Review: Calvino Noir (PC)

The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld. Architecture meets Noir as you become unwillingly entangled in a revolutionist plot.

Pros:

  • Noir influenced art style that makes the graphics look really good. High depth of field and attention to detail make this one good looking game.
  • Full 360 wired controller support.
  • Steam Achievements.
  • Full excellent voice work with every character sounding good.
  • Handful of graphic options like fullscreen and AA.
  • Really powerful 1930 atmosphere throughout. From the dark rain soaked streets to the sewers of the under belly.
  • 2D puzzle platformer with some strategy sections.
  • Helpful marker for direction.
  • You can choose responses to conversations, Again all fully voiced.
  • Can only see interactions and collectibles with your torch.
  • Collectibles are scattered throughout the game.
  • Soft jazz soundtrack.
  • Engaging if sometimes cliche storyline.
  • Unlock and use other characters each with different skills.
  • Clever level design.
  • Coins collected can be used to upgrade your character.
  • Clever AI for the guards. They will patrol set routes and investigate any noises or shadows. They each have a bar which shows if they are goingg to go into full alert status.

Cons:

  • Xbox One wired controller will not get picked up by the game.
  • Walking up and down the stairs is a awkward task whereby it is too fiddly and frustrating.
  • Cannot rebind controls.
  • Awkward cover system.
  • No opening tutorial.
  • Clunky slow animations that makes stealth in places  too difficult.
  • Bad checkpoint system in terms of frequency.
  • Little replay value.
  • Constant difficulty spikes.

Calvino Noir is a game that came from a mobile background and it shows. Controls are geared more towards touchscreen and the transition to a controller or mouse is a an awkward one. Simple tasks like walking up and down stairs is a needless barrage of commands, Slow clunky animations make hiding in cover a game all in itself. Checkpoints are so far apart that you can end up basically replaying the whole level each time. That aside the atmosphere is uncomparable and coupled with the soft Jazz soundtrack the game really does bring the 1930’s into your life. The black and white colour choice is a joy to look at with so much detail in the background as well as the foreground which adds so much to the game overall. I had moments where I liked the game a lot and really enjoyed the strategy but later levels did nothing but annoy me. Not because I am crap at the game but because the game let me down with slow animations and stupid stairs. In short it has wonderful atmosphere but the controls just kill any enjoyment you may have but Noir fans will love the story. Maybe give it a go in a sale or try a demo if possible as its not for everyone.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!