I was looking forward to this one because I remember the old arcade game like it was yesterday and a sequel that could bring those days back would be terrific. With wild enthusiasm I inserted the disc to be overwhelmed with a stunning intro that combines the best features from Viper (the tv-series), Mad Max and Need For Speed: Hot pursuit (yes, the third one and NOT hp2). Imagine my joy when I got to the menu! I chose to play the campaign (single player).
But then it attacked me, projecting giant pixel blocks on my television, even my dog had to leave the room because he could not stand it any longer. I’ve been waiting a long time to use it but after five seconds of playing I just knew the moment had finally arrived to express the visual surroundings of a game as craphics. If they would have made SpyHunter2 for the ps1-console it would have been quite good, but I mean ps1-graphics for a ps2-game is simply an insult for the console.
At least they’ve put some effort in the sound, I always appreciate a star to participate in games and Vanessa Carlton did made some good pop-songs. You can watch different interviews and movies of her performing and talking about the game which is a good feature. (Not only dvd’s deserve extra’s and it should become a standard to provide games with extra features.) What is regrettable however is that these features are the only obvious connection with Vanessa Carlton to the game because her music is pushed aside by stupid, monotonous techno tunes.
To drive the interceptor is like playing an arcade train-simulator: straight-forward and boring after fifteen minutes. The missions and the levels in which they take place are not fun at all, they are even frustrating. Let’s say there are three goals in one level of which the last one is some sort of finale that always fails, resulting in restarting the whole level. No continues and no checkpoints. Believe me, you won’t bother to restart a level more than ten times. The only reason they opted for this approach is that even now the game is still very, very short.
The only thing worth playing is the multiplayer, especially the cooperative mode (one player drives and controls the main guns while the second one fires the extra weapons). I was particularly fond of this option because the concept is so good, controlling the car with two players and there is no need for a splitscreen. That is what I call cooperative.
The second option is head-to-head multiplayer in an arena which could have been fun if you could play it online with a lot of people but two players is just too few because if you start behind your opponent you’ve simply lost. There are too few options to make it work and that is a shame because if there would have been online possibilities and some extra modes like “catch the ball” or “last man standing”, this game would have something noteworthy to offer.
The story is simple but that has always been that way so there is nothing wrong with it. Only a simple yet useful cause is needed to have fun in playing. I can summarise the story in one line: you drive a car, changeable in a bike, ice-scooter and off-terrain vehicle, armed with weapons and high-end technology in a battle against terrorists.
If you are in the mood for Spy Hunter, buy the arcade pack with 25 classics on one disc that costs only half and will bring good versions of these oldies (including the original spy hunter). It will definitely be more fun than this sequel and I can really think of no reason why you should buy this game. I am very disappointed because they could have done a lot more with the concept, now it is only worth a quick rent for playing the cooperative with a friend on a stormy evening, but that’s it!