We enjoyed the first Silent Swords game, which introduced the world to a nameless ninja whose adorableness took nothing away from his ability to unleash ultraviolence on guards with itchy trigger fingers. Silent Swords Zero is the prequel, and it offers the same stealth action, with several additions.
In Zero you’re still sneaking around screen after screen of enemy territory, cutting down guards and trying to reach the exit without being seen. You still execute bad guys by following onscreen swipe patterns, or by flinging well-aimed ninja stars at them. And the default control scheme is the same “slider” one used in the latest update of the original Silent Swords, and it works fine.
Silent Swords: The Clone Wars
The differences in Silent Swords Zero don’t change the feel of the gameplay one bit, but we had fun with them. Now you’ll find teleportation powerups, lights that move or flash, retracting spikes, snow to hide under, and civilian enemies that you’re forbidden to kill because of your pesky ninja ethics. All 25 levels (plus bonus levels) are all new as well.
But some of our issues with the original game remain. Aside from the civilians, all of the enemies are identical to one another. The physics still feel loose: Jumps feel floaty, as if the ninja is full of helium, and the distance you jump is fixed when you take off, so you can’t adjust your speed or direction when you’re in the air.
This red gate LOOKS important, but is it?
But if, like us, you get a weird satisfaction from stalking and then striking, these issues can be overlooked. The core gameplay is solid, so even though Zero is very similar to the original, we’re not complaining. If you haven’t played the original, that’s probably the best place to start, but you can’t go wrong either way.