by James Christy1
Clear Vision 2 Review
A Clear Lack of Content
In Clear Vision 2 you play the role of Tyler, a stick figure hired gun trying to track down his kidnapped wife by shooting your way through 25 assassination missions. The core of the game is a sniper shooting gallery with light puzzle elements. After accepting a mission via in-game e-mail, you’ll be shown a single scene navigable by sniper scope. Your goal couldn’t be simpler: pick out your target and pop him in the head.
Adjustments for wind and distance complicate this basic formula but are introduced gradually, giving the first few levels the feel of a prolonged tutorial. Once you get through the basics the levels start to ramp up in trickiness to keep you on your toes. In some missions, you’ll have to carefully time your shot on a moving target; in others, you’ll have to pick one out from several options based on clues like “He likes to eat hamburgers” or “He is right handed.”
While the main missions are entertaining on the whole, they’re just a little too easy to breeze through. The game tries to make up for this lack of content by throwing some light RPG elements into the mix. Each job earns you money, with which you can spend on bigger and better sniper rifles. Unfortunately, the variety between guns is fairly limited and superficial, making your purchases more like a simulacrum of progress than a meaningful tactical decision. Cash can also be spent on money-making endeavors such as gambling on cage fights, trading in the stock market, and acquiring a nightclub, but these also just feel like more diversion from the skimpy gameplay.
The graphics are not very sophisticated, with a 2D world that looks like it could’ve been thrown together in MS Paint, but the animation is fluid and impressive enough to keep it from looking totally shoddy. The irreverent way the style is handled also gives reason to look the other way. There’s a tactless but endearing gallows humor throughout reminiscent of the Grand Theft Auto series. Personally I find caricaturing a criminal underworld with stick figures just plain funny, but if you have low tolerance for the crass you might find yourself cringing more than giggling (it’s worth noting there is a torture mini-game thrown in). As well, the crude graffiti covering the walls, ridiculous daily newspaper and spam emails all contribute to this goofy atmosphere, but typos and grammatical errors in the flavor text might be a turnoff.
The sound is unremarkable but serves its purpose. Theme music flavors the opening cut scene and a few other moments throughout the game, but for the most part you’ll be sniping in near-silence. There’s basic atmospheric noises and your gun sounds like a gun, what more could you ask for? Cut scenes have sound effects but there is no voice acting, and all the dialog is provided in subtitle.
Again, the most glaring issue is that it’s simply too short. A casual player could do an entire play through in one sitting, and the more skilled among us will probably knock it out within a half hour. The cut scenes and mini-games divert from this shortness somewhat, but in the end this stuff comes across as trivial and superfluous. It doesn’t help that options for replayability are minimal. You can go for a higher score or try to unlock all the achievements, but that’s about it. After all the levels are complete the game’s biggest draw (the sniper/puzzle element) becomes obsolete, and boredom sets in.
All in all, this is a fun and funny way to kill some time, but not something you’ll be coming back to often. If you’re looking for a cheap way to while away a train ride, Clear Vision 2 more than delivers. There’s also something to be said about the absence of gimmicks, ads, or insidious pay-to-play crap endemic of Android gaming. With this, you get what you pay for: an enjoyable little sniping game, no more no less.