Spy Hunter Review
Wouldn't it be amazing to live in the shoes of James Bond, just for one day? Face it, even though the guy's fictional, every red-blooded male on the face of the earth had wished being 007. Hell, I'd give one of my...err PS2 games just to shake his hand, but that's just me and my pitiful life. Aside from all the sex, you know that the first thing you'd do as Bond is take an Aston Martin or BMW out for a spin. But since none of us can be Mr. Bond, we've always got videogames to simulate the experience. Ahh, good ol' trusty videogames, is there anything they can't do? When news first broke out on Midway recreating Spy Hunter on the PS2, I was floored! Eventually the first screens of the game would swarm every publication, and show us that the title was well under way. This was definitely good news for all of those who had always admired 007 for his "whips" or "rides." I knew from the start that Spy Hunter had the potential to be was a blockbuster title. I was able to get my hands on the game quite early, and I was instantly impressed by the controls, action and most of all the fun. The time has come, Spy Hunter has launched and below is the full review on this speedy, and yet action packed title.
From the start I already knew the visuals I should expect for a game like Spy Hunter. Even though the visuals are of predictable nature, they look wonderful by all means. Even though the game doesn't manipulate the PS2's architecture as well as many other games do, it's still an incredibly pleasing title to look at. What caught my attention most, was the environmental detail that Paradigm has worked into the game. There is a total of 14 gorgeously designed stages that range from exotic locales such as Panama, Key West, England, Germany, France, Middle Eastern desert, and Venice. While there are actual landmark counterparts present, the scenery in a whole is incredible, with dozens and dozens of different structures that feature excellent texture detail to add to the visual splendor. Basically, what I've been boasting about are the great looking backgrounds and how nothing around you ever seems out of place. In addition, there are many interactive spots where the gamer can destroy something of the background. Be it a building, or just a line of tables and chairs placed near a restaurant, it's interactive. The vehicular detail is sweet as well, the G-6155 Interceptor is one phat looking car that resembles a Ferrari among other exotic vehicles. Its got curves and no matter how speedy it is, the frame rate manages to keep up at most times. Excellent visuals, nothing to complain here. What you see is what you get.
I remember the original Spy Hunter; the steering wheel and the top down view on a vehicle the size of a micro machine. The game was action packed, and featured nothing but the most addictive gameplay, right up there with Pac Man. Nearly 20 years later, Midway has decided to revise a classic and unleash its fury, and what better way to do it than on the PS2? From the get-go Spy Hunter is 31 flavors of kick-ass. The game starts you off with a required training stage, which gives you a general idea of how the game plays out. Each stage consists of primary and secondary tasks. Of course, in order to complete a stage you'll have to success at pulling off the primary objective. In order to advance to the next stage, you'll have to complete the primary objective in addition to a couple of secondary objectives. Racking up a certain amount of objective points is a must if you want to continue your mission. The missions in 'Hunter are diverse. They range from escorting to exploding to escaping to eliminating.
The given vehicle allows you to use it as a speedboat-watercraft or as a regular vehicle. In addition, when your car accumulates 50% damage, it will turn into a super speed bike, which still features the artillery of the ordinary Interceptor in its original state, but no turbo boost. Although, during every track there will be a weapons van/boat to help replenish the Interceptor by recharging its ammo and current health state. Speaking of artillery, during progression in the Operations mode you will be granted weapon upgrades, depending on how well you pull of your missions and objectives. There are many weapons in the game -defensive and offensive- such as oil slicks, rockets, machine gun, heat seekers, and more! Spy Hunter's gameplay is fierce action. It's one amusing title that should tie over many gamers. I personally, highly recommend it to those who feel the game will appeal to him/her.
Sound wise, Spy Hunter offers quite a bit. Aside from the expected explosions (which sound very nice, by the way), the game features a couple of variations of the "Peter Gunn/Spy Hunter theme." One of the remakes is done by Saliva, they had the cover track for MX 2002 "Superstar," which of course is a rock variation of the venerable Jazz tune. In addition, Saliva has also contributed a music video for the "Spy Hunter theme," and another all new music video for "Your Disease." For those wondering, yes this is a DVD based title. Aside from the soundtrack, the game features voice acting during the CG cut scenes and they all sound great! No gripes with the sound, it's all-good!
Not much has changed since I last played the beta of Spy Hunter. The controls are just as smooth as ever! Maneuvering the Interceptor is cake! There are absolutely no specific physics to get a grip of, which means adjusting to the controls will take little to no time. The analogs are precise and accurately responsive to every point. Land or sea, car or bike, the Interceptor handles like a dream, and it comes initially equipped with rocket launchers, oil spill, and a cannon fire machine gun. Like I said, you will be able to upgrade your weaponry, and during gameplay you'll be able to select between offensive and defensive artillery to be used against your opponents by using the shoulder buttons. Once again, nothing to whimper about, these controls are a breeze.
Spy Hunter is an excellent Playstation 2 title with tons of extra features that should keep most gamers going for a while. The game really appealed to me with its action, and should be likewise for many of you out there. With AAA PS2 titles coming left and right on the PS2 gamers are finding themselves in a jam of a mess. Spy Hunter, while not the most worthy videogame among every other first rate PS2 game soon to be released, does deserve to be played. Whether you buy it, rent it or borrow it as long as your playing Spy Hunter, you've done yourself a favor.
10/12/2001 Arnold Katayev