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My review of The Silent Spy

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  • My review of The Silent Spy

    I just finished the game a couple of minutes ago, so keep in mind that everything is still super fresh to me. I'll try to be as in-depth as I possibly can in my review.

    Plot: The plot in this game is bigger than the ones in a most of other ND games. This time the mystery isn't catching someone who's messing up equipment or seeing who's pretending to haunt a hotel; this time Nancy is trying to stop a terrorist organization planning a massive biological attack! Nancy is lured to Scotland by someone who claims to have information about the truth of Kate Drew's death, and when she arrives she ends up being drawn into the mission to stop the organization Revenant and their plans to seize control of society. I enjoyed playing a mystery with a high-stakes plot and I found Revenant and their methods of trying to take over Scotland (or the world?) to be very interesting. 9/10

    Setting: You have several places you can explore in the game: Nancy's hotel room, Ewan's secret computer lab, Bridget's hotel room, a small bench area and food stand in front of the hotel, the train station, Moira's home, Kate Drew's cabin, and a "gym" type of place. You also have the option of taking the train to an inn, but you only get to see the front of it and you only need to go there once. While I was playing the game, I did feel like the setting was pretty small, but now that I'm listing all the areas you can go, I realize it was probably a bigger setting than a lot of ND games. I think part of the reason why I felt it was small is that in a lot of these places, you don't have much to click on or see. So while the space may feel big, there's not a lot to do in some of the settings. I will say that I didn't get a claustrophobic feeling like I did when I played Deadly Device and during the beginning of Ghost of Thorton Hall. 8/10

    Characters: I was satisfied with most of the characters. The only one that I felt should have been more fleshed out was Ewan. Even though it's expected that he wouldn't give any personal details about himself because of his profession, I wish that we'd gotten to learn more about him. All we ever learn about him has to do with his job. I think there should have been a moment where Nancy could snoop on some of his private (not spy-related) belongings or where she could have learned something about him as a person.

    I liked Alec and I liked his storyline throughout the game, but I felt like he barely ever had anything to say. In the beginning of the game, he would always have dialogue, but it mainly just involved Nancy asking him who he was and him refusing to answer, so a lot of it felt like filler.

    I also liked Moira and there are a few good conversations with her, but I also felt like I didn't get to talk to her very much. Oh, I have to mention that the line where she said, "Maybe I'll say something racist and you'll have no idea how to respond" made me laugh out loud.

    I found Carson Drew to be super annoying because I think the voice actor can't act. The way he delivers his lines sounds super forced and cheesy most of the time. Maybe it's just me, though. 7/10

    Puzzles: I enjoyed the puzzles in this game a lot. I only cheated for one of them. I usually cheat way more than that when it comes to these puzzles, so I'm proud of myself. They were primarily strategic thinking puzzles, and they were challenging but enjoyable. The only puzzles I thought were annoying were the one you had to complete to get the spy glasses and the color grid almost at the end of the game (this one would have been enjoyable, but I was really impatient to finish and see the ending, so I just looked up the solution). There were no chores in this game, which was very good. 10/10

    Ending: I've seen a couple other reviews saying that they weren't very satisfied with the ending and that there were too many unanswered questions, but I actually can't think of anything that was left unanswered. I was satisfied with the ending, and I don't think that there needed to be a scene where the culprit explained his/her motives because I thought the motive was pretty self-explanatory.

    I have to say that I guessed who the culprit was as soon as Nancy met this person. I don't know if I'm really good at guessing these things or if it's just really obvious, but I wasn't too surprised to find out who the guilty party was. I will say that there were a couple times in the game where I changed my mind and suspected someone else, but this person was always my primary suspect.9/10

    Things that bugged me: Okay, so there was one thing that really bothered me in this game, and it was how easily all the characters seemed to be able to track each other or break into one another's things. I know that this is a game where spying was a big deal, and I know that spies are supposed to be able to have all these abilities, but it just really bothered me how two characters in particular were aware of each other's presence and activities and how they barely did anything to stop each other. What's the point of even having all this security if basically everyone in the game can easily invade each other's privacy? It also annoyed me how careless Nancy's dialogue was, especially at the beginning. I know that this is a game and things have to come out somehow to move the story forward, but I found it pretty ridiculous how Nancy was going around asking people if they knew who Revenant was, especially when she's just been warned that she should be suspicious of anyone she interacts with. In general, I found Nancy to be way too open under the circumstances. I also found it annoying how obvious Nancy's method of sneaking into Bridget's room was. I mean she had to be noticed by basically everyone in the street, which is precisely where Bridget happened to be all the time.

    One other detail that bugged me was the fact that the voice actress who plays Nancy also played Kate Drew, and that there was pretty much no difference between the two characters' voices other than Kate having a slightly deeper voice. I know, I know, girls often end up sounding a lot like their mothers, but Kate Drew's voice was basically identical to Nancy's and I found it distracting.

    Kate Drew's Story: I'm not as involved in the ND universe as a lot of other fans on these boards seem to be, so I didn't have high or low expectations when it came to how the story of Nancy's mom would be handled. Nevertheless, I thought it was handled well. The flashbacks, conversations with Nancy's dad, the conversations with Moira, and all of the pieces of writing that Kate left behind gave a good picture of her life, who she was, and what she was involved in. She was definitely a three-dimensional character and seemed like just the type of mom Nancy would have. 9/10

    Overall: I had a lot of fun playing this game and it's definitely one of the better newer ones. Not quite as good as Shadow at the Water's Edge or Captive Curse, but still good. I think I enjoyed this one slightly more than Deadly Device, and it was way way better than Trail of the Twister, Alibi in Ashes, and Tomb of the Lost Queen. So I think this game is a step in the right direction.

    I think that this game was missing a sense of suspense that would have made it better. I think the main reason is that for the most part, the characters all seemed pretty relaxed even though they kept claiming big things were happening. 8/10
    Last edited by zillionthwriter; October 17, 2013, 10:17 PM.

  • #2
    I agree with everything you said. I love the beginning of the games because there is so much character development, and I tend to not like the middle of games due to lack of conversation. This was especially prominent in this game, but I understand that it is hard to have character development in this game. I do disagree with you on the difficulty on the puzzles though. I found them to be extremely easy, especially compared to the last game.
    Great review! I really enjoyed reading it.


    • #3
      I agree. Though I found some of the puzzles pretty challenging, others I found rather easy to complete. I guess it all depends on your strengths.

      I loved the flashbacks though out the game. I felt like I got to have a little insight into Kate's personality through Nancy's eyes. I loved the frequent "kiddo"s because I say that all the time.

      I have to admit that I did tear up a little at the very end when Nancy writing her letter.

      Overall I liked the story-line, enjoyed the characters, and loved Kate Drew.

      Though I could have done without the high pitch phone buttons sound. I had to take out my earphones each time I needed to dial someone. lol

      How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
      - Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of Four