Game Over Online ~ Project IGI

GameOver Game Reviews - Project IGI (c) Eidos Interactive, Reviewed by - DaxX

Game & Publisher Project IGI (c) Eidos Interactive
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium II-300, 64MB Ram, 500MB HDD, 3D Accelerator, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 78%
Date Published Friday, December 15th, 2000 at 11:02 AM

Divider Left By: DaxX Divider Right

I'm happy, and it's not because of illicit drugs. Nay, I'm happy because developers are now targeting me with the new crop of FPS. As I like to pretend I'm smart, I dub these "the thinking man's FPS". You know the games I mean, where stealth, creativity, and a little bit of planning are rewarded. Deus Ex, Hitman: Codename 47, No One Lives Forever, and now Project IGI.

One of the most interesting aspects of this game is that it actually uses a modified (heavily, I'd imagine) flight simulator engine. What strange bedfellows FPS and flight sims make. However, it works. This game primarily takes place in outdoor bases and capitalizes on the terrain rendering of the engine. The world surrounding each level is quite impressive, often rugged mountain terrain that you can wander up and around to get a good look at the base or to potentially find another entrance.

The structures are adequate albeit texturally bland (yes I made that up). The bases are well layed out and "work". I never really wondered while I was running through the base "why is this here?" or "why are there explosive barrels sitting there and those group of bad guys hanging around it?" The models are pretty good, although you rarely get close enough to take a good look, nor should you.

Realism is the name of the game, and Project IGI pulls it off quite well. Generally, "realism" means to me "die easier and you can do less stuff". This remains the same in this game, but for some reason it doesn't bother me. Sure, if you drop off a 2nd story roof you take a bunch of damage. This is the game's way of saying "don't do that, stupid". Also, if a guard empties an entire clip into you then yes, you will probably die.

The game, regardless of the limitations "realism" impose on you, is still fun. Sneaking around has always been my style of gaming (probably because I'm a huge coward) and this game has it in spades. Unlike Thief, however, you don't really try and avoid combat. Rather, you try and kill quietly and only isolated individuals. Running in guns blazing, in this game more than any other, will get you nowhere. The guns are all quite powerful and accurately model their real-life counterparts.

This game introduces some nice concepts. You can slide down or crawl along wires to get over fences and walls, you can shoot through glass (sometimes without breaking it, if you only fire a few rounds), and you can shoot through certain walls, including chain-linked fences.

Now, onto the less-than-good stuff. The enemy AI is just plain bad when it comes to responding to events. As an example, in one level there are two enemies talking to each other. If you shoot one in the head, the other one will just stand there and do nothing. This is just plain bad and I'm very unimpressed that the game was shipped with something as obvious as this. Chalk up another "Christmas crunched" game.

The AI, when it DOES realize you're around, can be pretty smart. It takes cover, dives to the ground and won't just run through open doors. This is a nice break from the "I see you, now I'll just blindly run forward and try and shoot you", but it's a step down from the fighting AI of No One Lives Forever. One of the other annoyances is how enemies will run towards you, and past you, than realize they're retarded and turn towards you and start firing. What's kind of funny is that it makes them a lot harder to hit because they don't stop and start firing, but it's still a bug.

Another thing that is a bit strange in a realistic game is the disappearing bodies. I'm not exactly complaining, having to constantly drag bodies around is a pain in the arse, but sometimes I think it's a good thing to need to do. The adrenaline really flows when a guard is walking towards you and you just killed his buddy in the middle of the hall...having to think about where you kill bodies is a good aspect of games like NOLF and Hitman: Codename 47.

The worst part of this game - and I'm frightened by the increasing frequency of this - is the lack of in-game saving. Hitman didn't have it and it was annoying. In this game, I'd say it's even worse because you don't even get the 2 continues like you do in Hitman. You die, you restart. Some of the missions are very long as well, and often get extended even farther than expected due to things that happen in-game.

*Mini-spoiler* As an example, in mission 3, you are sent to infiltrate a prison to rescue somebody. You play it through a few times, eventually figuring out how much ammo/health you can afford to lose before you reach the goal. Perhaps you fire a bit more wildly than you should. Then you realize he's not in the prison so you have to go to another area which is almost as large as the first area. Die there, and you're back to the very start! *End mini-spoiler*

It's not much fun retracing your steps. I know games last a lot longer this way rather than the "save every 5 feet" style, but I'd rather have a short but memorable game than a long and frustrating one. Perhaps even having the ability to only save twice; at least SOMETHING.

Overall I still enjoyed this game and the AI isn't awful enough to really bother me. The lack of save feature is annoying. The graphics and sound are pleasant, and the gameplay works. It could use some spit and polish, like Hitman, but it's pretty fun.

[ 40/50 ] Gameplay
[ 07/10 ] Graphics
[ 08/10 ] Sound
[ 08/10 ] Storyline
[ 07/10 ] Fun Factor
[ 08/10 ] Overall


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