Video Game: Boiling Point: Road to Hell
Open-ended First-Person Shooter
developed by the Ukrainian game studio Deep Shadows. It was perhaps the first of its genre
both Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl
and Far Cry 2
. Extremely polarizing game
, mostly because the game was released with literally hundreds of bugs
, though almost all of them were eventually fixed by patches.
The game plays like Deus Ex
as a Wide Open Sandbox
, having a skill system
, a stealth system
, and a lot of time spent talking to people.
The plot follows one Saul Myers (whose character model is based
on Arnold Vosloo, though the resemblance in actual game graphics is... somewhat questionable
), a veteran of the French Foreign Legion
living abroad in Paris. Myers' daughter, Lisa
, is a globetrotting journalist
. Lisa runs afoul of and is kidnapped by persons unknown while working in the fictional, troubled South American nation of Realia
. News of this is quickly relayed to Myers, who hastily departs for Realia, where he must tangle with local politics and the criminal underworld while trying to track down his missing daughter.
The game has two spiritual successors
, White Gold: War in Paradise
and The Precursors
, which were only released in Russia and Ukraine
(Until a release on Gamers Gate, in The Precursors' case
), though there are fan translations
This game provides examples of:
- A-Team Firing: Most NPCs are hilariously poor shots, especially low-level cartel grunts and bandits. It's perfectly possible to win a fight by standing perfectly still in the middle of an open field picking people off while everyone sprays inaccurate machine gun fire in your direction for five straight minutes.
- Anyone Can Die: Almost every character in the game world can be killed at any time, for any reason. Collateral casualties are frequently common in faction fights, and there's nothing stopping the player from walking up to civilians, shopkeepers, or quest givers and shooting them in the face.
- Artificial Stupidity: The game's AI wasn't bad by 2005 standards, especially considering the size and complexity of the game world it had to navigate, but it's still nothing special, and has occasional moments of true stupidity (faction battles will occasionally consist of two groups of guys standing in a line three feet away from each other and shooting randomly until everyone dies, for example).
- Awesome Yet Practical: Gunship helicopters, get everywhere in style, kill everyone in style.
- Banana Republic: Realia. The game is a pretty good walkthrough of this trope.
- Chekhov's Gunman / The Dog Was the Mastermind: In the bar near the very beginning of the game, you can have an extended conversation with a wealthy philosopher. He has unique dialogue and more lines than the usual NPC, but there's otherwise nothing to suggest he's related to the main plot. it turns out he's the Big Bad. Indeed, it's very easy to miss speaking to him entirely since he's surrounded by non-important signpost-dialogue NPCs, which makes The Reveal much less dramatic.
- The Don: Don Pedro, and all the mission givers for the Mafia faction.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Completely averted, your reputation with each of the factions may affect you positively or negatively.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Snakes, killer insect swarms, super-persistent jaguars, the locals, traffic, even factions duking it out between themselves are no strangers to putting a few bullet holes into your car if you drive down the wrong road.
- Friendly Fireproof: Totally averted, which makes large firefights doubly dangerous - not only will your enemies try to kill you, you can also take damage from your allies' stray shots. There's nothing quite like accidentally getting shot in the head by one of your squadmates, or getting pureed by a poorly-aimed gunship cannon burst.
- Gatling Good : The only gatling guns in this game are static AA guns and the front cannons of gunships. A hand held model would have been nice though.
- Genre Shift: Most of the game is set in a Troperiffic Wide Open Sandbox Banana Republic. You deal with the drug lords, the rebels, the army and the CIA. The final act: Stop the Big Bad in his volcano lair from using his giant mind control device.
- Global Currency: Partial aversion. While almost all the towns and merchants in the game use Realian pesos as currency, the native tribes pay you in jewelry and idols instead of money. It's totally worthless outside of the native villages unless you take it to an antiques dealer who will buy it from you.
- G-Rated Drug: Cocaine plays a relatively large role in the story of Realia; the Mafia grow huge amounts of it across the map, and one of the Big Bad's complaints is that the children of South America are killing each other to fulfill America's demand for cocaine. However, the cocaine was changed to "adrenaline plants" relatively late in development in order to get the game past various rating boards (probably because you can take some as a power up that gives you increased speed and reaction times, at the cost of punishing withdrawal symptoms).
