Stealth 2: A Game of Clones is a practice in anger management, puzzle solving, and gory Sisyphean tasks. And it's freaking great. From Curve Digital Games, the core of Stealth 2 is a platforming puzzle game centered on little creatures in the messy world of clinical trials.
Set in a futuristic-styled testing facility ala Portal, players take on the role of one of the many little test subjects running around. Oh, they're clones by the way. Initially the game is framed with the narrative of a scientist hoping to use you and your surprisingly intelligence to win the testing leaderboards, but you have other ideas, like escaping and freedom. Throughout your attempts to get out, expect to find other clones like you throughout the facility, as well as messages from you "overseer" trying to get you back into the test chambers. That, and hats to make your clone stand out from the others. If we've learned anything from Team Fortress 2, we all know how amazing hats are.
The game has an inherent comedic value to it, especially with some of the gorier puzzles. Fail the make the jump? You're going to end up sliced up by buzzsaws, squished by falling blocks, chopped up by fans, shot, blown up, lasered, etc. It's quite fun! But honestly, the constant possibility of dying is at least mitigated by the ability to immediately restart the puzzle from where you died. This will allow players to continue trying to finish the puzzle and move on through the level.
The puzzles themselves are varied. Jumping, teleportation, blocking cameras, and more are all part of the game. Later test chambers add all of these challenges into small areas, really pushing you to try and look for the solution. Sometimes other clones may drop in, helping complete switch puzzles or more. They're a fun addition to see, though I don't think I saw them die unless it was part of the overall story. I really enjoyed the challenges from the puzzles, having to retry a few of them to either get my timing down, or to see what exactly I was trying to accomplish. It reminded once again of the fun, yet difficult aspects of games like Portal.
Fans of the game looking to really push themselves will be able to compete on the leaderboards for each test chamber. The number of deaths, time taken to complete the level, and more all play into your final grade. Better grades and fast completion times place you higher up on the leaderboards, but don't expect to get up there easily. There are some test chambers that will require multiple tries to get it down pat without any issues.
Fans of puzzle games and platformers will feel right at home in Stealth 2. I recommend the game to those up for some fun (and gory) challenges, and don't mind dying over and over. Since each test chamber is different from the last, there's no way players should get bored with this one.Note: Stealth 2: A Game of Clones was reviewed on Xbox One. A digital copy of the game provided by the publisher.