Secret Service review

  • Interesting environments
  • Bang for your buck
  • Kinda like 24
  • Boring shooting
  • Artificially extended levels
  • Bare-bones mechanics

The President elect is under fire! It’s up to the Secret Service – basically, you and a load of idiots who get shot all the time – to protect him. If the plot seems like it’s courting disaster, especially in the current political climate, the action is playing it decidedly safe, doling out genero-gunplay and genero-terrorists like they’re going out of fashion.

You play as Agent Pierce, a man who shares a name and job with the bald bloke occasionally seen in 24, but is presumably very different, for copyright reasons. You’ll need to take down bad guys, hack computers, disable bombs, and eventually become a rogue agent. Er, just like 24 then. But without that pesky license that would have made it 10% more entertaining. The truth? It’s a reasonably solid experience. Stages may be artificially extended (trekking miles through tunnels to fix the power is a highlight), but the White House environment makes a welcome change from the muddy trenches or space-corridors we typically get to kill people in.

However they’ve painted the backdrop, though, there’s no denying the substandard package underneath. Everything shooters are legally required to include – regenerating health, some sort of cover mechanic – is in here, but executed clumsily, lacking any of the polish of something like Call of Duty 4.

It’s a surprisingly lengthy title – unlike CoD4 – but while Infinity Ward’s quick hit left you with a craving for more, Secret Service will leave you praying for the comedown to end. Weapons have a bit of oomph to them, and there’s a wide variety to discover, but there’s little joy in using them on enemies, when all they’ll do is vanish in response. A bit unsporting, considering how gleefully ready the terrorists were to explode in Cauldron’s last shooter, the gory Soldier of Fortune: Payback.

Things may have gone super-quiet for David Braben’s Presidential assassination adventure The Outsider, but this is not a worthy stopgap. Similarly, if you squint a bit, this could almost be 24: The Game. Except there was already one of those, and it was dumpo. Until Braben’s game emerges, it’s better, perhaps, to pop an episode of 24 into the disc tray, scrunch up your eyes, and pretend you’re playing Secret Service. Much more fun.

Jan 6, 2009

More Info

Release date: Nov 04 2008 - Xbox 360, PS2 (US)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS2, PC
Genre: Action
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Cauldron
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Blood, Language, Violence


  • Ricochet3438 - September 12, 2009 2:16 p.m.

    Jesus Christ is this game bad! Omg I was like "Finally a game about the Secret Service" before playing it. After playing it I was like "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
  • kalithas - March 12, 2009 2:47 p.m.

    bored by the minigame........... waste of time
  • Sebastian16 - February 27, 2009 10:33 p.m.

    Actually dumb, it scores a big, fat fucking 5.
  • The_Author - January 7, 2009 5:55 p.m.

    Where the hell did this pop up from? I've never even heard of this game!
  • John-117 - January 7, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    @GoldenMe Guess I can't do anything about that, just trying to make an anecdote. ;)
  • GoldenMe - January 7, 2009 5:12 a.m.

    .......your words are annoying
  • Eldaradoe - January 16, 2009 7:50 p.m.

    I've played games much worse than this one. This games scores a 6. Save your hate. There will be many more games this year that deserve it.
  • John-117 - January 7, 2009 3:06 a.m.

    Games like this remind me of how much I love to watch obviously horrible movies just for the pure torture and laughs afterwards. Sounds like this is comparable to Snakes on a Train and Transmorphers, trying to confuse people that this may be the game that thir child wanted only to crush thie gaming soul.

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