Game Rant’s Anthony Mole reviews Veks and Silence
Many Xbox Live Indie titles typically get a bad rap as low quality – in comparison to their Arcade brethren. The stigma is not entirely unfounded – as there is plenty of shovel ware in the Xbox Live Indie section. Luckily for gamers, every so often a title comes along that shows the Xbox Live Indie section is worth checking out. Veks and Silence is one of them.
Veks and Silence is the story of a washed up video game character named Silence who is set free from jail to eradicate the zombie infestation plaguing his world. Yes, the plot isn’t the most original or engaging but it doesn’t really need to be, the game is all about sitting back and shooting hordes of zombies just for the sake of it – and it works. The gameplay does have it’s issues but for the most part it’s just the good mindless fun that gamers have come to expect from these B-movie style games.
The title is presented in traditional grindhouse-style with outdated visuals and huge amounts of gore. While intentional or not Veks and Silence works because it thrives on its indie title status – rather than work on being something deep and engaging. The humor is very tongue-and-cheek, and won’t result in laugh-out-loud moments, but will elicit a chuckle out of most gamers. Players will know what they are in for when the game’s loading icon appears – a shark with butterfly wings.
The gameplay itself is relatively simple – a side scrolling platformer with shooting elements. The left stick aims and shoots – with the X and B buttons firing ahead of and behind Silence, respectively. Additionally, the left bumper is used to lock-onto an enemy and right trigger is used to activate RAGE mode – which temporarily gives Silence extra fire power and invincibility. The controls work fine at the beginning of the game – but begin to break-down when Silence is overwhelmed with enemies in the later levels of the title. As the difficulty increases it becomes harder to efficiently aim and shoot with the left stick. Players can use the right bumper to lock Silence in place – but, again at higher difficulties, this can create all new problems when the player is facing-off against multiple enemy types: zombies, robots and laser beams. As a result, Veks and Silence might have worked better as a twin stick shooter.
Veks and Silence features a small but effective arsenal of weapons. Players have access to a pistol, a sniper rifle, a shotgun, a chain gun and bombs. There is unlimited ammo for each weapon, though the pistol offers the most mobility. The pistol will very likely become a player’s weapon of choice since, when jumping, heavier weapons can pull Silence down – causing the character to fall to his death.
The game is broken-up into thirteen levels – all with different themes. Each environment is distinct from the one before it – so repetition isn’t an issue. The levels themselves are fine and some even have multiple paths – with hidden power ups. The only exception is the Zomboss level – which, if you end-up destroying both crypts (one at the beginning, one at the end) essentially breaks the game. Tip: Only destroy one crypt. There’s also a Survivor Mode but it isn’t particularly fun – players can die very quickly because the game places them in tight corners with very little room and an over-abundance of enemies. Couple this with the fact that Silence dies in one hit, and players are going to quickly lose interest.
Overall Veks And Silence works well – especially for an Xbox Live Indie title. The game is deeper than most titles on the service, offering a full fledged singleplayer and an added bonus for great humor. Players who get past the problems with the shooting mechanics and lack of replay value, Veks and Silence is an above average indie title worth a purchase.
Veks And Silence is available now on Xbox 360.