There is a definite appeal for guys to want to play James Bond or some kind of other super spy. Who wouldn’t want to be dangerous, tempt fate, play with all those gadgets, and get all the ladies after saving the world? Sony tries to emulate that with one of their newest EyeToy games, Operation Spy.
In Operation Spy, you are signed up as part of the Strategic Intelligence Agency or S.I.A. As a member of the S.I.A., you are trained in code breaking, face recognition, sky diving, signal tracking, and device disposal. These are all tied to a plot to release nanobots on the unsuspecting public that turn concrete into gray ooze.
The initial impressions of Operation Spy are kind of cool. Selecting items is done through rectangular areas on the screen. The interface is reminiscent of the windows used in the movie Minority Report. While the menus aren’t that flexible, it’s not bad.
The rest of the game looks like a flashback from the original PlayStation. While each of the different tasks has their own interface, everything looks simple. The textures on objects barely have any detail. While you can’t expect much from a game like this, the graphics all around are disappointing.
Operation Spy takes a minimalist approach when it comes to sound. You get the occasional alarm, beep, and click, but there really isn’t much to the sound. During the sky diving game, you do hear the sound of the wind rushing past you and the opening of the parachute. These all sound authentic and make the sky diving portions fun. Most of the other sections sound like sitting in front of a screen with a beeping computer.
The voices of your two allies are well done. The Deputy Director has a deep but slightly aging voice that goes along well with his picture, almost a bit like Sean Connery. The Field Operations Agent is a blonde with an English accent. Think of the beautiful female agent that assists any spy in any spy movie, and you’ll get the right idea.
The EyeToy is a unique accessory, and it could be claimed as one of the most innovative accessories out there. However, setting it up can be interesting if you haven’t used it before. They suggest putting it on top of the TV or right under it. If you have a tall TV or a flat one, you might have to position your camera elsewhere. You also need the proper lighting, which can be a challenge.
Once you have your camera set up, most of the game uses your movement. The camera is fairly accurate, but sometimes the controls are a bit too precise to be accurate. There is a face recognition program to get your profile when first starting up the game, but it wasn’t very easy to get it working.
Operation Spy is a variety of different mini-games. Some of these mini-games are rather fun. Skydiving takes a little while to get used to, especially to get through the waypoints. Once you get through it a few times, it is rather fun. In Photo Fit you try to reconstruct a criminal’s face by choosing the right hair, eyes, nose, mouth, and shoulders. One hand chooses which feature to change, and the other one changes the facial features. The Code Breaking game has you controlling a Cryptogon, an object that shows different symbols on different sides of it. The first time the Cryptogon looks like a cube, but it gains more sides in later levels. Moving the Cryptogon doesn’t feel as natural as it should. The Device Disposal games are unlocking games you might have seen in other games. Basically these games match up different items in a diagram. Some are similar to lockpicking mini-games that have been seen in other game. The World Map has you following the signal of an object. The controls for this mini-game require way too much work for movement. Also, sometimes you won’t be on an arrow exactly right, so it won’t register. Then, if you do get it to register, you need to avoid radar, and with the imprecise controls, you’ll often find yourself running into the radars or way off track.
The biggest issue is that if you aren’t successful in a mini-game in the middle of a mission, you have to restart the mission from the beginning. This artificially prolongs how long the game is. The game is very short though, even if the developers tried to prolong it. It should be fairly easy to complete this game in a long weekend, if that long.
Variety is lacking within the game. While they do make events tougher the further you progress in the game, you basically do the same thing over and over and over again in each mission, just doing it in a different order from the other missions.
The game is short, easy to get through without a weekend. There really isn’t any reason to play through it again either. There aren’t any extras to unlock, so unless you feel like playing a game where you wave your arms around, you can do that on hear.
There are a few extras included. A night vision mode and infra red mode change the look of the screen. A motion sensor also is available that detects objects moving through quadrants on the screen. While these little extras aren’t bad, they don’t add anything to the longevity of the game.