by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
A scary future
Did you know that in just a few yearsí time, big American corporations will start contracting private security firms to protect their business and their assets? At least thatís what will happen according to Turnoverís series of events. The game takes place during a quite literal ďhostile takeoverĒ where one company is attempting to take control of another. You are just a simple office worker, but you will need to channel your inner stealth master in order to make it out of the building alive.
Playing as Clea, you have to get through 29 levels filled with dangers that you will have to use all your cunning to triumph over. This is what the game would have you believe anyway. In reality Turnover quickly becomes an exercise in trial and error as you try and search for the exact way the game wants you to complete the level. Thereís not much room for experimentation, and levels which have multiple routes through them are few and far between. The game becomes more interesting as you progress, as the challenges become more interesting and the tools at your disposal more varied. However to get there you have to get through the early levels, some of which are rather frustrating.
Stay out of sight
Enemies have vision cones, which you will want to stay out of. In general you donít even want to get that close to the cones, because they have a habit of not appearing as big as they actually are. However even if youíre not in an enemyís line of sight, you arenít safe. If you make too much noise, they will hear you, and once you are spotted, it is rare that you will actually be able to get away unscathed. Unless you are really close, simply walking on the carpeted floors isnít too much of a problem. But, if you are running, or trample over something noisy on the ground such as rubbish or shattered glass, the guards will come to you all guns blazing.
You will also have to deal with the likes of attack dogs, security cameras and automated turrets. The dogs arenít explained all that well, but it seems like they work by smell as well as sight. If you are in their Ďcone of smellingí, but out of sight, then they will continue to be interested in your general direction. You will have to back out of their coneís area so that they go back to their normal routine. Of course, if you walk into their line of sight they will attack you like normal, and alert the rest of the guards to your presence.
Turrets and cameras are easier to fool since they are either stationary or work on a fixed pattern, however sometimes they are impossible to avoid. In these situations you will need to find the computer which turns them off. If you find the computer beforehand, you will be able to preview what exactly it controls, and where those things are, giving you a quick glimpse at the rest of the level. When you do turn it off, the enemies become alerted a little too quickly, and come running, so you will have to hightail it out of there and get past the camera / turret before they turn it back on. They will also then be on alert, making it harder on you since their patrols will become more aggressive.
It is possible to recruit followers from the scared people who are hiding from the corporate invaders. If you help them out, they will be able to help you by turning off security networks and the like. You will also be able to find perks that will do things like increase your stamina so you can run for longer, or increase your accuracy. This is useful for when you want to pick up items and throw them for a distraction, or maybe even throw them at enemies to knock them out for a short time. You will also be able to use things like fire extinguishers to obscure lines of sight, but actually aiming your spray takes some time, and it doesnít give you a very good idea of where exactly itís going to go. Rather than spraying out in front of you, it seems to fire across the room and then explode outwards in a mist. This will also give the enemies a pretty good idea that somethingís going on, and can sometimes make a bad situation worse.
Turnover doesnít really offer anything new. Many games have attempted stealth gameplay like this, and a lot have done it better, or at least give you a bit more freedom to play how you want. Being a simple office worker in a private security firm / robotic takeover is a fairly original premise, but itís not one that can make up for some pretty standard gameplay.
Levels become more interesting and challenging as you progress.
Too much trial and error, not much in the way of originality.