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Classified: The Sentinel Crisis

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Classified: The Sentinel Crisis
168076-classified-the-sentinel-crisis-xbox-front-cover.jpg
This game is classified with the C of "Crappy".
Genre(s): First-person shooter
Platform(s): Xbox
Release: EU: April 29, 2005
NA: May 24, 2005
Engine: RenderWare
Developer(s): Torus Games
Publisher(s): Global Star Software
Country: Australia


Classified: The Sentinel Crisis is a first-person shooter game developed by Torus Games and published by Global Star Software for the Xbox in 2005, the game was first released in Europe on April 29 and then it was released in North America on May 24. The PlayStation 2 version was planned, but it was cancelled for unknown reasons.[1]

Plot

The plot follows the story of a black ops soldier recruited for the military's Sentinel program, which involves an "intelligent" suit and multifunction rifle. The soldier must locate Landau, the scientist responsible for its creation, before the technology ends up in the wrong hands. Landau has formed a companionship with Dragomir Radovan, a powerful and dangerous Eastern European general. Their alliance has forced a further companionship between the player (the black ops soldier) and Karlo, who is the leader of a revolutionary movement.

Later in the game, once it is discovered that Landau is a traitor and plans on marketing his revolutionary creation in a maniacal technological installation, the player is captured and must escape. After the escape, the black ops soldier is ordered to execute Radulov from a distance and in the end of the game, battles against Landau, who wears an upgraded re-energizing suit (a newer model in comparison to that of the player). After taking out Landau, the game is completed, although Karlo dies in the battlefield, and the black ops soldier is left to lead his organization.[2]

Gameplay

The player takes the role of a mutant super-soldier that wears the military's new "Sentinel" suit, a suit that has many abilities, like a better physical force, auto-healing, night vision, a zoom mode and an ability to detect the enemies at distance, kinda inspired by the first Halo game. The player is also provided with a multi-function rifle that can be upgraded later in the game, this rifle takes the role of many other existing weapons, like a shotgun, an assault rifle, a sniper rifle, a rocket launcher, a grenade launcher, and even a minigun.

