Lasting First Impressions of Spy Hunter
Developed by TT Fusion | Published by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
» Many quarters were pumped into the arcade machine and much time was lost on my C64 playing 1983’s original Spy Hunter game. It still remains as one of my favourite retro games. I even thoroughly enjoyed the 2001 remake for PS2 so you can imagine my excitement when I learned it was coming back again for PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS. I eagerly anticipated its release and sat down with the PS Vita version for an hour hoping for a modern day return to a childhood love affair.
Spy Hunter is a complete modern day reimagining of the original 1983 classic but retains everything that made the original so much fun. The majority of the game finds the player controlling the G-6155 Interceptor super car in a first person driving experience. All the advanced weaponry that you remember return with some great new ones including a side-mounted Shocker, and Homing Missiles. The car holds 4 different weapons and can be upgraded and switched out before entering each mission. Spy Hunter is a hectic racing game at its heart with plenty of enemies to defeat before reaching your intended goal. It will take careful use of each of the available weapons to succeed. Each mission has a real sense of urgency and the nonstop action will keep your heart pumping from start to finish. As a whole, this new entry into the Spy Hunter franchise brings the classic arcade combat-racer new life.
Unfortunately, the game screams low budget development. Graphically, it is what you’d expect to see on a handheld device, but not what I’d expect to see on the PS Vita. The controls feel a little loose and sensitive so it’s a tad difficult to control the vehicle as you’d expect to. Additionally, for a fast-paced action game such as this, there are frequent pauses to receive orders or comments from your team, or to pan out and show the roadblock up ahead. These happen much too often to be excused. Spy Hunter is supposed to be a heart-pumping adrenaline ride from start to finish but by stopping the action several times during a mission, this just becomes tedious. There were even a few glitches I experienced during my time with the game. After one of the aforementioned pan-outs, when I was returned to my car and the action started up again, I was now facing the opposite direction than I was before.
Spy Hunter has many great qualities to it and is a hearty effort in bringing back the classic series. Fast cars, intense action, and a great deal of carnage, however, just don’t outweigh the faults that are brought to the table. Several missions felt extremely long and, with absolutely no checkpoints available, any mistakes will cause the player to start the mission from the very beginning. This happened on a few levels and the game became frustrating enough that I had to put it down.
I feel as though some extra time put into polishing the game would have done wonders to the overall experience. The action is good, and the weapons are cool, but the faults just stand in the way of a really great game. As a fan of this series, I am disappointed that Spy Hunter is just not a game I feel I will come back to anytime soon.
TT Fusion, I gave you an hour and I am NOT IMPRESSED.