CIA Operative - Solo Missions by ValuSoft
Reviewed by: Interman
Demo: None so far.
More screenshots: here
ValuSoft is not a company that is known for making block-buster games throughout its existence, however they have made some fairly fun games, which obviously were made to give you more valu(e) for your money.
Introduction / Story:
CIA Operative is their latest game, a first person shooter where they compete with previous games like Soldier of Fortune.
This is a tough mission, but here's at least a review of how they did.
When you begin the game you start on a roof where you're supposed to assassinate a rich bad guy who comes out of his limousine. Have we seen something similar to this? Yes, Hitman for those who weren't aware. When you are inserted on the floor you hear a voice through your radio. That voice tells you about your mission, at the beginning and as you progress through the mission.
Throughout the game you visit some more or less exotic locations like a subway, a Russian casino, some Arabian country. You fight against bad-guys, naturally never with help from anyone, except the voice in your radio. If there was an intriguing story I would write about it, but not today it seems.
Let's start with the characters etc; they are boring! In each mission you have 2 different looking bad guys. They don't really look too bad, but they move pretty badly. A good feature about CIA Operative, similar to Soldier of Fortune is that shooting people in the leg will hurt them less than shooting them in the head. One of the things that my sometimes (in games that is) violent mind liked about Soldier of Fortune is the amount of real looking blood, gibs etc. Sadly, when you shoot people in CIA Operative there's only a little bit of blood, like in Golden Eye on the Nintendo 64. I know this is just my taste, but go ahead and kill me if I'm slightly biased once in a while.
When I looked at screenshots of the game I was actually looking forward to reviewing the game, basically because the levels looked pretty sweet, and they actually do. There aren't a whole lot of levels, but for instance the casino looks like a casino, whilst the subway looks like a subway. The textures are nicely detailed, so kudos for that.
Sounds / Music:
In fact, this part is slightly funny. You see when I started playing the game and heard its theme music I didn't really pay much attention to it, however, when I had configured the game to my liking I was already annoyed by it! During the game you'll hear voices, obviously weaponry and some special effects. They are in 22khz (which in my opinion is too little), so for instance the machine gun sounds rather crappy. Explosions etc sound ok, it's rather the visual of the explosions that are under par, but enough about that.
The "commander voice" you hear at times also sounds pretty low quality, but in fact, I think that's positive seeing the kind of speakers that are used "out on the field" aren't made to make crystal clear sounds. You might disagree on that one, but for me it feels more "Rambo" this way.
The controls are just as in any other first person shooter, but a positive note is that by default you move around with W-A-S-D, and fire with the first mouse button.
One thing that surprised me about the gameplay is the way the good-guy walks, it actually looks more real than in other games. Let's take Counterstrike as an example, here you move as if you're moving in the air, but in CIA Operative you move a little bit more to the side, making it more realistic.
Speaking of realism, I doubt any CIA operative on the entire planet can withstand as many gunshots as the good-guy in this game. I know what you're thinking, "that's normal in those kinds of games", but c'mon, I sincerely doubt it adds to the realism that a guy can unload several clips at your head without you actually dying!
The guns themselves look like something a half-life fan with moderate experience could make. Since there are only 3 weapons there isn't a whole lot to kill the baddies with, but they do serve their purpose. One thing that really annoyed me about the sniper rifle, besides the fact that you can't zoom in on things is that it's not even as accurate as you require. Even when you sit down and shoot you may very well miss someone.
Nothing, nada, zip.
It might be fun for about fifteen minutes to actually have a multiplayer mode, but then again - I managed to complete the game the second time in 21 minutes.
This is not a game you need. In a few weeks I doubt people will remember this game, basically because it didn't have anything of importance that any other first person shooter doesn't have. Neither does it excel in any areas of importance, except perhaps that it does have nice level design and a good way of walking / running.
Competing with games like Soldier of Fortune is not easy, but ValuSoft did try, and in my opinion failed.
If ValuSoft had put (much) more time on this game it might be remembered for some time, but then again - you get what you pay for. Speaking of paying, Solder of Fortune is now a year old and is probably as cheap as CIA Operative, you do the math.