Behind You! Review

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Title: Behind You
Developer: Satoshi Hamano
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  140 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download

EU Availability: Digital Download, Direct Download

Stealth games is a genre that has evolved over the years.  When you think of “Stealth” you could think of a lot of different types of games.  However, one of the biggest names that comes up when think of stealth is also another “genre” in a way.  A big entry in the stealth genre has been known and even has subtitles of “Tactical Espionage Action”, which is talking about none other than Metal Gear.

Other than Metal Gear, how many stealth games are there for the Vita?  There may be an Indie Game or two but, other than backwards compatible games, your Vita Stealth experience will likely start and end with Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.  While this is a great collection, as we stated in our review of it, there should be multiple games of every genre on any specific platform.  While there aren’t many, the list of stealth games is growing and from one of the most unlikely of places: PlayStation Mobile.

Sony recently stopped Android support for PlayStation Mobile.  This means that PS Mobile games are now only playable on the PS Vita.  Some think they’ve stopped the support, altogether.  However, there are more games coming, and the games are getting better and more unique, thanks to Unity Support.  A recent release on PlayStation Mobile, here is our official review of the stealth game, Behind You!

Story

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Most PlayStation Mobile games do not have a plot and simply rely on gameplay.  While Behind You doesn’t have a deep plot, it does have a plot.  You, the Main Character, have been the victim of a kidnapping incident.  Your family has been kidnapped by a terrorist group, and you are on a mission to find and rescue them.  To do this, you find and infiltrate various bases for this group in the hopes of finding your family.

The story isn’t immensely deep, but it set the game up well so you know why you’re doing what you’re doing.  It may not be quite as up to the quality of games like Metal Gear Solid, but it is enough to put into play so you know why you’re infiltrating the bases that the game has you infiltrating and also gives you a few cinematic scenes to explain what is happening in the plot as you go through each area of the game.

Gameplay

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Behind You is a top-down Stealth Game.  If you are familiar with games like the original Metal Gear Solid, or Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, it is similar to that.  You will have an overhead view of your character as they navigate a maze-like base full of rooms to traverse through and guards to avoid.  With alerts to avoid and weapons to find and use, this is very nostalgic for old-school Metal Gear fans.

The game progresses in stages called “Acts”.  There is a single act for each of the four bases you are infiltrating, and each Act contains several rooms and areas to move through.  The biggest point is that you are to be stealthy in the game and never be noticed by anyone.  If you are noticed be it from your steps being heard or a shot being heard, an Alert will go off and every guard in the area will run, guns-blazing to you.  This can be easy to avoid, as going around corners can lower the Alert.  However, being noticed also increases the Security Level.

The Security Level can increase by ten or twenty percent at a time.  While this doesn’t add more guards or security cameras to the areas, but it fills up that meter.  If the meter fills up to 100% in an Act, the guards will blockade every door and exit, and you will get a Game Over.  Unlike Metal Gear, where you can recover from being noticed and still run through the game, it is highly encouraged that you never get caught in this game, or you can get a Game Over from the Security Level.

To help aid you in navigating each area, you can switch to a First Person perspective and there are items you can find and terminals you can interact with.  Most of the common items you can find are Medical Packs to restore health and the rest can help you navigate.  You can find tranquilizer Handgun ammo to take out enemies from a far distance, chairs to prop up knocked out soldiers where they were, among other things.  Getting some of these, particularly the handgun ammo, can help you greatly in knocking out enemies to finish each Act.

The other element is unlocking doors and hacking computers.  You will find PC Computers in each Act in the same areas as Security Cameras.  You cannot slip past cameras like you can do just sneak up and knock out soldiers.  To knock out the cameras, you have to find a PC and hack it to turn the security system off.  Unlocking doors also requires you to search, as specific guards will be carrying keys and you have to either pickpocket them or knock them out to receive those keys.

The stage will go until you reach a prison cell to retrieve your family, or to find something left by them, only to realize they’ve been moved to a different facility.  All in all, the game isn’t very long.  Each Act can be completed in about 10 minutes, depending on how careful you are, leading a speed run through the game to last about 40 minutes.  When we played, we had to do each Act at least four or five times, so the game should take the average gamer at least a few hours to complete.

Controls

Controls for the game are relatively simple, but they’re a little bit awkward to figure out at first.  When we first booted up the game, it took us a good 5 minutes just to figure out how to start the game.  To save you the trouble, you use the D-Pad to navigate the Menu.  Pressing the face buttons, L and R, Start, and Select will not do anything in the menus.

Other than the strange Menu controls, you will control your character with the Left Analog Stick, and can hold down the X Button to run.  The Right Analog is also used, which can move the camera around.  The D-Pad can be used in an Act to switch the equipped weapon.  The other Face Buttons are used for using items, like the chairs and Medical Packs.  The L Button will be used to go into First-Person Mode and R is used for attacking, be it from your fists or a handgun.

The controls are pretty simple, once you learn them.  However, that first method of figuring out that the D-Pad navigates the menu can be quite annoying and frustrating.

Presentation

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The visuals of this game are cell-shaded, like Borderlands 2 or Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z.  From the Main Character to the walls around you, everything is colorful and looks smooth, for the most part.  Some character models have some blemishes and jagged edges but, for the most part, the 3D visuals look nice.  They aren’t up to the Vita’s level of visuals, but for a cheap PS Mobile game, it looks more like a higher cell-shaded PSP game.

The game flows decent as well.  It doesn’t run great, but it runs decent.  The load times included in the game are pretty short, though the frame-rate of the game is less than it could have been.  When you’re playing through the game, you can tell the frames drop and it runs under 30 fps.  It’s not game-breaking as it’s something you can get used to, but it is pretty noticeable as you’re playing through the game.

Overall

Behind You is a PlayStation Mobile attempt at bringing new content to fans of nostalgic stealth games, like the original Metal Gear Solid.  While the game is pretty short and the frames aren’t up to what one should be able to expect from a Unity game, the game offers some pick-up-and-play fun for stealth fans and is one of the more enjoyable PS Mobile games of late.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network rates Behind You a 7/10

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