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SiN

Moby ID: 322
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
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The year is 2037. The police forces of the world have been disassembled due to their incompetence at stopping the ever-rising waves of crime. Instead, private security companies have taken upon themselves to protect citizens or entire companies from criminals for a fee. One of the best-known security services in the city of Freeport is HardCorps, under the command of Colonel John Blade. A large-scale bank heist involving a hostage situation, apparently perpetrated by a well-known gangster Mancini, attracts the attention of HardCorps, and John is summoned to the crime scene. Further investigation reveals the existence of a powerful new drug called the U4, and possible ties to a multi-national biotechnology corporation known as SiNtech, which is guided by the beautiful and enigmatic Elexis Sinclaire. With the help of his colleagues from HardCorps, John will have to avert the greater threat and save the city.

SiN is a first-person shooter that uses a modified version of the Quake II engine. John Blade is armed with a rather standard FPS arsenal, starting with a default bare knuckles and a pistol, and ending with heavy guns such as rocket launcher and plasma rifles. The game is notable for being the first FPS that had missions exclusively based on stealth (i.e., the game is automatically lost if the hero is detected). The game incorporates realistic damage effects: headshots are instantly effective, while shooting an enemy in the knees will merely hinder his movements. SiN also includes the option of hacking computer terminals to disable security.

Cutscenes are employed to advance the plot between the levels. At certain times, the outcome of a mission will be different depending on the player's actions during it. Taking a cue from Duke Nukem 3D, SiN features a wise-cracking main hero, humorous "easter eggs", and environments with a high degree of interaction.

Spellings

  • シン - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

73 People (57 developers, 16 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 29 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 74 ratings with 6 reviews)

A near miss

The Good
The graphics are excellent for the time. It uses the Quake 2 engine. I would say it probably looks better than Quake 2 due to it not looking as dingy, Sin features much more varied environments. Jungle scenes, underwater levels, office tower blocks and military bases. The character models are a bit blocky, due to the texture modelling not being as advanced as games today, but they have their charm.

The game hasn't aged as bad as some of the "maze" FPS, due to Sin's mission based tasks. It reminded a bit of N64's Goldeneye. Sin's humour also separates it from some of the more bland FPS of the time (e.g. Chasm: The Rift). You can collect bananas for extra health, and there's some excellent lines: bad guys taunt you with "Who are you supposed to be Barney Miller?" and when collecting a gun John Blade says "come to papa". The game could use a few more quips in the game as the same ones repeat a lot, but the voice acting and dialogue is really good overall. The music is also excellent particularly the operatic techno music that reminded me of the soundtrack for arcade SHMUP G-Darius.

The Bad
The game is incredibly glitchy. On some levels I had to use the no clip cheat to pass through walls as I would often get stuck to a wall or stairs and it would result in the game freezing. The game also crashed a number of times and often in the middle of levels (Top Tip: save regularly). These bugs really should have been ironed out early on. I think I read that the game was rushed out to stores, but I'm not 100%.

Despite the variety of levels, some of it is repetitive. Lots of water levels, which I hate in games in general. Many of the mission objectives are repeated "disable the security system" appearing on nearly every level. The alarm sounds are also very annoying and can go on for several minutes until they are deactivated.

The Bottom Line
I feel Sin was a bit of a missed opportunity. This game was never ported to console and is a bit of a cult favourite, but it never achieved real commercial success and in fairness it probably deserved it. The glitches being the main problem. I bought the game from GoG and this is probably the best way to play it on modern hardware. The CD version is rare and can be quite expensive, especially the big box version.

If you are an FPS fan it is worth playing a few missions and then you can decide if you want to complete it. It took me around 14 hours to complete, the game has 30 levels.

I played this as I felt I had missed out on it first time around and after completing it I realised I hadn't, but the game does have a unique humour, feel and atmosphere. The question is why would you play Sin if you can play the classic Doom, Duke or Quake? From around the same time Kingpin, Unreal and Shogo are all better games, as of course are Half-Life and Alien vs Predator.

Sin is partially recommended.

Windows · by Alex L (967) · 2015

My all time favourite.

The Good
I LOVED the story. It's all about a special police force called the HardCorps. You are Colonel John R. Blade and together with you sidekick J.C. you'll have to halt the spreading menace caused by the popular drug "U4". It all starts out simple with a bankheist, but it slowly turns into a biomechanical nightmare. Beautifull!!

The sounds are so great. When i first played the game in december 1998, i was stunned by the music and the sound effects. They really add to the atmosphere of the game. I especially like the music in the Freeport bank, the SinTEK chemical plant, the construction site, the subway and the sinclaire estate. Never before had i heard such music in a video game. The voice acting is a little bit cheesy, but not that bad.

The enemies could be shot in many parts of the body, sadistic but fun!. Especially if you want to off every enemy with a headshot.

I loved the diabolical Elexis Sinclaire. She is the ultimate bad girl. When you play as Blade you won't just play the game, it makes you want to play the game so you can bring Elexis down! Believe me, if you hear that twisted little laugh of her, you'd want to shoot that grin off of her face.

The level design is incredible. You'll have to pass through jungles, city's, slums, sewers, chemical plants, rocket bases etc etc. The jungle level and the HardCorps training facility are the best looking levels (well that's what i think).

The Bad
Not much really.

The only thing that annoyed me are the bugs. They can't be counted. Thank god for the 1.01 patch. The retail (v.1.00) version is so buggy. The most irritating bug is the loading bug. The loading of a level could take up to 10 minutes, because of a memory leak. This has been fixed though in v.1.01, which reduces the loading time by at least 80% on my computer.

