Counterspy is a crazy cool mix of side-scroller elements combined with stealth and shooting moments that work out well. Two dimensional and three dimensional art styles are mixed together providing the best of both worlds in this indie-style title developed by Dynamighty and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Though this is the first game Dynamighty has ever created, the team is made up mainly of industry veterans from the days of LucasArts and the quality of it gives all of us here at RGN great hope that this team of ten will be a positive influence on the video games industry overall.
Respect is certainly in order for Sony who has often spotted great talent and given it a boost. In this case, millions of gamers have been able to play this title since it became free for PS4 on PlayStation Plus as well as a cross-buy deal for those who pay and receive PS3, Vita, and PS4 copies of the game all for one purchase. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about, time to get into the meat of what makes Counterspy great and where it can improve.
The game is focused on invading both the socialist (soviet style) and imperialist (allied style) forces of the world during an alternate, fictional version of the Cold War as they plan to launch nuclear rockets at the moon before the enemy superpower.
Stealth in Counterspy is optional, but highly encouraged. I’m torn about whether or not this is a strength or a weakness. The fastest of speed runners could probably blow through levels without doing much stealth, and as long as the timing is right suffer very little consequences. However, there are consequences built-in for attempting such a behavior. Defcon levels are raised by a lack of stealth and will carry over to future missions causing them to be more difficult. That’s nothing a few fully automatic rifles won’t solve though. But if it reaches 0 then the political power you are currently invading will launch their moon missiles. Finding launch plans is required to progress through the game, not just run and gun – so that’s how the spy feel is kept intact.
Players can also find dossiers purely to enhance their cash flow which is later spent on weapons and ability formulas (unlocked by blueprints). Some of the abilities from these formulas include increased armor, or the ability to persuade your Defcon to a lower level (which can also be accomplished by holding Officers at gunpoint, not to be confused with soldiers who will just shoot you), and even the ability to disguise yourself against camera detection saving precious time shooting out each lens.
There’s a ton of optional side-content in this game, including elevators that take you to places you don’t necessarily need to go to with the stuff you need to get every upgrade / collectible in the game. Another side objective is that players see their friends scores and try to beat them. If this is accomplished, a reward is found on their body mid-mission next time around. This adds some nice replay value for sure.
Visual fidelity and fun factor are some of the great strong points in Counterspy. Some areas of improvement could be worked on would be a more in-depth experience with a few more optional complexities underneath the surface. That being said, it’s well worth the asking price if you don’t manage to grab it for free from PS Plus. Players don’t really need to do stealth, and the game’s a lot less enjoyable than it could have been because of that. It’s also easier and more accessible. Overall, Counterspy is a great game but it could have been even better.
Overall Score: 8 / 10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
(Additional Work by SCE Foster City Studio)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Available On: PS4 | PS3 | Vita | Android | iOS
Played On: Sony PlayStation 4
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.