Review – No Sun to Worship

It’s been a total of ten years since Splinter Celll: Blacklist. It’s a perfect game in its own right, thanks to the freedom of choice in how to approach missions. It was also lacking a lot of what made Splinter Cell special: the slow creeping through the darkness in places you didn’t belong, passing unsuspecting guards, and feeling like an absolute badass. No Sun to Worship is an indie project from solo developer, Antonio Freyre, who clearly decided to look at my wishlist and created a game heavily inspired by Splinter Cell.

No Sun to Worship hiding from the enemy

And now I play the waiting game.

No Sun to Worship, as the developer explains, is a short, minimalist game. It takes the form of a stealth game very much akin to the likes of Metal Gear Solid, Tenchu, or perhaps most easily compared to the original Splinter Cell. It’s a slow-paced stealth infiltration game that has you slowly creeping through shadows and avoiding guards to make your way to your objective. The mechanics here are actually really simple: avoid the light and move slowly, to prevent making loud noises. On the keyboard and mouse, your movement speed can be adjusted with the scroll wheel. You can also press Q and E to lean around corners. An intuitive control scheme, which makes it a breeze to play. 

Throughout the entire game, you have two weapons available to you: a Silenced Pistol and a loud Assault Rifle. The latter of which should only be used if absolutely necessary, being able to take down groups with ease. The former is your best friend, being able to silently take down enemies from a distance, or darken areas by taking out lights. However, ammo is limited and carries over to the next levels, so be careful about what you use. Ammo pickups are quite well hidden, so it might be worth taking the extra time to explore.

The level design is fairly straightforward, but gives you enough room to experiment a little, with multiple pathways, vents to go through, and hidden corners to escape in.  A clever trick is the ability to silence your footsteps, but at the cost of your health. This allows you to go full sprint towards an enemy without him even realising you’re there, resulting in a quick takedown. Hiding a body by interacting with it will also regenerate some of your health. The AI itself is pretty basic, being attracted to noise is highly abusable, and losing them can be easy. However, if they get your corners it can be game over before you know it.

No Sun to Worship headshot

You can’t headshot enemies wearing helmets.

When the developer says that No Sun to Worship is a short game, he really does mean it. Playing from start to finish will take you roughly an hour or so to complete the six levels. This is of course dependent on how much well you play the game. Players not as adept at playing these types of games might find their playthroughs a bit longer. There’s also a higher difficulty to go back through, and of course this allows you to go back and beat your previous times. Finding the best way through levels can be a lot of fun. It can be a challenging game, especially if you are trying to ghost your way through and not rely on weapons, as the detection can be a bit unreliable.

As an extension of the giant callback to the golden days of stealth. No Sun to Worship also portrays this in its later PlayStation 1-style visuals that are simple, but effective. The low poly character models and environments are a nostalgic blast. However, the game also has its own distinctive low-fi style that makes it feel like it isn’t just trying to copy other games.

As for the sound, it’s pretty minimalistic. The very little voice acting the game has is passable, but completely unremarkable, missing some of the flavour banter between guards that made Splinter Cell such a blast. The soundtrack is also fairly minimal, and kicks up into high-energy electro at times, but I found it mostly annoying as occasionally it would not fade away.

No Sun to Worship climbing a ladder

After climbing a long ass ladder. What a thrill!

If like me, you have been itching for another Splinter Cell, then No Sun to Worship will scratch that itch. The unforgiving slow-paced stealth gameplay is worth experiencing, however, its short playtime left me wanting so much more. There’s a solid foundation here that could easily be expanded upon. I look forward to seeing more projects from Antonio Freyre in the future!

Graphics: 7.0

A simple, but effective take on the classic PlayStation 1 visuals.

Gameplay: 7.5

No Sun to Worship sets up a great stealth core, but its short runtime leaves you wanting more.

Sound: 6.0

Nothing too remarkable about the sound design. It serves its purpose, but is unmemorable.

Fun Factor: 7.0

A short, but sweet, purely stealth experience.

Final Verdict: 7.0

No Sun to Worship is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC with an RTX 4070, Ryzen 5 3600X and 16GB RAM.

A copy of No Sun to Worship was provided by the publisher.