It is indeed true that no one lives forever, unless you happen to be a mad Scot descended from the Clan McCloud of McSomewhere-or-other. And even then if you have your head sliced off you’re in the schtuck.
And the title is pretty apt for this first person 3D shooter which is crafted in the Austin Powers spy spoof mould, as it’s a very hard game and thus easy to die. Well, it is if you play it on the hard difficulty level anyway. Even the very first mission is quite challenging in places, so be warned. However, Quake and Half Life vets will love this tough gameplay (and there’s a level above hard for the real masochists).
Plot-wise, the game casts you in the shoes of Cate Archer, a reformed thief who has become a secret agent for an organisation called Unity. The bad guys of an underworld league called HARM have been bumping off Unity agents left, right and centre, and the only agent who isn’t busy with other duties is… you guessed it.
The ambience is very Sixties, with ‘groovy’ bright flowery menus and Cate’s typically Avengers fashion style. It features a good dollop of humour; some of the dialogue is genuinely amusing, particularly the daft things the bad guys come out with at times.
Despite the firm tongue-in-cheek stance, the plot is actually really well written and the mission design is of a high quality. There are 15 missions in total and they take you around the world, through a variety of different environments. Each mission is split into 3 or 4 levels and it takes a fair while to complete them.
A combination of stealth and firepower is necessary, but you can play the game in the way that suits you; going in all guns blazing or trying the covert approach (although firefights are inevitable in places).
What’s really impressive is the great variance between missions. All have very different goals and novel sections such as a level where you’re skydiving, while others see you taking the controls of various vehicles.
The graphics are of a high standard and the enemy AI is also noteworthy. When you open fire on enemy agents they duck intelligently behind pillars or walls, and some even overturn tables and hide behind them (while this is obviously scripted AI it’s still effective).
Company: Fox Interactive