Spy Fiction Review

In the past couple of years, the “spy-based” genre of games has literally exploded. While some of the games are very good: Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell, the majority of them aren’t very good at all. To capitalize on this booming trend, Sammy Studios has released their contender upon the gaming world, and it is titled: Spy Fiction. Does this game have what it takes to stand up to the rest of the competition? Read on to find out!

The players are a part of the S.E.A.’s (Special Execution Agency) Phantom Strike Force, which keeps the world safe from terrorists. To prevent the world from being destroyed they will have to go through many places sneaking their way past guards and take out the psychological madmen before they can destroy the world.

One of the best things about this game is that players have the ability to play the game as two totally different lead characters: Billy Bishop and Sheila Crawford. Billy is the team leader of PHANTOM, and he is the best at what he does. The advantage to being Billy is that he is stronger than Sheila, and can take more damage. Sheila is the only female in PHANTOM, and she has the ability to morph into any NPC found, male and female.

Another big difference between this game and other games that have multiple lead characters is that each has their own special paths to take through a mission and multiple endings. This helps give this game an outstanding replay factor because you can play through the game at least twice and see a lot of different things that you will not see if you play as the opposite agent.

The coolest feature in this game is what the developers call the O.C.T. (Optical Camouflage Transparent) system. This system requires two things, 3DA Camera and Chameleon Suit. This system has two different and unique uses. First of all if players remain motionless they will be able to make the character invisible to all of the enemies. The other, far cooler, use for this is that players will have the ability to mimic any NPC player in the game. All they have to do is take a picture of them, find a place to hide and get the holographic projection of the person they are mimicking up. This system really adds a lot to the spy genre and makes stealing the NPCs identities extremely fun.

Most of the game is about trying to solve puzzles. For instance, you might have to get access into a highly secure building. In order to do that you will have to find a way to get close to a high ranking official and take his picture so you can mimic him and get in. This sounds a lot easier in practice then it is in action. You will have to overcome several obstacles in your way so you can obtain the disguise to even get in the building to continue your mission.

Getting caught is never fun.

Even though this is a spy game, and staying hidden from sight is your main job, there are times when you do get caught, and this is one of the biggest problems with the game. The first thing is that if you get caught there will be a timer at the top of the screen. If you have taken out all of the guards in the area, or have found a safe hiding place you will have to wait upwards of a minute or more until the “alarms” will stop going off and the “heat” to be off your tail. While this doesn’t sound so bad, wait till you get caught several times, and you will see how annoying it will be to wait for that timer to go down.

If you get caught, one thing you can do is take out the guards either by killing them or knocking them out. The problem here is that to shoot a gun or go hand-to-hand uses the game button. So if you are shooting some people, then want to switch to melee combat you will have to press a button, which pauses the gameplay, un-equip the gun, and then go at it. There is a quick button to un-equip, but you will forget about it many times when you are in the heat of battle. The melee combat in this game is a joke. You can hit-kick an enemy three times, then you have to wait a second or more till you can hit again. This is really a disappointment and makes you want to avoid any hand-to-hand combat.

The AI for this game is pretty well done. For instance, in the first level if you take the disguise of a guard, if you start running around and acting like a fool, the other guards will get highly suspicious. They might even come towards you and check you out to find out if something is up or not. This always keeps the players on their toes to make sure that they will not do anything that will give them away.

The game has a very “anime” inspired theme to it. The reason you might say this is that the characters look like something you might see if you turn on Adult Swim. Billy has the whole “Spiky hair” thing going for him, and Sheila has the “big eyes” thing going for her. There is nothing wrong with this in any sense, it is just something that I wasn’t expecting a Spy game to have, but it is a very welcome change of pace. The animations on the characters are top notch as well. All of the locations that you will visit while playing this game are really well done. Each of the areas are full of detail from lighting, shadowing, and other effects that make the game look good.

Even Spies know how to enjoy the finer things in life.

The bad thing about this game is the camera. The developers should have looked at some of the other spy games and mimicked their camera. While the camera in this game is not bad, it could have been a whole lot better. The problem is that while playing this game you might get in a tight spot and suddenly the camera goes from being your friend to your enemy. So you have to straighten out the camera, and by the time you do, the character will be half dead.

The music for this game is something that will be easily forgotten. While it will not get on your nerves, you will find great comfort in using the mute button. The voice acting in this game is on the cheesy side and might make you laugh as well. The sound effects used are good, but they could have been so much better. The standard for this genre has risen tremendously over the past few years, and this game didn’t keep up with that standard.

Spy Fiction is rated M for Mature for blood, language, sexual themes, and violence. It will take up to 330 KB on your memory card for saves.

Review Scoring Details for Spy Fiction

Gameplay: 7.5

The puzzles for Spy Fiction are fun and pretty challenging to do.

Graphics: 8.0

The game looks really good. I like the “anime styled’ characters.

Sound: 6.3

You will find comfort in using the mute button.

Difficulty: Medium

This game was pretty easy on some points and really hard on others.

Concept: 8.5

I really like the implementation of the O.C.T. (Optical Camouflage Transparent) system. I like how I would take a photograph of anyone I saw, and then actually mimic them. This is a great idea that made this game really fun to play.

Overall: 7.7

Spy Fiction is a fun game that puts in a new twist to the spy genre. While there are better games out on the market, this game will provide you with some good times.