Sep 30, 2014
I don’t drink, but if I did, it would all be shaken. Not stirred.
We all have a little bit of Bond in us. Deep down, there’s a super spy within us, and veins coursing with the spirit of espionage. For this reason, CounterSpy probably has a leg up on making us happy, and at the very least, it should be interesting to see how the gameplay adds up.
For back story, our super secret agency is C.O.U.N.T.E.R, and it is welcoming our main character, Bishop Five, into its folds. With the use of cutscene dialogue, the developer gives us an overview of the intro mission, Bishop’s CIA roots and that the game is set during the Cold War. The intro guides us right into the gameplay itself, and there we get our first look at the graphics. It’s a zany affair, with stretchy characterizations and a great use of light to effect the environment. The game is set up in a 2D side-scrolling format, with most movements occurring from left to right, and occasional flashes to 3D for special action sequences. Movements and interactions are effected by gestures and taps; for example, swiping makes our guy walk, double swiping makes him run in the swiped direction. There are other controls too, which can make our spy navigate ledges, creep and do melee attacks, crouch and shoot. Altogether, the flexible control set really makes the game shine.
The gameplay is generally boils down to a set of missions with collected data and materials serving as the waypoints, and plenty of dangers in the person of guards and raised DEFCON levels. The hints system is helpful, and the action is fairly continuous. I like that this isn’t just some simple shooter; in some instances, stealth is the preferred option, and in other scenarios, holding an enemy at gunpoint might be the best option. The game engine seems to adjust well too, using a procedural system that allows missions to not be 100% the same. Success yields cash which can be used for boosts and upgrades in the game store.
All in all, it is a pretty fun game, quite worthy of its Playstation/console roots. It works well, is flexible and does a good job of keeping players engaged. The advertised Playstation/cross platform sync is another cherry on top.
Whether or not one likes it shaken or stirred.