VERDICT: Excellent presentation and colorful graphics perfumes the stench of repetitive hackfest gameplay, linearity, uninspired story, and an experience that makes Silver feel as if it was designed more for a younger audience on consoles. Silver has no replay value. This assumes you remain interested to get through the game the first time.
Above: This game has an incredible soundtrack.
Silver can only be played on Windows.
There is no multiplayer in Silver.
Both a keyboard and mouse are required. I don’t believe controller support is possible unless you know how to map mouse swipes to an analog stick.
I had no issues except for getting screenshots. I was able to get a few, but the vast majority I am using GOG’s since Silver doesn’t cooperate well with getting screenshots.
Silver is famous for a game stopping bug that occurs halfway in the game. I understand GOG has updated the game several times in order to get rid of it. I stopped playing halfway so I’m not sure if it is still in there or not.
WHAT IS IT?
Officially, Silver is an action RPG with a JRPG graphical and story-like theme. RPG doesn’t really describe Silver since there isn’t much in the leveling. There are also no inns. The only way you can heal yourself is through food and potions. The game is also extremely linear. I think it is best to describe this game as a fantasy adventure game.
What sets Silver out from other fantasy games is its ‘action combat’. You use mouse swipes in order to make certain attacks. Come to think of it, this type of style might work well on a touchpad interface.
Above: Silver has a gorgeous title screen. It can’t be seen in the screenshot, but it has a metallic presence that is very cool. The choir ahhs in the background really help as well.
The best way to illustrate how the game works is to detail the controls.
Lunge- Hold [CTRL] and Left Mouse Button while moving the mouse forward.
Backslash- Hold [CTRL] and Left Mouse Button while moving the mouse backward.
Dodge- Hold [CTRL] and tap the Right Mouse Button.
Shield- Hold [CTRL] and hold down the Right Mouse Button.
Fire Ranged Weapon- Hold [CTRL] and move range icon to the weapon then hit the Left Mouse Button.
All movement is based on where you click your mouse.
You get the idea. You will be moving the mouse a bunch. Silver makes you appreciate how nice Diablo’s controls are.
Above: Silver is very JRPG in its flow. No combat menus. The damage shows up at numbers above the target.
There are no random battles in Silver. The enemies in each screen are what you get.
There are no inns in Silver. You must regain health by buying food or potions from vendors. However, the game is linear. The vendors only are around at certain places.
Party members enter and exit your party due to the plot.
You can take direct control of a party member by pressing the number (1,2,3, etc.).
The story is about the Evil Tyrant sending out soldiers that take all the women. You fight to get your woman back (as well as everyone else’s woman).
There is voice acting in the game. All the dialogue is voice acted. Sometimes the voice acting is very good. Overall, the aural experience of Silver is very much above average and even excellent.
Silver has a very nice manual. There is a short story part. Gorgeous backgrounds adore the pages (though in black and white). The manual seems a little short. I give it a B+.
I debated about whether Silver had good music or good atmosphere. But the JRPG theme and voice acting kept popping any atmospheric ballad the game was producing. I’ll just say it has good music. Hear it for yourself.
Above: This is the theme. Quite beautiful.
Above: Ambitious music.
This was the first time I’ve ever played Silver. I suspect much of the praise for this game is coming from nostalgia though. I don’t see much value in it for the 2013 gamer.
JUSTIFICATION FOR SCORE
Silver was one of the first games I bought from GOG. It looked like a charming RPG I missed. I really wanted to like the game.
Since it was one of my first GOG games, I swore that I would finish it before I bought another game. Halfway through the game, I tried really, really hard to play it. But it was like my entire body was resisting the effort. It was much easier for me to go outside and cut the grass or do repairs on my car then to want to play Silver anymore. While I cannot express exactly why, I suddenly was overcome with never wanting to play this game again.
The reason why I’m doing this review is because, finally, I can uninstall this game from my harddrive. This is a game I am most anxious to remove from the harddrive which is a very bad sign.
When you are looking at reviews of this game, such as at GOG, you find a few ‘meh’ reviews in the midst of the five star ones. You wonder which of the two are correct. I believe the ‘meh’ one is right. I’m not exactly sure why so many people do like this game. More than any other game, Silver exudes the spirit of Wizards and Warriors where it seemed like a mediocre game had a large group of fans.
A big part of Silver is that it was released on the Dreamcast. Since so many games get rated highly just because they were on the Dreamcast, I suspect Silver benefits from that. So many people played this game in their youth. Silver isn’t a bad game if you are a young person. Silver is the modern day Mystic Quest.
Above: All the imps are slain. Why am I so bored?
What are the problems with Silver?
First, the story just sucks. If a town had all their women stolen from them, I’d expect the husbands to be celebrating or something. It just seems weird that the bad guy is after the women. I’m much more comfortable when the bad guy is after power.
Second, the characters are generic and one dimensional. I couldn’t stand any of the characters. I was hoping for my main character, David, to die or at least stop being the Boy Scout. I could never connect with David because he is incredibly bland. It makes me wonder if Silver was constructed using left over materials from other RPG games. There’s nothing original or fresh in this game that I could tell.
Third, the combat really sucks. It is not fun making mouse swipes all day. Why couldn’t a button press be used? Why must I actually make the motion with the mouse? This is like motion based combat but using a mouse. The mouse combat gets stale fast. Unfortunately, that is the entirety of the game.
Above: Gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds are the strongest part of Silver.
What I really enjoyed about the game is the pre-rendered backgrounds. They’re the most memorable part of the game in my opinion. While the character models have aged somewhat badly, the backgrounds still look lush and vibrant. I also really respect the game for its bright colors and clean designs.
I think what really bothers me is that Silver never feels like a PC game. It always feels like a console game. Either that or it feels like the Sixth Generation version of Mystic Quest. I understand Silver came out slightly before the Dreamcast version, but it feels like a console game especially with its non-linearity.
It also says something when Silver hasn’t been ported to any other system while many of the other Dreamcast games have.
Above: The introduction video is fascinating in its own way.
One thing that impresses me with Silver is how well presented the game is. From choir ahhs at the title screen, to the not-like-other-intros introductory trailer, the game puts on a good show. The voice acting is also well done for this type of game. Silver has an ambitious soul. However, I don’t think the gameplay or story meet up with the quality of the presentation.
Above: Monster on a throne. This can’t be good.
You can’t even run away from battles once they begin. Combine that with the linear nature of the game, Silver feels forced in its process.
Since every screen is a new camera angle, combat becomes more annoying than it should. Silver feels like a game where the parts don’t fit well together.
Does anyone think Silver is worth replaying? I haven’t seen anyone say otherwise. There’s not much reason to go through Silver again. This puts Silver below 70% range. Add in the frustrating combat, bad story, and how this game behaves more like a console game than a PC game, I’d say 45% is about right.
I understand Silver has a cult following. They will say, “Silver is an epic game.” So was Wizards and Warriors. “Silver is a very underrated game.” Perhaps there are reasons why that is so. This game has a cool soundtrack, but I don’t think it is worth people’s time. To those Silver fans, feel free to express yourselves especially if you think this game is great. I’m only curious as to where you are coming from as my experience was different. I can’t promise to put out reviews everyone will like or agree with But I can promise to be honest. And honestly, Silver feels like a mediocre game with a few glittering parts.
Feel free to buy it (on sale preferably), but don’t say you weren’t warned.