Cold Winter Review

Ever go on a blind date and hear the phrase ďHe/She has a great personality?Ē Itís supposed to be something nice to say about someone that is...well, somewhat lacking in the looks department. Given the rather shallow nature of our society (American society anyway) that phrase is enough to scare just about anyone away from said date. That scenario is a lot like Cold Winter for the PS2 and thatís too bad because you could very well be missing out on a great time. It may not be a real looker, but spend a little time with it and you may find yourself having a good time before you realize it. Letís find out why...

OK, so it's not the best looking game around, but it will be there for you when you need it...

Cold Winter is a first-person shooter for the PS2 developed by Swordfish Studios and published by Sierra. I had not realized it before but there are not a whole lot of FPS out for the least not many that are worth that much. Sure there's Timesplitters, Red Faction, and a few others but when compared to the quantity and quality that the Xbox has PS2 owners must feel a little let down (yea, I'm talking to you Killzone!) Cold Winter isn't about to win you any bragging rights over Halo 2, but at least it doesn't suck and is actually fun.

The story is probably the strongest area of Cold Winter. Right from the start you are in trouble. You play as Andrew Sterling, a British MI6 agent and general expert in all things that go boom with a specialty in covert operations. But apparently youíre really not the best agent on the planet because the game starts with you being captured in China and going through their world renowned justice system...which means a lot of beatings and a few broken finger before youíre scheduled to be killed. MI6 does what it can by disavowing your existence and destroying all records pertaining to you (guess you can take those guys off of your Christmas list). Ah, but leave it to the private sector to pick up where the government stops. An old friend of yours, Danny Parish, happens to run a private security agency and sends one of his best employees, Kim, to snatch you out of Chang Prison and you begin working for him. Thus begins an adventure that will take you around the world and from run-of-the-mill arms dealers to a plot of nuclear consequences.
As I so eloquently stated in the opening, Cold Winter is not a very attractive game. Yet I found myself enjoying this homely title much more than many of the beauty pageant winners Iíve tried recently. While the graphics are lacking the overall experience more than makes up for this and makes this a case of the whole becoming greater than the parts. Itís a little hard to explain that while Cold Winter is missing or underachieving in some areas the game is just plain enjoyable. The character development is interesting and the storyline, told through some well-produced cut scenes, keeps you wanting to press on where you may have already lost interest in other games of this type.