- Grey and Grey Morality: There are no good guys in this game, although the Mafia and Bandit factions are somewhat more dickish then the Well-Intentioned Extremist Government or Rebel factions. The Native American faction is interesting in that while it's considered a single faction, the faction missions are provided by three different groups: two are fairly peaceful "we just want to be left alone" groups whose missions are either peaceful or self-defensive in nature, while the other is led by a crazed, murderous "kill the White Man" cannibal who sends you out to massacre pretty much anyone he doesn't like (including tourists and fruit merchants).
- Hidden in Plain Sight:
- The rebel agent spying on Realia's CIA station chief has a massive tricked-out listening post set up in the apartment directly underneath the station chief's apartment, so close together that they can probably hear each other talking.
- It's also subverted with the CIA contact in the rebel capitol - he's 'hiding' in plain view in a house with a big, prominently-displayed American flag, and thinks he's concealed his identity quite well, but asking around reveals that everyone in the town knows he's a CIA agent. They let him continue to think he's fooling everyone because they don't want to hurt his feelings.
- Intrepid Reporter: Lisa, though it doesn't prevent her from being kidnapped.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The native questline starts by helping them to kill a jaguar, then some bandits, then some armed rebels, then a busload of tourists.
- Granted, the "massacre the tourists" mission is given to you by a different, noticeably crazier chieftain than the previous missions.
- Karma Meter: Your "Reputation with Civilians" stat is basically this.
- Killer Rabbit: Those helpless old Grannies sitting by the side of the road will often pull out frag grenades and start tossing them at you if you start mowing down civilians in the middle of town.
- Market-Based Title: In its' motherland, the game is known as Xenus: The Boiling Point.
- Money Spider: Averted with the wildlife, although the animals can be picked up and sold for meat or hides.
- Noble Savage: The Realian native tribes. They're also ridiculously, offensively stereotypical caricatures of generic Native Americans in appearance, behavior, and manner of speaking, to a degree that's either incredibly racist or incredibly hilarious depending on your point of view.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: In the game's English dub, most of the characters are voiced by American voice actors who make absolutely no attempt at all to fake a Spanish/Latin American accent. It's really quite jarring, since they all address you as 'gringo' despite otherwise speaking perfect English with a US accent.
- Obvious Beta: Don't play this without Patch 2.0.
- To give you an idea, one of the many fixes reported in the patch changelog is 'NPCs now avoid obstacles when moving'.
- There's also 'The police station can no longer be destroyed by shooting it with a crossbow.'
- And the always-fun 'Fixed bug which would occasionally cause player's entire inventory to disappear.'
- One-Man Army: the player, an army with tanks, an air force, and a navy.
- One True Sequence: Averted, you always have a bunch of different options to continue the main quest.
- Professional Killer: Alberto Banco.
- Random Encounter: All the time, not all of them hostile to you. Factions patrol their territory and mount raids on enemy territory, as well as setting up ambushes on the roads to catch enemy vehicles. This can be rather problematic if you happen to be driving on said roads, as the crossfire can potentially kill you.
- Relationship Values: For seven factions, all of which may like or dislike The Hero for his actions in-game.
- Retired Badass: Saul Myers.
- RPG Elements
- Scenery Porn: Even taking into consideration the game's age, the jungle environments look very good.
- Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: Silliness, the game would be quite depressing and grim otherwise.
- Spiritual Successor: It isn't clear if White Gold is this or actually a Prequel to this game.
- Stat Grinding
- Stealth-Based Game: Alternative to doing missions guns-blazing.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The jaguars and snakes seem to go out of their way to try and kill you. The bees won't but they'll still try to kill you.
- Talking Down the Suicidal: One of the Random Encounters is a man about to jump off a high bridge to kill himself. You can talk him down by telling him that you're planning on committing suicide, which results in a heated argument over who gets the right to kill themselves first, at which point you both say 'to hell with it' and go get smashed at the local bar by way of apology.
- Take Over the World: The goal of the Big Bad, using Mind Control.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Both averted and played straight - everything an enemy is carrying can be picked up and used, but their guns are always in ridiculously poor condition and will jam or misfire constantly.
- Universal Driver's License : Averted you have to take lessons to fly or use a boat.
- What the Hell, Hero? : If you're really evil your reputation with the civilians will drop, they will be upset, they will show you, little old ladies will start throwing hand grenades at you.
- Wide Open Sandbox: A completely seamless, big world (625 square kilometers).