Game Title: Never Stop Sneakin’
Developed By: Humble Hearts LLC
Published By: Humble Hearts
Released: December 14, 2017
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Action, Arcade, Strategy
ESRB Rating: Everyone for Fantasy Violence
Number of Players: 1 Player
Thank you to Humble Hearts for this review copy!
Never Stop Sneakin’ is a fun, and loving tribute to the Metal Gear Solid series, even if it is easier. From the graphics, to the narrative, to the different elements of gameplay, this is one stealth game you will not want to miss. The names of the characters are hilarious, and the opening scene has you laughing and saying WTF? The humor is genuinely funny, and I had a blast playing this game.
You start the game as an agent that works for a high ranking general. Amadeus has kidnapped all the Presidents throughout time, with his time machine, and is holding them ransom. He wants to be the next President, and its up to you and your crew to stop this mad man. Your job is to find the intel, and build your own time machine to stop him. The story is ridiculous, but it feels like it fits with the rest of the silliness in the game.
As an agent, you will go on various missions: like getting intel, rescuing workers, and getting equipment for your own base. Each set of levels are different each time you play. There are different settings for each group of levels like, jungle, artic, lab, or a plane theme, to name a few. The layout will be different and randomized, so no level feels exactly the same. There are over twenty-five different agents to play as, and over twenty-five weapons to unlock. As you make progress in building your base, you will unlock clearance cards that let you go deeper into the base. Levels are in sets of three; two levels and one boss level. Each clearance level you gain adds another set of levels to go through.
To complete a level, you must make it to the exit. There are guards, cameras, and gun turrets that will impede your progress. At its heart, Never Stop Sneakin’ is an action, stealth game. You will move fast, and you will want to stay hidden. You have three hearts, so, three shots and your'e dead. Controls are so simple as you only use one joystick for everything. You just move, and you attack automatically. When you approach a guard, your agent will perform a stealth kill. If you are spotted, they will open fire and kill you. At the beginning, this may seem too easy, because your only in three levels. When you get clearance to go deeper into the enemy camp and you're nine levels in, then it gets harder. You do not get to refill your hearts after you complete a level; you must make it all the way to the end. You will get other weapons like bullets, which you will fire automatically; if a guard spots you, it kills him instantly. There are a couple different grenades that can be found too. There are perks you unlock to aid you in your sneaky business. These are rewarded to you as you upgrade your base. There are perks like the ability to refill your hearts if you go through all three of them, a perk to help you find more ammo, etc. Money is spread all around the level and is called ESP. ESP is used to buy perks in a level, or to upgrade your base. There are many computers to hack that will spit out money or perks for your agent to use. The third level in each grouping, is a boss fight. These will range from robots you have to destroy, a helicopter you must shoot down, or just stronger enemies that take multiple hits. Again, these are different each time you play. At the end of each level, you are scored on earned ESP, combat, floor bonus, package bonus and then are given a mission total.
This game is a lot of fun to play, as rooms can be cleared quickly. Even though the layout of the levels is always different, after a few hours things start to look the same. The assets are all re-used, so things start to feel similar the longer you play. And as simple and as automated as things are, it becomes a challenge the further into the base you go, because you must survive longer.
The graphics are awesome and have a retro, PlayStation one, feel to them. Of course, there are more effects then what they had back then, but it feels like your playing Metal Gear Solid. The way the cut scenes look, the graphics, the dialogue box, the base building, and the stealth gameplay, all scream Metal Gear Solid. I really enjoyed it, and the writing was often funny.
The controls are like I said, are simple, only requiring one joystick to do everything. You can play by using the touchscreen, though, I found it easier and more precise to just use the joy stick. When you’re in the base there is this epic song that plays and reminds of something out of an opening to a James Bond movie. The rest of the tracks are good and fit the stealth gameplay.
Never Stop Sneakin’ is a fantastic homage and parody of Metal Gear Solid. It has cut scenes, graphics, and stealth gameplay that will remind of the golden days of stealth games. Though it is simplified, there is enough challenge to keep you entertained for hours on end. Please don’t let this game sneak by!
Overall Score: 84 % Great!