Gorky Zero: Beyond Honor Review

We go-Beyond and take Honor reviewing this action game.

Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 5th July 2004

Gorky Zero: Beyond Honor

  • Developer: JoWooD
  • Publisher: JoWooD
  • Release Date: 25th June 2004

Normally, a bad game will be camouflaged in a flashy case and surrounded in a mass of hype, this time however the normal running of things seems to have been forgotten and we are left with a dull game, with an odd name in a dull box with next to no hype. Looking on the bright side, we can’t say it doesn’t live up to its expectations because by the looks of it, there were no expectations! Just as well…

The games story line is anything but original and briefly centres on Russian major, Trafimov, commander of terrorist network ‘Brotherhood of Redemption’. In order to control his cronies the organisation brainwash their members using secret technologies ultimately turning them into zombies. Naturally the Special Forces get a whiff of what is going on and upon deciding to take action; they find Trafomov had been shot dead leaving his zombies pining for his presence. It is decided that the best course of action would be to blow up the research facility and this is where you come in, stepping into the role of lieutenant Cole Sullivan you must infiltrate the building and place the explosives but predictably, there is a little more to it than first thought.

From the very start it is obvious that this game has got its ideas from classics like Metal Gear Solid and unfortunately it doesn’t execute them well at all. Objectives are briefed to you via some kind of comm. Link and can be brought back up easily as text with the use of the tab key. The first and biggest annoyance is the camera angle which is stuck at an awkward position above your head severely restricting your view ahead, the only way to escape this is to crouch/sneak at which point the camera re-positions itself at face level allowing you to see ahead and move the camera at your discretion.

This brings us to the second annoyance, the overly slow crawl otherwise known as the ‘sneak mode’. Ok so we expect to be slowed down a little whilst in sneak mode but should this guy go any slower he would be going backwards and to add insult to injury, this mode is the only way you can take an aimed and accurate shot. An example of this horrible system is shown immediately into the game, you know the scene; you’re stood in a dark and raining environment, you’re out of view but you can see enemies ahead oblivious to your presence. You carefully reposition yourself a little closer and this is where the stealth mode would normally kick in right? Sneak closer, preferably behind said enemy and take him out calmly and quietly? Well if you can pull this off in Gorky Zero you must be good, our ‘hero’ is just far too slow with the old stealth stuff to the point that by time you have reached your position you can guarantee that the enemy has turned in his own time and seen you creeping around.

So onto the third grip, shooting! Unfortunately, for reasons best known to the developers, you can only aim whilst in stealth mode which is fine if you can remain unnoticed, if however you grow impatient with the ridiculous speed of the stealth mode you may find yourself having to stand up, say goodbye to any aiming privileges and be prepared to shoot blindly from a birds eye view in random directions. Thankfully (considering!) the enemy AI is also ridiculous, should you be heard or seen the guards will charge towards you (and your gunfire) shooting like a headless chickens in the dark, they will also stand there whilst you shoot at them from around a corner (the thought never occurs to them to come around the corner to shoot you back!) and they will also just stand there whilst you slash them with a knife.

Despite their otherwise gormless attitudes to their work, the enemies do seem to have either a third eye or secret invisible cameras dotted around their patrols as nowhere is a good hiding place in Gorky Zero. On one occasion I hid behind a thick (but slightly see-through) bush in the pitch black, a guard saw me as he turned to face me from miles away and instantly charged towards me like a raving banshee. On another occasion I made the wrong noise in the wrong place and numerous guards from all different directions came running to my exact position! If they knew I was there in the first place why didn’t they come earlier?

The world in which Gorky Zero takes place in is a dull, un-interactive one made worse by one of the worst camera angles I have ever had the misfortune to battle with. All buildings and environmental models are bland and the graphics on the whole look weak and dated. Character models are ok but their animation spoils them, the way they run, the way they die it’s all very unrealistic and robotic.

The games audio is a little better with a decent and fitting soundtrack and pretty good environmental sounds. Weapons, voices and dialogue however are pretty bad and serve to remind you how bad this game actually is.

I don’t like slating games and 9 times out of 10, if I play long enough I can normally start to see a reason why other people might like the game, even if I don’t. With Gorky Zero however I had to be forced to actually carry on playing the game in order to eventually review it, its not that it’s just ‘bad’, it’s a mix of many annoyances summing up to make the game unplayable. The dodgy camera, the impossible shooting set-up, the annoyingly slow stealth mode and the lack of a decent story! For the first time ever for me, I can say that there is nothing good about this game.

Review Score: 4.6/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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