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Project IGI: I'm Going In (Windows)

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Developed by
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Written by  :  Ashley Pomeroy (233)
Written on  :  Feb 03, 2004

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful

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I'm coming out.

The Good

Project IGI has admirable elements, but sadly falls apart as a whole. In its favour, it's the closest PC equivalent to the N64 classic 'Goldeneye', and has a very Bondian atmosphere, helped by the excellent music. It's also similar to the ancient classic 'Impossible Mission', in that you spend a lot of time interrogating computer terminals whilst under constant pain of death. You run around a set of expansive, outdoorsy locations rendered with a modified flight simulation engine, whilst the simulation of gunfire and the damage model strike a superb balance between realism and entertainment. You aren't quite killed with one shot, and your weapons are realistically inaccurate and cumbersome. Any game which has even the most tenuous link with Iggy Pop, even if this is unintentional, deserves some kind of praise.

The Bad

As expressed elsewhere, there are several big problems. Firstly, the game is thoroughly scripted. Walk over an invisible line, and a truck full of soldiers appears from nowhere; fail to move to a certain spot, and the level will never end. The missions are linear, with no hidden secrets at all, and absolutely no replay value, because they're essentially tests of memory rather than skill. The impression I get is that the designers were rushed for time, and included only the barest minimum; furthermore, that they are tyrannical control freaks, annoyed at the possibility that the player might mess up their creation.

As mentioned elsewhere, your ammunition and weapons cache is not carried over from level to level, even in cases where one flows directly from another; one suspects this decision was taken in order to avoid the possibility that the player could 'break' the scripting. If there seems to be more than one way to infiltrate an enemy base, you are wrong; you go in through the front door every time.

Each level is large, but bland; bases are constructed with a small collection of identical rooms and buildings, something which only varies with the final level, which takes place in a large underground silo. This level, and several others, are annoying structured so that, after fifteen minutes of wild firing, you meet a particularly tough enemy and die, necessitating that the level is replayed from the beginning. Out in the open there are no trees, no cover, simply bare textured ground.

One of the significant gameplay elements is the alarm system, whereby if an alarm is triggered, endless ranks of enemy soldiers emerge from clearly empty rooms. This jars with the otherwise realistic tone, and further constrains your wanderings.

The between-level voice acting is terrible, with our hero sounding uncannily like a primary school teacher. There is no multiplayer support, and no reason to return to the game after finishing it. The plot, in which an ex-Russian general hijacks a nuclear bomb, is such an overused modern cliché that it makes me want to cut myself again.

The Bottom Line

Oh, it's entertaining enough for a short while, and the snowbound levels are very attractive. There's still an opening for a level-headed Bond-style shoot-em-up on the PC, though.