Review – Agent Intercept (PS5)
Do you remember Midway? Remember the good old days when they would pump out a ton of arcade titles and other random home console games? Granted, most of their later stuff wasn’t very good, but I do miss the kind of gameplay approach basically only they were able to ever master. Nowadays, even though Warner Bros. owns their entire catalog, they only seem to care about Mortal Kombat and that one time they decided to make a Rampage movie. But they had so many fun franchises: San Francisco Rush, Cruisn’ (recently revived by Raw Thrills), Defender, NBA Jam, and of course, Spy Hunter.
Spy Hunter was a crazy, over-the-top vehicular combat game where you had the opportunity of controlling a spy car full of gadgets, traps, guns, and other gizmos. They even went as far as planning a movie based on game, which would have been starred by none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Why am I even talking about Spy Hunter in a review for a game called Agent Intercept, you may be asking? Well, let’s just say that Agent Intercept is the closest to a brand new Spy Hunter we’ll ever get nowadays, which is by no means a bad thing. I had a great time with this port… of an iOS game of all damn things.
Yes, Agent Intercept is a port of a game originally released on Apple Arcade a few years ago. I only found out about that when googling a bit more about the game after playing it for a few hours. Sure, its structure is very arcade-like, with scoreboards, small levels, and an emphasis on replayability, but that just goes to show you shouldn’t judge a game by its mobile roots. You could have fooled me and said this was a brand-new console game paying homage to vehicular combat arcade titles from back in the day, and I would have believed you. It looks great, runs like a dream, has some decent production values, and is a ton of fun.
In Agent Intercept, you play as an unnamed secret agent driving a brand new spy vehicle, tasked with completing various objectives in scenic locales in order to stop an evil organization. You never get out of said vehicle. In fact, you are never not moving forward. The car keeps accelerating automatically (a nod to its mobile roots, I suppose), but you need to constantly pay attention to sharp corners and obstacles along the way. Steer and drift accordingly. In the meantime, collect icons that increase your boosting abilities, allowing you to destroy enemy vehicles by tackling them like a rugby player, and collect power-ups that let you shoot missiles, rockets, etc.
In theory, it is a very simple game. It’s pretty straightforward in terms of controls and level design, but it works because of this. It’s easy to pick up and play, and it showers you with fun set pieces, taken straight out of the cheesiest of Bond flicks. To top things off, the visuals are great, the voice acting is pretty good, and the soundtrack is comprised of what you would expect from a game like this: heavily reverbed surf rock.
There is very little I didn’t like about Agent Intercept. Sure, it’s short and its side missions are a bit too repetitive, but considering the game’s arcadey appeal, I ended up playing it in shorter bursts, which made me enjoy it more. Considering its portable nature, this makes the Switch port of the game a bit more appealing, but the PS5 version features stupidly fast loading times, as well as support for the DualSense’s adaptive triggers. Whichever platform you decide to play on, you’ll have a good time regardless.
I love games like this. Agent Intercept is the kind of fun arcade game we rarely see nowadays. It knows what it’s supposed to do, and achieves that with honors. It’s Spy Hunter for a new generation; a game full of insane set pieces, simple controls, a lovely sense of style, and replayable missions. Arcade fans, 007 fans, trophy hunters… it doesn’t matter who you are, I’m pretty sure you will be able to find something to love in Agent Intercept.
It is low poly in some areas, but it oozes style in a way you will barely be able to notice some of its budget-related shortcomings. It runs really well, and it’s full of action-packed cutscenes.
It takes some elements from endless runners, shooters, and a ton of Spy Hunter. The controls are really simple yet intuitive. In no moment does the game feel archaic or limited. It also takes advantage of some of the DualSense’s features.
Its soundtrack is exactly the kind you’d expect from a love letter to spy movies. Its voice acting was also much better than I could have ever imagined, considering the game’s size and scope.
Fun Factor: 8.5
Agent Intercept is the love letter to Spy Hunter I didn’t know I wanted. Its sense of style, coupled with its great gameplay and arcade sensibilities, resulted in one of my favorite sleeper hits of the year so far.
Final Verdict: 8.5
Agent Intercept is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, Apple Arcade, and Switch.
Reviewed on PS5.
A copy of Agent Intercept was provided by the publisher.