The majority of people know something about the Cold War in one manner or another. The time period has been galvanized and given an anticipated tone. Film and Literature have transformed the world of MI5 and the CIA into something hot and dangerous filled with super secret agents running around the world. This is the world CounterSpy also makes use of for their game.
The primary goal in each assignment of the game will be to gather a specific variety of nuclear weapon strategies from either the Imperialists (USA) or the Socialists (Russia), before leaving the region. The notion of infiltrating both nations in this age isn’t something you see quite frequently, but it’s pleasant to see a take that is unbiased on the subject matter.
In the event that you end up dying in the game, or when enemies notice you, the defcon amount is increased slowly. Five is the lowest amount, and it can go all the way to zero. If this occurs, you have a single minute to get out of there before whoever you’re currently infiltrating launches nukes. You have to be cautious because the defcon grade will carry on to the next mission as you play through. There are methods to lower the defcon level, of course, but for the most part the perfect way to safely get through the game is to simply not get found out.
Through the assignments you are going to gather different parts of a chemical formula, and pieces of weapon patterns. Usually the pieces for these all will be in the same area as one another, so if you do a little investigating you’ll unlock them. If you miss any don’t sweat it; they can show up later. Exceptional buffs are provided by the formulas for the player to undertake the next mission. Examples of these include taking damage from enemies, or lowering the defcon level, making you more quiet as you move around, and things of that nature.
CounterSpy has an interesting take on the way you play through it. When you make use of the cover in the game it will switch your perspective from a 2D side scroller to that of a 3D perspective. This can be handy for when you need to hide from patrolling guards or in intense firefights. Its not the first 2D scroller that lets you take cover, of course, but the change in your perspective while you take cover is definitely an interesting and creative way of doing it. Hopefully others in this genre take notice.
Another great thing about CounterSpy that adds to the replay value is that the levels that you play through are procedurally generated. The map layout for a level, the collectable locations, where you encounter enemies, these are all things that change if you quit a mission and come back to it in the future. This keeps the game fun and interesting for future playthroughs.
When it comes down to it, Sony has added a very enjoyable game to their lineup with CounterSpy. If you love classic cold war era spy activity, Counterspy is dripping with enjoyable style. Sure, the AI in the game can be inconsistent and causes some annoyance with the defcon stuff, and the game itself is rather short (3-4 hours), but this isn’t anything that ruins what is still a very enjoyable game.
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Developer/Game Website: Dynamighty
Where to Buy: Sony Entertainment Network