Oct 26, 2007
Just from the looks of it, Death to Spies feels like a typical war game right away. But when you actually do start it, you'll realize you were totally off. This is a game that isn't about shooting whatever wherever, but rather, it's a game that requires strategic combat and precise planning to just get to the next area. The developers obviously tried something new here, and while they didn't completely prevail, they succeeded enough to make this an entertaining, unique experience.
Above: One of the many possibilities of taking down baddies
Death to Spies is, more or less, about espionage. At times, it feels like it wants to be a war version of Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell, or even Thief. We appreciate this effort, since, let's face it, there are quite a few by-the-numbers first-person shooters in the matter of war. There are plenty of paths to take, and that's one of the most attractive things about Death to Spies. The field is just capacious enough to make you feel absorbed in its world, with the feeling of enemies potentially being anywhere. You can take a lot of tactical approaches, like hiding in bushes, laying atop a hill, or whistling for distraction. The graphics aren't too shabby, either, so you'll rarely feel constrained with the number of opportunities. It's all pretty fun - that is, until you actually get into combat.
While there is outstanding, intense orchestral music during battles, the battles themselves are a bit lukewarm. Hindered by occasional framerate issues and imprecise movement, unless you're able to take the baddies out with one try (before they go berserk), the fighting becomes chaotic - for all the wrong reasons. We're talking about those what-the-heck moments, where you die or mess up, and you're not sure what even happened. Because of shortcomings like these, the game can be just a tad too difficult at times.
Still, Death to Spies offers a rather refreshing take on war-status games. It's nowhere near the excellence of other established stealth games, but it does offer enough innovation and open-endedness to get enough entertainment out of. And even though there's not much in terms of replay value (no multiplayer), the campaign mode is lengthy enough to satisfy for awhile.