The Bottom Line
This is my all time favourite. It may sound strange, because many would expect something like Doom, but this my favourite. The sound is incredible, the story is perfect, the level design is great, the graphics are even better (for that time). Just don't forget to upgrade it to at least v.1.01.

Windows · by Goteki45 (323) · 2001

An underrated shooter

The Good
In 1998, FPS games had to go into another phase. Quake and its sequel Quake 2(which Sin is built on) ensured non-stop action for multiplayer death matches and Half-Life brought players into a stunningly realistic virtual world. But where could FPS games go? Ritual Entertainment made a game that not only brought the FPS genre into a new dimension, but also is one of the finest FPS games to date, despite its lack of success.

The story: You're the bad-ass cop Blade, John Blade, working for an independent law-enforcement organization called HardCorps in the city of Freeport. When a new drug called U4 gets on the streets and the bums starts reporting in sights of mutants, you immediately begin to inspect. But suddenly a bank robbery catches your attention and with your hacker sidekick JC in your ear, you get into the bank via helicopter and while rescuing hostages, chase one of Freeport's biggest mob bosses, Mancini. As you proceed, you soon realize that the U4 is the product of SinTek, an organization previously known for the Vanity drug, lead by the voluptuous, and megalomaniac Elexis Sinclaire. It is up to you to stop the drug from infecting the whole city and prevent a global disaster.

So, what makes this game unique apart from other FPS's? Well, you might not know it, but Sin pioneered many elements that since have become staples in FPS games. 1.You can use computer terminals to hack the security system, even use a DOS-like prompt and type in standard commands. If you thought Deus Ex was the first game where you could use computers, think again. Also, this was a way to hide several easter eggs. For example, I never expected scientists to be playing Gloom II: Heck On Earth on their spare time, let alone on a terminal without a mouse. =P 2.Certain levels in Sin require you to sneak instead of going in with guns blazing. Hell, if you're detected the mission is practically over since invincible bots soon pop up from the floor and starts giving you a bad case of lead-poisoning. I can't remember any games prior to Sin that incorporated a sneaking aspect. 3.Some levels end differently based on what you do. For example, if you don't find the destination for the missile base in one of the levels, the next level will not take place on the missile base and you will not stop the missile from launching. Sin was probably one of the earliest games to have action-based outcomes.

These elements, coupled with a beautiful techno soundtrack, glorious macho voice acting, and guns to die for, Sin is a rather unique game in the FPS genre.

The Bad
Sin used an, already then, outdated game engine, and the way Half-Life incorporated the story into the gameplay couldn't be matched either, so Sin was sadly overshadowed by the enormous popularity of HL. Also, the initial version suffered from a serious case of bugs since the game was rushed to the shelves in an incomplete version, so be prepared to install some patches.

The Bottom Line
But either way, I think the original elements in Sin really makes it an outstanding game, and compared to Gordon Freeman, I'd say Blade has a lot more character since he speaks. You're not just a silent guy running around with guns, you have an attitude and a mission, and that is what makes Sin such an enjoyable experience. If you like shooters in general, pick this game up. You won't regret it.

Windows · by x0n1c64 (12) · 2008

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Blade is black? St. Martyne (3648) Dec 12, 2007

Trivia

Bugs

When SiN was first released, it was so buggy that, at one point, the first boss just stood still while he was being hit.

Capture The Flag

Ritual Entertainment released a free Capture The Flag multiplayer add-on along with the 1.04 patch.

Demo

Some copies of the SiN demo carry the nasty CIH virus, which corrupts a hard disk and BIOS on the 26th of the month. These infected copies came into circulation from players who downloaded the demo onto their infected computer, then uploaded the demo to their website for people to download.

German index

On December 4, 1998, SiN was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

German version

In the German version, all blood and gore effects were removed.

Movie

On October 24, 2000, a feature length anime based on the game was released (VHS and DVD).

Multiplayer

SiN featured the first-ever multiplayer level with multiple gravity axis (the Escher house-themed paradox), as well as the first commercial miniaturization level (spry), which let players duke it out in a giant living room.

References

  • In a few levels in the game (SinTEK Chemical Plant part 1, Sinclaire estate, etc.) issues of the computer game magazine PC Zone can be seen laying on tables. The developers were so impressed by the coverage of PC Zone that they included the front cover of that issue in the game.
  • In the first level, there is a safe hidden behind a picture in one of the rooms in the bank (the one with only one picture). In the safe there are two boxes of Quake Mission Pack No 1 games.

Information also contributed by Ajan, ClydeFrog, Goteki45, NeoMoose, Spartan 234, Steve Hessel and Xoleras.

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Related Sites +

  • Blade's Sin Page
    A fan page
  • Postmortem: Ritual Entertainment's Sin
    A postmortem of the FPS, SiN, on the industry website Gamasutra. The article is written by one of the game's programmers, Scott Alden, and discusses the balance between what went right in the creation of the game and what was problematic (Mar. 5th, 1999).
  • Sin Japanese
    An interesting site that has the game's entire dialogue in English and Japanese.
  • Sinpost
    A nice place for Sin-related stuff.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 322
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Matt Dabrowski.

Linux added by chirinea.

Additional contributors: Alan Chan, Andrew Hartnett, Foxhack, Zeppin, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger.

Game added October 25, 1999. Last modified April 13, 2024.