Story time: I’ve had this game just sitting on my vita memory card since forever, never giving it a chance, not even touching its icon. Yet, with the very little I knew from the title I had the impression that I’d probably enjoy it and therefore I never deleted it either.
Last weekend, away from home, I got the perfect oportunity to finally play the damned thing and… now I’m sorry that I didn’t do something about it earlier.
Counterspy is simply a sidescrolling stealth action game. There’s a gimmick to that formula though and that would be its changing perspectives as you get into cover. Get your character against some corner or to a typical chest-high wall and the camera will change from its usual panned out sidescrolling perspective to a much closer behind the character one that’ll let you aim your guns with much added precision.
Not only useful in combat situations, that different perspective will help you get a better understanding of the scenery you’re playing in. Because, even if your character can only move in a 2D plane, the bases you’re infiltrating in are indeed 3D and have a depth that the guards actually utilize.
Talking about the scenery. In counterspy each level will require you to infiltrate either a soviet or an american secret base. Those are built randomly by the game which adds greatly to the lasting appeal of the game. That can take a little toll on the game as well though, since sometimes the game will force you into action as the room you’re supposed to infiltrate may have guards spawning too close to the entrance making it impossible to get unnoticed.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the game it’s the art style. Bold and colorful and reminiscent of the old James Bond and other spy movies from the era, the game’s particular visual style really catches the eye.
Things I liked
- Stylish visually: That 60’s spy flick cold war style is just gorgeous to look at.
- Procedurally generated: Even if not completely perfect, the levels being randomly generated means the lasting appeal of the game increases tenfold.
- Short-burst goodness: Each level will take you 10 to 15 minutes to go through which translates great for quick on the go fun.
Things I didn’t
- Loadtimes: Before every level you have to go through a load time as the level itself is being generated and those are definitely too long.
- Lazy storytelling: It’s not like you’ll be playing this game for the story or anything but they could have done more than just having plain text dialogs with two static avatars going back and forth a couple sentences. It feels kinda cheap.
Who’d like this?
It’s not a game for you to inmerse in some deep world or anything but more of a quick dose of gameplay fun. I’ve enjoyed this game quite a lot and I think that anyone seeking for some simple stealthy action fun will enjoy it as well as long as they don’t expect a new Metal Gear.
<This is a review on the PS Vita version of the game but Counterspy is also available on ps3 and ps4 and actually is available for crossbuy>