MI6 has a preview of the upcoming massively
multiplayer online game 'The Agency' from Sony -
themed around James Bond and other spy influences...
The Agency - Preview
29th January 2008
MI6 has an updated preview of the upcoming spy
themed, massively multiplayer online game 'The Agency' from Sony…"We wanted to bring mainstream gaming into the MMO space," Matt
Wilson, Director of Development of The Agency, told journalists
during a presentation at SOE's MGM Grand suite at the recent
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
In an attempt to capture that audience, Sony
have invented a world of espionage familiar to most fans of the
early James Bond movies - an exaggerated and idyllic one spread
across real-world locales, which for launch include a smattering
of locations in Europe, East Asia and South America. First person
shooter and massively multiplayer elements have been combined
with a blend of third-person action; wrapped in a cool espionage
setting but without the complex, elaborate interface and gameplay
of most MMO role-playing games.
Developers at the show displayed a mission that takes place
in Prague. Plenty of detail is rendered real time in authentic
style, including the distinctive cobblestone streets and Central
European architecture. Players have the choice of joining two
factions in the game, as either a slick UNITE spy or a gritty
The game offers three types of missions dependent
on length of play. The short mission is designed to be 10 to
15 minutes long, perfect for a quick burst of gameplay. Medium
length missions are about 30 minutes to an hour if you want a
longer play session. The third type of missions are the game's
set pieces, which are elaborate and last over an hour.
The demo showed a spy entering a flower shop – but akin
to traditional Bond hideouts, no ordinary flower shop, in fact
a front for a secret base of UNITE that players can access in-game.
Shelves swing open and you enter a vast underground facility
that takes its queues from Q’s lab, with assorted experimental
weapon and gadget testing going on in the background. Here players
can also enjoy mini-games such as the 1980’s Q*bert arcade
classic, which will be tied into the main game by only being
able to gain influence with a certain character by having a certain
score, for example.
Typical of most online role-playing games, you
will be able to create an operative and customize him or her
using a large variety of body parts. The game is played like
a third-person action game and has a simple and elegant interface
that lets you interact with the environment easily, essential
as the game is also being prepped for the PlayStation 3.
As you play through missions, you meet a range of characters
that may be willing to join your character as an operative. These
characters have their own agendas and may want money, to pursue
their own ideology, or simply cooperate or join with you for
their own ego's sake. The theory, called "M.I.C.E." (money,
ideology, cooperative, ego) is an actual CIA term used to collect
their own sources and operatives.
The demo had three Sony developers each controlling
a separate character with a mission to tail an operative of Das
Komite, an evil organization in the game. Some of the espionage
elements of the game were shown off while tailing the operative – naturally,
you can’t be spotted or your cover will be blown. You can
have an alias that disguises you from close encounters, however
an alias bar in the interface acts like a health bar which drains
the longer you are in the enemy’s gaze until your cover
is eventually blown completely.
Having successfully trailed the Das Komite operative to the
Prague underground, their evil plan to blow up the pillars beneath
the city becomes apparent – and it’s up to you and
your team to stop them. This is executed using lots of gunfire
and more cleverly with special powers, gadgets, and abilities
including interaction with the environment – such as turning
water in a pipe to steam and using it to scald unsuspecting guards
If you succeed by stopping the enemy agents or disarming any
bombs, you'll have an opportunity to execute what are called
Agency Moments, which are climactic scenes in the game. In the
demo, the enemies attempt to flee to a nearby truck full of explosives
but if you dispatch enough of them you are rewarded by an elaborate
cutscene that shows a Hollywood-esque scene of the truck being
destroyed. On mission end you get graded and receive a bronze,
silver, or gold medal depending on your performance – providing
replayability for those players who have their minds set on become
the best agents.
About The Agency
The Agency is a fast-paced, online persistent
shooter in a modern setting of bullets, bomb blasts, and betrayal.
Live the life
of an elite agent in a world of super spies and rugged mercenaries,
who use both the highest technology and the lowest tactics to
accomplish their goals. Featuring cooperative and competitive
play, The Agency is designed to provide instant action and long-term
strategy for all fans of espionage, intrigue, and explosive gameplay.
The Agency ships this year for PC and PlayStation 3.