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Spy Hunter Review

A classic of its time, Spy Hunter has had a fair few attempts to recapture its former glory on a more up to date console and now it is the turn of the Vita. Ditching the bird's eye view and going for a more modern third person approach, we once again play as the Agent, getting behind the wheel of the super-fast and super-deadly G-6155 Interceptor, fresh out of development and ready to take on terrorists.

Where modern cars have strong associations with all things cool, like SAAB and Rolls Royce being heavily associated with fighter jets and even fantasy motors like James Bonds classic Lotus, the Interceptor is more akin to a heavily armed shopping trolley; all that money spent on weapons and the rest is like, damn, no money for steering, can someone pop down the shops and grab me a trolley, no not Morrison's, they need a pound coin, we can't afford that, yeah, Tesco will do?; so was born the G-6155 Interceptor, which explains why the handling is so awful. 

This car is able to adapt to pretty much whatever the terrorists throw at it, boosting to high speeds whilst shooting rockets, going off-road, surviving huge jumps and even crossing lakes and rivers in its boat mode, it just can't steer and it's pretty much game over if you get stuck on a wall and need to use a reverse gear. It's all just as well that this current terrorist threat likes to use long stretches of straight open road to carry out their diabolical plans. The twitchy controls are made even worse by the rear view camera being placed on the right stick, so even the slightest of nudges down when you steer will cause the camera to change to rear view.

The gameplay in Spy Hunter is extremely linear, there are attempts to make this slightly more exciting by adding extra goals into the levels though they all end up being the same, get to the end of the level, it just means you die quicker with your car being covered in a corrosive acid and you needing to get to the ocean as quick as possible, a high speed chase trying to escape from a huge killer truck or taking out specific enemies in a set time limit. To add some suspense to the game and also a little variety at times, by no fault of your own the Interceptor will be badly damaged, so here you jump into the back of a weapons truck and man a mounted machine gun at the rear, shooting and firing rockets at all incoming enemies; this would be fun if the targeting wasn't as awkward as the Interceptors steering, resulting in far too many baddies getting by and yet another restart. There are also a few UAV missions, though I have no idea why it's there as it adds nothing to gameplay other than shoehorning some of the Vita's more original controls into the game, tapping the screen a few times, with you marking out targets for air strikes and mortar attacks that once you are back on the road, will attack the enemies as you drive past.

Graphically Spy Hunter is clearly just a port over from the 3DS version but even considering the graphical restrictions of Nintendo's handheld there is no excuse for these really sub-par visuals that belong on a PSP rather than this. My mum used to say looks aren't everything, her way of saying I was an ugly child and maybe that's what the developers kept on telling Spy Hunter; but whereas 30 years later I have blossomed into a handsome man, Spy Hunter somehow manages to come off worse than the 1980's original.

There is some fun to be had with Spy Hunter but to command a retail price when you can get so many budget Vita games that offer a lot more gameplay, this is one for the bargain bin.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

Review Policy (Version tested: PS Vita)

Edited On 17 Oct, 2012

( 3 )
Dead's avatar
Dead 4 years ago
This sounds very much like the last gen remake they did shoehorned on to the Vita. They might have fooled a few people back then with nostalgia for the arcade original, I doubt it'll work again with this.
Beazi's avatar
Beazi 4 years ago
I played this series on the PS2 and did not rate it. Was very disappointing. I haven't a Vita but I think I would steer clear from this if I did.
Datastatic's avatar
Datastatic 4 years ago
Again an honest review. Impressive :)

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