by Ingvi Snædal
previewed on PC
Doesn’t Sound Quite Right
While spouting very adequate graphics, a nice soundtrack and environmental sounds, and more material than one could hope for, where the game lacks detail as of yet is in the voice acting department. The voice actor playing the lead character not only has a rather obvious American accent, but is unable to correctly pronounce any of the German names and words he utters throughout the game. While this is not a big issue to have in the grand scheme of things, it does get annoying when playing the game for more than two hours in one sitting. By the end of my first day with the game, I’d started putting my fingers in my ears and saying: “Nananananana” every time my character uttered the word “Standartenfuhrer”.
Another issue I had was the sheer amount of material that one can interact with. Although it does bring a whole new sense of realism and detail to the game, it does get hard at times shuffling through the unimportant objects to find the hidden essential ones. I especially found it annoying in the beginning as I was supposed to get to a meeting with my superior officer, but as I got to the building I wasn’t allowed in because I didn’t have my ID papers with me. I travelled back to my home and, realizing that I wouldn’t be able to get anything done in the game without my ID, started shuffling through the piles of papers on my desk and in my house for my ID papers. I guess I must have spent about 45 minutes of gameplay just trying to find that single piece of paper.
A Serious Game for Serious Players
Despite the lacklustre voice acting and the overwhelming amount of detail, A Stroke of Fate: Operation Valkyrie is a very interesting game. If you are interested in history, you will not want to miss out on this one. Even though it has a heavy focus on realism and historical accuracy, it does have a few golden nuggets of humour as well. At one point I walked into my bathroom, dressed in my S.S. officer uniform and put shaving foam on my face. Just to see what would happen, I walked out of my house with the foam still on my face and sat in the car. After a brief conversation with my driver he informed me that he would not take me anywhere looking like Saint Nicholas, I really did look ridiculous. I was therefore forced to re-enter the house and finish the job.
In the beginning, you may get the feeling that the quests before you are pretty mundane, but as the story progresses, your actions become more and more important. This game will present a challenge to even the most experienced of puzzle solvers and tickle the brain of any historian. The game has been out in Russia for quite some time now and many an adventure gamer is eagerly awaiting the release of this title to us westerners. It is looking good already and one can’t help but wonder when the finishing touches will be made on the localisation process.