Secret Service: In Harm's Way Download (2001 Arcade action Game)

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Secret Service is such a mess that few gamers will come across many first person shooters less fun to play. A comprehensive list of the shortcomings is not feasible within the scope of this or any other review, but a few of the more odious elements stand out and should be brought to light.

The graphics in many of the missions are simply dull. Player's characters run through seemingly endless corridors with nearly totally nondescript walls and ceilings, requiring numerous breaks to clear the glaze from the user's eyes induced by the almost total absence of visual interest. The deficiency is especially inexplicable because many of the characters actually look decent, with nice facial detail. Why the same care was not afforded the design of buildings and streets is a mystery.

The game is also very difficult. Obviously, the designers made an attempt to emulate the sort of realism typified by Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six; thus, both agents and the VIPs being protected have some human resistance to bullets, but not much. In itself, that's fine, since the genre is overflowing with titles that make you nearly immortal while slaughtering legions of enemies and carrying six to ten enormous weapons plus a warehouse-worth of ammunition. Unfortunately, in Secret Service, the superhuman abilities have been taken away but the legions of enemies remain.

The credibility of the attempt at realism takes another serious hit by the ridiculous placing of enemies. In one mission, the objective is to protect the Vice President as he attends a gala art opening. The museum is crawling with terrorists, all disguised as either a museum guard or a person wearing a white-tuxedo who might be a guest or an attendant. It's impossible to tell the difference until they begin shooting at you. Either the Human Resources department at the museum is seriously deficient in its pre-employment background screening, or the staff is seriously stupid to not have noticed the 30 or so unidentified extra people who showed up for work on the day the VP is visiting. Regardless, didn't someone notice the bulky machine guns being carried by some of these characters?

The game is also full of irritating small quirks related to the AI. Non-enemy or non-agent characters who block narrow hallways don't move when you bump into them, nor can you communicate with them in any way to get them to step aside. Along the same lines, the person being protected in a certain mission might bump into someone as he follows you, and instead of moving to the side or pushing the other person out of the way, he just backs up and repeatedly runs into the person. They'll simply continue to ram into one another until the collisions change their trajectories enough to cause them to pass.

Some gamers may be persuaded by the mystique of the concept behind the Secret Service, the clandestine missions, exotic locales and exciting premise, but most will probably want to quit the game after a few missions of this tired, uninspired, and amateurish entry in the genre.

Graphics: Graphics are uninspired and very dull, with poor path-making designs.

Sound: The sound is limited mostly to screaming bystanders and terrorists' incoherent shouts, but it's not horrible.

Enjoyment: The lack of cohesiveness and realism, along with the dumb AI, rivals watching your laundry dry for excitement.

Replay Value: Playing through just one time should be worthy of a medal.


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