Winback 2: Project Poseidon

Yes, that's right - action stealth masterpiece Winback is back! Stick that up your Solid Snake!

The '2' bit is obvious - it's a sequel. The mention of Poseidon indicates part of the game is set on a boat... and Winback? Well that's anyone's guess. Stands out though - makes you think. Mainly you think 'what a crap name' but at least you are thinking.

The original Winback came across as a kind of Metal Gear-lite and as such was forgettable. For the sequel, things have been mixed up slightly, as the action is split between three SWAT-style cops who can all roll, shoot from cover and hit switches and, curiously, have exactly identical skills.

They may have the same skills, but you need more than one character, because every mission (hostage rescue, target takedown, etc) is approached from two directions. First you complete Entry A with the cute girl cop, for instance, then complete Entry B with the big black guy. Occasionally their paths cross, so your passage through the second part of the mission will be helped by stuff you did in the first.


This may suggest that there's some subtlety to Winback, but there really isn't. This is action gaming at its most stripped down, with bitesized objectives that involve blasting your way down grey, soulless corridors and flicking switches. It's repetitive, predictable and only challenging in a niggly, unfulfilling way.

But if you can play Winback 2, do - just 'cos the voice acting is so bad, it's charming. Never has being called a 'bar steward' in a vacant Californian drawl been so heart-warming.

The verdict

A stupefyingly simple and basic action game that will only linger in the memory because of the laugh-out-loud funny voice acting.

PlayStation 2