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While I applaud Midway for adding a new dimension to the series I can’t help but feel like this title could have benefited from more development time or possibly a move to the next-gen consoles. If you have already upgraded or are planning to upgrade to one of the expensive new machines this game can probably be overlooked. However if you are in the mood for some solid third-person action, great hand-to-hand combat, and some kickass driving sequences then this game is certainly worth a second look. Oh and it doesn’t hurt if you are a big fan of Mr. Johnson.
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I would love to see another installment with this alternating on-foot/on and off-road style - but it would have to balance things out better between the two styles, and feature a lot of enhancements to the on-foot areas. As it is, players are left with a very exciting driving game and a fairly lifeless 3D adventure game. Had the driving portions been the focus, the game would have turned out much better overall, and the on-foot section's flaws would have been obscured somewhat. Unfortunately, I can't recommend anything more than a rental right now. When the price dips to the $20 or less range, then it might be worth a purchase to die-hard Spy Hunter fans. Given how little traditional Spy Hunter stuff is here, it's impossible to justify spending full price for just those areas, and the on-foot gameplay certainly isn't strong enough to make up for that.
The addition of a third-person controllable character to this otherwise entirely vehicle-based series adds an entirely new dimension to the fading series. Playing as The Rock is pretty dang fun, and even if some of the shooting controls are wonky, the melee and wrestling attacks remain consistenly hilarious and enjoyable. Overall, Midway's fifth game in this series is a passable title that isn't terribly compelling, but it's far from sucking. If you've already moved on to the Xbox 360 or are saving up for a PS3 (good luck!), skip this. If you're in the mood for mindless blasting and some decent racing fun -- oh, and you love the Rock -- this may be worth you while.
The true strength of Nowhere to Run is built into its pick-up-and-play nature. It gets straight to the action, wasting no time indulging in slow-motion cinematic cut-scenes during battle sequences. And despite minor clipping and geometry errors, the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions are comparable. Both have extra features like unlockable levels, weapons, and movies. Compounding overarching problems with game mechanics, though, is the fact that this game's movie counterpart is still MIA. Nowhere to Run may miss the mark with fans of the established Spy Hunter franchise, but it remains a passable facsimile of similar contemporary action games.
Nowhere to Run seems as though it was designed less as a natural continuation of the Spy Hunter franchise and more as an action vehicle for The Rock, and it feels like an awkward pairing. It gets a few things right, but the game overextends itself, and in the process of trying to be both a third-person action game and an action-packed driving game, it does neither well.
SpyHunter: Nowhere to Run can be summed up in one word; average. It’s not a bad game, it’s not a great game. It has some bad ideas and some good ideas and they’re all executed in a mediocre fashion.
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run had a lot of potential. When it's on, it has some good moments, and the transition between the on-foot and driving segments is seamless, with nothing but a few seconds and perhaps a cut scene between them. Unfortunately, neither of the two gameplay types is very satisfying. Altogether too short at only 12 stages, Nowhere to Run doesn't feature much replay value; with only a few unlockable bonus missions, weapons, and the original Spy Hunter arcade offering, there isn't enough here to merit you picking up the controller again once you've completed the game. With more time and polish, Nowhere to Run could have shown that Spy Hunter can move beyond the car, but for now, The Interceptor is still the more interesting main character.
Evidently, Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run is based upon a movie that may or may not ever come out (we checked on this, and no one knows for sure), which only adds to our confusion. Why the change from the classic formula? Why The Rock? We sure don’t know, but the end result is a ramshackle affair that will please neither hardcore Spy Hunters nor Joe GTA.
Ultimately, Nowhere to Run feels a whole lot like a generic action game (without the movie license) than it does like a Spy Hunter game. Its control system is weak, the gameplay mechanics are basic and repetitive and The Rock is woefully underused. Slap any other title on it and Nowhere to Run could be the budget game of the week, but hey, at least it's better than Catwoman.
This game is not pretty. It isn’t ugly, but it most certainly isn’t pretty, the graphics not looking much better than its predecessor, 2003’s Spy Hunter 2. Any game looking three years old, especially compared to all the next-generation eye-candy out there, feels pretty shabby. And the Rock’s character model looks terrible. The sound effects and music, on the other hand, are decent action movie-esque arrangements, although it fades into the background quickly. Think 007 crossed with the Batman Beyond theme. If you are looking for classic arcade action with some current-generation gloss, look elsewhere. There are far more intelligent investments to be made in the rapidly enhancing game market.
The simple fact is that the developers tried something different, going against the timeless adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," making a game that's more of a hassle than a pleasure to play. The glitches, poor controls and shabby visuals leave Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run without much to offer, even if you're an avid fan of the series. It's such a departure from what the series is known for, it could easily be called Generic Action Game & Car. Whether or not the celluloid counterpart sees the light of day, if this is any expectation of what to expect, it's going to be on par with a Uwe Boll movie, and that's not something to brag about.
Game Informer Magazine
Dear Mr. The Rock, I think you’re cool, even though you’re in some crap. The Rundown? Awesome! Be Cool? Terrible! You know what else is awful? Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run. Why would you appear in this game? The driving parts feel like controlling a drunken ice skater with a machine gun, and the action sequences are even worse. Your character model runs like he has a poopy diaper, and the gun combat is so erratic and goofy it’s like a Benny Hill episode. This game is glitchy and broken (I drove through a mountain!), and fails to deliver either solid driving or action. Please don’t do any more games like this, The Rock. You deserve better.