Why It's Classified

  1. The cover art of the game is quite unattractive and even misleading, since it only consists of a simplistic logo of a trojan horse that is used by the protagonist in its uniform. Some people can confuse it with a chess or a Greek age-based game.
  2. The main menu of the game looks completely horrendous and it's even less attractive than the cover art. It consists of an ugly pattern of moving puke green hexagons in the background, the game logo with the same puke green tonality at the top of the screen, a black rectangle in the middle to show up the many options available and a close-up image of the main protagonist of the game on the left of the screen.
  3. The whole game idea and gameplay is an obvious and budget rip-off of Halo: Combat Evolved, especially because the character you play as is a super-soldier wearing a futuristic suit that has a lot of sci-fi elements, like a HUD in your helmet, the ability of regenerating its shield and health after a few seconds and the ammunition counter in form of a bar divided in several squares.
  4. While the HUD in general looks alright and you can still see a part of your helmet in the upper part of the screen, the compass looks really ugly and you can barely see it in the screen, as it surrounds the nose part of your helmet.
  5. While the idea of having many abilities to give an advantage to the player and a unique multi-function weapon is quite fine, there are several issues with them:
  6. If all above wasn't enough, it takes a lot of time to switch between weapons. Depending on the weapon you want to switch to, it can take between less than a second and three seconds, something that can be critical at close quarter combats, since you need to fight a lot of enemies in a short period of time.
  7. The M9 pistol, which can only be used on a single mission (When you get captured in the castle), is absurdly broken and, somehow, it's more effective than most of the weapons of your multi-task weapon, as it can kill enemies in only one or two shoots, even from a distance or if you shoot them in the legs, this only gets more absurd when you realize that your 12 gauge calibre shotgun takes around three or more shots to kill an enemy, even from a point-blank range.
  8. A great part of the graphical section of the game looks muddy despite being a game released in 2006. It gets more noticeable in the many structures and environments of the game, as they lack of vivid colours and attention to the detail.
  9. There are several issues with the controls.
  10. It's quite obvious that the AI was poorly designed and programmed. For some reason, the enemies will not shoot you at long range and will just charge at you instead, as it can be seen here.
  11. At some part of the game, you have to escort a rebel officer back to his base, and as you could expect from an escort mission, this section is a real pain to play through, mostly because the officer is extremely dumb and he won't shoot the enemies, even though he is equipped with an AK-47 rifle, and of course, if he dies, you will fail the mission instantly.
  12. The game tries to implement stealth mechanics in many missions, but in most of the cases, these stealth sections fail miserably because the same game design and artificial intelligence manage to ruin them.
  13. The missions are extremely boring and they just get repetitive the more you play the game. As expected from a generic shooter, all of the levels are quite linear and consist mostly of going from point A to point B with almost no variations, there are some different objectives that can add some variety to the game, like sniper sections, bomb plantings, stealth sections and parts where you need to destroy tanks with your explosive weapons, but it's more of the same thing and they don't happen very often, the worst part of all is that there is a lot of backtracking involved in some of the missions, making them even more frustrating.
  14. The mission where you fight in a snowy environment has a cheap element where some enemies coming down from a gondola lift will shoot you with rocket launchers, the worst part of all is that you barely have time to realize what's going on and to react adequately, as these enemies are not visible with a naked eye and their missiles are very fast, in other words, it's almost impossible to know their locations in the first try.
  15. The game has an annoying mechanic where an abysmal of enemies appear after completing certain objectives. The best example to explain this is the second mission, there is a part where you need to plant four bombs in a bridge and a tunnel system and you have to do this in a very specific order, after planting the explosives, a lot of enemies will appear out of nowhere in sections that were previously empty, thus adding a jarring sense of unreality that is quite similar to what happens with the police AI in Cyberpunk 2077.
  16. When you finally have to kill Radovan from a far distance with your sniper rifle, the game will not give you any indications of where and how does Radovan looks, the worst part of this is that the level where it takes place is extremely dark and the night vision won't help too much in this case, meaning that you can kill one of his soldiers without knowing it, and since the sniper rifle has a very low rate of fire, it's almost sure that he will escape after you take the first shot, causing you to fail the mission.
  17. Shortly after killing general Radovan, the final firefight in the industrial complex is presented, and this is, from far, the worst part of the whole game. To escape the complex, you have to make your way through two areas with an abysmal amount of enemies, what makes this section so unfair and frustrating are three things:
  18. There is one massive plot hole that can bother more than one: Landau betrayed the main character because he started to work on a new model of suit for Radovan's army and put the Sentinel in a great disadvantage.
  19. When you defeat the final boss of the game: Landau, a cutscene where the rebels celebrate the victory by shooting their weapons into the air is played, but not only that, the main protagonist of the game is also shown up holding the beheaded head of Landau, and if you didn't know, this is a T rated game, watch for yourself.
  20. Completing the game will only take you between five and seven hours, or even less if you want to make a speed-run, and after this, there is nothing that can make the replayability of the game worth, there is no multiplayer mode, there are no collectables of any kind and there are no extra levels, probable due to the low budget.
  21. The game makes a vague try at adding music to the many levels of the game. Instead of adding background music that could fit well with the respective pacing of the many levels, the music that is actually present in the game is the best definition of generic and repetitiveness, as most of the songs consist of short loops of 3 or 5 seconds that play over and over across the levels, sometimes to the point that they can appear in more than one single level or area.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Despite the low budget that was used for the development of this game, the game has better quality and lots of qualities that most of the low-budget games don't:
  2. It costed only $20 at the time it was released, unlike other games that costed between $30 or $40.
  3. All of your weapons have a pretty decent amount of ammunition, both in their respective magazines and reserves, the best example is the assault rifle, which can shoot 80 rounds before needing to be reloaded.
  4. While the general graphics and environments are not as good and detailed as many other games of the same age, the character models look quite good and realistic.
  5. While most of the change of pacings that the game has are not so well implemented, is still good to see some variety in the many levels that the game offers.
  6. Some of the levels like the one where you fight in a snowy environment is quite atmospheric and pleasing to play.

Reception

Despite not receiving a lot of attention from the media and the gamers, Classified: The Sentinel Crisis was heavily panned by critics at release, and it currently holds an average score of 41/100 on Metacritic.[3]

Cole Smith from Cheat Code Central, giving it a 3.0 out of 5.0. Unlike most, he thought that the initial premise of the game was pretty good and interesting and mentioned the good quality of the voice acting and how responsive the controls were, anyway, he complained about the inconsistency of the AI, the bad graphics, the weak audio quality and generic background music, the bad implementation of the multi-task weapon mechanic and the lack of any incentives to replay the game. Shortly describing: "If this game had been released in the 90s, it would have been highly recommended but we expect a lot more these days regardless of the price".[4]

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