The first game based on Touchstone Television's hit secret agent series, which made its ABC premiere on September 30, 2001, casts players in the role Sydney Bristow as she embarks on a series of covert missions on behalf of the CIA. The action takes place from a third-person perspective as players use a combination of martial arts moves and high-tech gadgets to infiltrate structures and to disarm enemies. Missions will feature time-based objectives, stealth, espionage, and both hand-to-hand and weapons-based combat. Players will be sent to exotic locales around the world while following a storyline fraught with plot twists and surprises. Developer Acclaim Studios Cheltenham is best known for 2001's futuristic racer, XGIII: Extreme G Racing.
Alias had me ready for a great game after the intro and cut scenes. From the get go I noticed how well the acting actually was. Most likely this is a direct result from using real characters that appear in the TV show. Any gaming fan knows how silly games start to turn out when developers think they can save some coin and have their programmers stand in for actual actors. This game did a superb job on the cut scenes and voiceovers.
Alias the game is much like the hit TV show. Covert Ops, Espionage, and all the cool spy gadgets that go along with. The setting of the game is much like any of the Alias episodes, unfortunately the gameplay just doesn't deliver what any fan is expecting or what Acclaim intended.
Right from the start any keyboard and mouse player will find the camera controls to be the most annoying in gaming history. That maybe harsh to say but this reviewer can confidently say the worst I have ever seen. It made controlling Sydney (Jennifer Gardner) frustrating as anything. Sure you will get used to it after a while, but that's not to say you don't quit the game and come back numerous times before you do.
There are plenty of gadgets that you will use to get you through all your tasks. Things like lock picking tools, mini cameras, razor prisms, thermal imaging, etc. These so make the game more spy like and accessing them and knowing when to use them is done nicely. An Icon will be displayed so you know the right gadget for the job, if you forget it from the mission briefing. I liked this feature as it took out a lot of the guess work and time from having to try each gadget before finding the right one.
The game is built on sneaking around, avoid being detected, and using stealth to accomplish your goals. I found with the clunky controls this was hard to do, but on the flip side when the bad guys come at you an honest butt whooping seems to do the job quite well. Sydney's melee attacks are numerous and can clear out a room in no time. Sure there are certain combos that do even more damage, but knowing if they are properly being executed is still on my mind. In short I just kept mashing all the action buttons and did quite well, seeing an occasional attack that had me guessing how the hell did I do that! This probably might have played better with a game pad, but when I play a PC game I want to use a keyboard and mouse. OK maybe a flight stick too for SIM games, but as for a game pad, I just assume save that for an X-Box.
Overall the game is just too frustrating to really enjoy. It looked like a game that might be good until you started playing. It does have all the components of a good third person shooter. Find this, hack that, locate so and so, sneak past him, and the list goes on. It could have been a great title for the PC but I think this was better left for the consoles, and the PC platform left alone.
I have never played a third person game that was as frustrating as this. Almost all third person games usually have some sort of difficulty of making every gamer happy when it comes to the camera angle. I would be very surprised to hear that one gamer actually enjoys the camera angle, and playing this title on the PC with a keyboard and mouse. I imagine that it plays better on the consoles, but as for this review of the PC version, it's just plain frustrating!
Nothing spectacular here, I have played a number of the Bond like games years ago where the graphics are darn near identical to Alias in my opinion. With all the latest technologies and the improvement of graphic cards, I was surprised to see graphics that now seem a bit dated.
The sound effects were pretty darn good, and the voiceovers were probably the best I have ever heard. You can really tell that it pays to use real actors when doing cut scenes. This by far is the best part of the game.
Though the game is built around stealth and secrecy, you can still play just fine by a run and gun method. In all honesty I found this the best way to play. Even when you set off alarms, the bad guys are usually few in numbers and are easily dispatched.
To me this is just another third person game with a James Bond element, albeit a much cuter version.
If you love the TV show, maybe this is a game for you. Those dedicated fans may love the storyline as it does remind you of the show. Those others looking for a fresh new third person game will most likely want to pass on this one.
People who downloaded Alias have also downloaded:
Alpha Black Zero: Intrepid Protocol, Advent Rising, American McGee presents Bad Day LA, Air Raid: This is Not a Drill, Aliens versus Predator 2, Area-51, Akimbo: Kung-Fu Hero, Alpha Prime
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