Silent Storm (Russian: Операция Silent Storm) is a tactical role-playing game for the PC, developed by Russian developer Nival Interactive and published by Jowood in 2003. The game is set in World War II Europe. The player commands a team of up to six elite soldiers on the Axis or Allied side, undertaking a variety of missions. An advanced game engine, the Silent Storm engine, was developed for the game and reused in several later titles. The game was followed by Silent Storm: Sentinels in 2004; and a third game taking place in the same setting, Hammer & Sickle, was co-developed by Novik&Co and released in 2005. A Gold edition containing both the original game and the expansion was released in Europe later that same year.
Once the player begins a campaign, they may select a premade character or create their own to lead the team through the game. Once the introductory mission is complete, the player can access a base complete with a medical station, armoury, personnel, and a panzerklein hangar. From this point, the player may select a team of six characters from a pool of twenty. Each character has a role such as medic, sniper, scout, grenadier, soldier or engineer. Each role has different advantages and liabilities in battle. As the player progresses through the game, the armoury will receive new weapons for the player to use, either stolen from enemies or contributed from their own forces.
Silent Storm depicts the weaponry and equipment of circa 1943 with great detail. Mixed into otherwise realistic elements is a plot that features secret weapon projects reminiscent of spy-fi, including energy weapons. Most notable are the Panzerkleins (pseudo-German for "little tanks"), crude powered armour suits.
The game features a remarkably advanced physics model. Nearly all structures are completely destructible. This has many tactical effects in the combat. For instance, if a character hears an enemy moving in an adjacent room, they can simply fire through the wall to attack them.
Silent Storm employs ragdoll physics for bodies according to the precise velocity of an impact. Fully three-dimensional mapping allows for obstruction calculations and cover effects from all angles, bullets ricochet and their stopping power depends on the weapon. The effects are exaggerated for a more cinematic experience (a hail of non-fatal bullets only make the target shake, but a single fatal bullet can send the target flying).
The story takes place during World War II in an alternate history. Thor's Hammer Organisation (THO), is a shadowy organization with connections all over Europe and the goal of world domination. THO knows that this goal cannot be attained while there are powers capable of challenging them, and aims to use its connections and advanced technology to make sure the two sides of WWII devastate each other, while THO makes a grab for power when both are exhausted. The obvious influence of Norse mythology on the organization's name is further shown by the fact that all THO members use a mythological name as their call sign.
In exchange for the services of both Allied and Axis higher-ups, Thor's Hammer provides them with some of their inventions, including Panzerkleins. Panzerkleins are very difficult to destroy, as they are essentially immune to small arms fire.
Silent Storm was awarded "E3 2003 Best of Show" in the tactical genre by Wargamer.com. The game's Metacritic score, GameTab score and MobyRank are 83, 82.93% and 84, respectively. The game however suffered from a lack of sales in the United States, partially due to lack of marketing and problems with getting review copies out to magazines and websites. The game has also been criticized for its inclusion of science fiction elements (specifically the Panzerkleins) and their effect upon game balance in the latter stages of the game. Fans critical of their power have created a mod that removes the suits entirely.
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- Fan Sites
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