through released quality, polished product, which is exactly what Hammer & Sickle isn’t.
Computer Gaming World (CGW)
You know what’s great about Hammer & Sickle? Nothing. And that’s a huge letdown, since the game builds off of developer Nival Interactive’s stellar Silent Storm. Somehow the same designers, using the same basic game engine and the same basic game mechanics, have managed to create a profoundly unsatisfying game. At least it ends quickly. Very quickly.