In response to “World of Spycraft” from The Escapist Forum: A really interesting article and a brilliant review of a game I’ve previously never heard mentioned or discussed. In entertainment it’s often near impossible to find an accurate representation of a profession. Apart from the brilliant and 100% true to life Grey’s Anatomy game.
While the newer James Bond films have been exploring the ruthlessness of James Bond as a character, none of them have attempted to portray the men behind the spy who spend years poring over telephone transcripts or, as you describe as an example, endlessly staring at a picture until they see a vital piece of evidence, or even more likely seeing nothing.
This game is one of the rare ones that helps to enlighten those of us with no experience in that world beyond what we see on a movie screen, that there are men and women behind the facade of martinis and attractive women who have to make decisions that will affect the lives of thousands every day and make decisions that could very well haunt them for the rest of their lives for the greater good.
While your article did whet my appetite for this game, I’ll have to give it a miss. I doubt I have the patience and most importantly the moral fibre to see this game through to the end and the inevitably agonising decision.
I remember this game. I enjoyed my time with it, although I wouldn’t throw down the same type of accolades as this writer did. The game definitely had a number of cool, original ideas, such as plotting the path of a bullet to pinpoint an assassin (with a program ironically called the ‘Kennedy Assassination Tool’ if I recall correctly) and having to figure out the precise amount of torture to force on a subject to get them to talk without killing them or having them laugh at your efforts. Still, it was a FMV heavy game without a great deal of intervention from the player, except for a few conversation options, and the mini-games were a bit few and far-between, and most of the gameplay came down to trial and error, like trying to doctor a photo to trick a suspect in custody and having to get all the sizes and locations of things EXACTLY correct, to where pixel size shaving is the difference between success and failure.
I’m still waiting on the Spycraft sequel. At the end the game proclaimed that the character would be returning in Spycraft 2. I wouldn’t mind playing through the first one again, but I’m not holding my breath on that possibility.
In response to “Griefing in Black and White” from The Escapist Forum: Absolutely love the article. Never played Spy vs. Spy but I know of the comic, and this is what I play every game for. I’m a completely unashamed griefer and I go into every game I play with the goal of humiliating other players just for the pleasure of finding that one player that will actually accept the rivalry and try to get me back instead of bitching and ragequitting.
For a griefer it’s a win-win situation. If you whine and cry and give up, you got what you deserved for being so weak-willed and spoiled. All’s fair in love and war, the only person to blame for your loss is yourself, but if you fight back you give the griefer the satisfaction of an opponent that plays on his terms and a glorious battle of words and emotions with pride on the line begins. Sure, 9 out of 10 people will hate you, but you know what they say about 90% of everything.
Now I have to find this game and make all my friends play it.
Ahh, Spectrum memories. I used to wire the exit room with traps on every door while my opponent did all the hard work. They’d HAVE to trigger one of them to reach the exit, leading to their demise, an easily-pilfered case sitting on the floor and sweet, sweet victory. Except when you forgot you’d booby-trapped the exit door too. 🙁
In response to “Why Spy?” from The Escapist Forum: As stated in before comments, Jack Bauer is not a spy. He is the exact opposite, a counter-terrorist – someone who works to detect and dispose of infiltrators, snitches and other dangerous elements. A spy works to get and conceal information, uses stealth and disguise to maneuver hostile territory and give or sell valuable information to interested parties. Jack is there to uncover these elements and force the truth out of them by any means necessary to protect his country and not unusually, friends and family. He barges in, guns blazing, and won’t stop until every enemy is either dead, gone or behind bars. He is the exact opposite of a spy.
In response to “Why Gaming Owes Bond” from The Escapist Forum: Good article, although I must disagree with one, quite large, point that you made.
One of the main problems with the last Bond game was that you were a one man army. The casino staircase scene from the film was turned into a QTE and then they threw in 100 enemies to shoot up the entire place (before returning to play poker!).
Imagine how amazing that could of been in-game if they hadn’t put in a huge stupid fight, and instead worked on proper fight mechanics with you wrestling up and down the stairs blocking machete attacks, etc.
Bond games need to reach a balance between the Hitman games and Splinter Cell.
What an article but I gotta disagree on one thing. I loved Goldeneye’s single player more than the multiplayer. Don’t get me wrong, multiplayer was a blast, but actually being Bond in the missions, using the gadgets like the Laser watch and the magnetic watch for example, I was amazed that I was Bond. And the replay value in the single player was high thanks to the unlockable timed cheats. Once I got them all, single and multiplayer became awesome.
This. Definitely this. Anyone who thinks Goldeneye was all about multiplayer might have played it, but they never actually OWNED it. By having well thought out objectives, non linear level design that made the places feel like actual places, and a no-nonsense punishing difficulty that made you really feel like you were the super spy when you got through (unlike the patronising handholding approach in all bond games since), Goldeneye’s singleplayer has stood the test of time and is still played around the world to this day. Mostly because it still hasn’t been topped. (Though Perfect Dark has a much better multiplayer by comparison).
It’s also because the control and gun gameplay just feels perfect for a console, and began steering it in a non-locked-to-centre format that suited consoles with gamepads. Between Goldeneye, TWINE, PD and the timesplitters series, it looked to really hit a stride with the way console shooters differentiated themselves from PC shooters that made use of the mouse.
Then, of course, Halo came along…