Ecks vs. Sever
Description official descriptions
Ecks vs. Sever is the amongst the first FPSes to be featured on the Game Boy Advance. The game tells the story of Ecks, an ex-FBI Agent whose orders are to hunt down the beautiful assassin named Sever. As the cat-and-mouse-hunt progresses, both agents will find out that they are mere pawns in a larger government conspiracy...
In the Single Player mode, the player can choose wether he wants to play as Ecks or Sever. The choice makes a radical difference in the single-player campaign. As Ecks, your orders are to chase Sever, whilst as Sever, you have to evade him. The levels for both characters tend to be the same, but with different objectives, and different locations for both characters.
As an example, the orders of Sever are to hunt down and kill a government agent whilst as Ecks, your orders are to prevent the assassination. During this level, both characters will encounter each other. As Ecks, you'll have to try and snipe Sever whilst evading her grenades. When you play this level as Sever, you'll have to throw grenades at Ecks, whilst avoiding his sniper fire.
The game also has a multi-player mode for up to 4 players with three different modes, which are Deathmatch (Every man for himself), Assassination (one player is the assassin who has to hunt down the VIP who's being protected by bodyguards) and Bomb kit (Try to gather all parts of a bomb before the other players do).
Credits (Game Boy Advance version)
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Average score: 78% (based on 19 ratings)
Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 10 ratings with 1 reviews)
Rare are the FPS who can pretend to be good one on a platform like the GameBoy Advance. Being a FPS fan on PC, I really wanted some FPS for my GBA. Well, Doom was the first to be bought but having been introduced in the FPS world by Doom II on PC, I couldn't miss it. I've never seen Doom II GBA in my country and I'm still regretting that I didn't have it on my GBA. Same goes for Dark Arena, another FPS.
Luckily, Ecks vs Sever makes it to my platform. And it wasn't in Belgium that I found it. No, it was in Italy, when I was on vacation with my family. I remembered having bought it with another game, Nes Classic Legend of Zelda.
Well, I don't regret my purchase.
Before describing positive points, I need to add some useful information about the game. It was released in 2001 and was based on the movie who was coming. In it, you had two characters from different agencies, Jonathan Ecks, a depressed FBI agent since his family's death and Sever, an orphaned raised by the NSA, working for the agency and seeking justice for her husband's death.
Single player campaign allows you to be Ecks or Sever. Story is basically the same, told from their point of view, four weeks in the future, during a trial which will decide if they can come back to their agencies. Plot is twisted for making each character kill the last boss: either Ecks is wounded and lets Sever do the job in her campaign or it's Sever who is hurt and let Ecks kill the boss. But apart from that, the storyline doesn't change from their perspective (Ecks must pursue Sever in his campaign and Sever must escape Ecks in hers).
Gameplay is easy: you shoot, you duck if necessary, you activate some things, etc.. What is perhaps most difficult to do is to duck and then walk in this position. I mean, L and R are the assigned buttons for sliding. And holding them together makes you duck. So, when you want to duck, you can slide a little and when you're walking in this position, you can't slide.
You also have some interesting items, apart from the classic weapons, ammo, medipack and armor: thermal glasses and keys for progressing or deciphering or encrypted ones (deciphering is for Ecks's campaign and encrypted is for Sever's). I want to add for the thermal glasses that the colors blue and orange are really perfect and I loved it. It was even better than the one designed for R6: Raven Shield on PC!
Weapons are probably the strongest points of the software. You always begin with an unlimited ammo pistol but you can find Pancor Jackhammer as shotgun, Colt M16A2, Ingram Mac 11, HK G11 and Minigun as chainguns, grenades and grenades launcher, Sig SSG 3000 as sniper rifle, Proximity Mines, etc..
They're very useful against enemies. About the latter, they're not really varied but it's enough for making the game a nervous one: SWAT or NSA agents for example are very difficult to kill if you don't have a G11. But for security guards, two shots from the pistol are enough to eliminate them. So, you must know which weapon to use against enemies.
Graphics are correct, though I prefer Doom's (surprising, right?). Still, weapons are very well designed and the variety of locations show the quality of the engine. Soundtrack is also good.
But Ecks vs Sever is, as I've stated, a nervous game and some levels are very difficult to beat because of the damage inflicted by the enemies. If your armor can protect you - if it doesn't, it would be a grave problem -, it's running out fast when you're entering the last stages. And NSA buddies for example are taking between 15 and 20 HP, SWAT is taking 10, so you can understand that when you're surrounded by 4 or 5 enemies of these two kinds, you must be very lucky or a good shooter in order to survive. Well, having the right weapon in the right moment is really an important thing in Ecks Vs Sever.
AI isn't great; you can easily kill some enemies because they didn't see you even if you're in their peripheral vision whereas the others will shoot at you. When you kill an enemy, the sound of the weapon should be enough to make his friends come. Here, well, enemies ignore it. So, you can go room to room without having to worry about the noises you're making. Even if you're in the same room than others, they only react by seeing you... when they don't turn their back to you or when they really see you.
Graphics, for some levels, seem void, without life. Yes, it's the GBA. But comparing to Doom, it's very poor. Especially with the white in the NSA bunker or the awful walls of the hotel. But you'll have a very-well modelised bar with a pool table for example.
Last but not least, I don't like the password system. When you've beaten a level, you're awarded a password you can use to start a specific level later. Well, I prefer the saving system; you don't have to put in your memory the password or write them on a piece of paper you can lose. You even have password for multiplayer, but as I don't play multiplayer with GBA I don't know why this feature exists. I think that playing mainly on PC may have played a part in this dislike.
The Bottom Line
Ecks Vs Sever is one of the few FPS on GBA that can pretend to be good. Storyline is coherent, graphics are correct and weapons are varied. Ecks vs Sever is a good game with interesting features like the two campaigns but it's too nervous for me at the end: Ecks's story is easier than Sever (I think about the fight against Mills, FBI chief and the escaping from Ecks for example). Still, you can have some real fun with this game. Definitively a good FPS on GBA. I recommend it even if Doom is still my number 1 on GBA. But don't ask me to give the first place to another game than Doom on GBA!
Game Boy Advance · by vicrabb (7272) · 2008
There was a movie made by Warner Bros. by the name of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever which starred Antonio Banderas as Ecks and Lucy Liu as Sever.
For more info on the movie, look in the links section.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Ruben van der Leun.
Game added July 5, 2002. Last modified February 22, 2023.