Just Like a Saturday Morning Cartoon!
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with two things: Saturday morning cartoons and James Bond movies. As a gamer, I gravitated towards action games that featured cool cars, like Chase HQ, Spy Hunter and Action Fighter, but the trend of vehicle-based action would come and go. Thankfully, some of those games included the fantastic Twisted Metal series and the good-but-not-as-good Vigilante 8. There was also James Bond Racing which featured dope Bond whips but oddly, no actual racing.
Developer/publisher PikPok got my invisible mind memo and developed ‘Agent Intercept’, a game that feels like a love letter to retro car-action classics and Saturday morning cartoons. I’ve recently played through it and loved every single minute of it. Here’s my full review.
Agent Intercept tasks players as a new agent who has recently joined…The Agency. Led by HQ and the Q to her M, Torpere. The evil organisation CLAW have returned and The Agency needs your help to stop them. Thankfully, Torpere has just finished developing the Sceptre, an advanced vehicle that is able to fight the good fight on land, sea or in the air.
Gameplay is extremely basic, but the game is accessible and entertaining. Players control the Sceptre on a variety of missions, thwarting the plans of CLAW in spectacular ways. Even the tutorial had some cool moments to it.
The Sceptre accelerates automatically through levels, with players steering, boosting, drifting, and firing weapons. The auto-driving aspect of the game doesn’t bother me, as the game is quite linear and there is more than enough to keep players busy to worry about keeping their foot down.
A Little Too Easy, but Explosive!
Agent Intercept’s difficulty is carefully increased throughout the course of the game. Perhaps too carefully, as the beginning of the game feels too easy and things won’t particularly challenge experienced gamers even at the end of the game. I believe I died once, maybe twice throughout my time with it. That being said, my young stepdaughter finds most games too difficult, and we had a blast playing the game together.
What does happen throughout the course of the game is a highly entertaining narrative with action to accompany it. My only complaint about its plot is that it doesn’t go as far as it needs to in regards to being ridiculous. Very early in the game, a character betrays the Agency and joins CLAW, only to reveal they joined CLAW to learn their plans and returns to The Agency – it’s a triple cross! What’s hilarious to me, is that when they “turn evil” they lose an eye, and don an eyepatch, when they return to The Agency, they still have the eyepatch, meaning they sacrificed their friggin’ eye to go undercover on the weekend.
Close, but Not Quite GI:JOE
Then there are CLAWS henchmen and bosses. You’ve got all the classics. There’s the pretty bloke with long hair, the guy who looks like a literal cartoon of Jason Statham from The Expendables, and a dude who sounds like the British thug version of Cobra Commander. CLAWS boss lady Eris looks like Job from Mission Impossible got a modern day haircut, and I dig it all. Again, I just wish it embraced the corniness and went full Saturday Morning cartoon. If there’s ever a sequel, you know what to do, Pikpok.
Then there’s the Sceptre itself, which throughout the course of the game will transform into a boat, jet, submarine, snowmobile, and sports car. The animations when this happen are very slick. It would be a disservice at this point to not talk about the action moments in the game as well, which quite frankly, are awesome. You’ll drift along mountain roads, leaping into a river and giving chase in a boat. You’ll drive off a ramp and land on an enormous rocket that’s launching, driving up the rocket to ultimately destroy it. You’ll drive in an open sandpit that’s being bored by an enormous drill. These moments are so damn fun, and really stuck with me. They are probably better than they have the right to be, as they transcend the usual fare of a small game such as this.
Now, Agent Intercept is short. That being said I had a great time with it, and am glad it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Players will unlock side missions and other activities, so the truly addicted will still get plenty of hours in even after the credits have rolled.