The name’s Intercept, Agent Intercept. Or something like that.
Espionage games are few and far between these days but Agent Intercept hopes to end that trend with its rollicking spy chase action game. Harkening back to the likes of Spy Hunter or 007 racing? Sorry but there are very few games to reference in this racing sub genre set in the world of spies.
Agent Intercept was originally released on Apple Arcade back in 2019, now finally getting its chance to shine on next gen releasing on Xbox One and Series X|S. Has the thrilling action racer managed to escape those mobile roots? Let’s find out.
Starting off you will have access to just the campaign which is set over three areas and it will likely take you no longer than two hours to complete every level. There are multiple objectives in each stage such as scores to achieve or distance to drift. To enter the final level a set amount must be fulfilled or it’s back to the stages to achieve the objectives you need. Most of these are easily obtained in a run, however the odd couple of missions require effort to obtain some of the objectives.
You play as an agent, a super agent at that. They needed their best driver and that is you my friend. That’s all you really need to know about the person behind the wheel as the main star of the show is your car. The Sceptre is an advanced piece of tech (think Knight Rider) which has transforming abilities along with high end weaponry at your disposal.
Each level is a 3D on-rails car chase where you must either get to the end, or kill the boss and then get to the end. There isn’t much variety in gameplay here at all besides the odd transformation of the Sceptre. You must thwart the evil CLAW and stop their dastardly plots. Yes the writing is really this cheesy.
As you play you will notice the camera is fixed. It’s not always at the best angle either and more often than not you get a weird sideways view of the back of the car. This is most annoying in the many stages requiring you to dodge incoming fire from the enemy. One of many drawbacks that are clearly due to the mobile origins of Agent Intercept.
You may have to blow up a satellite, stop a truck full of explosives or even take down an AI stealth bomber-like plane. The sad thing about this is each one plays out the exact same way – drive to the end and follow the on screen prompt. Variety in gameplay is again a limitation from being a mobile title originally.
In each stage weapon pickups are strewn throughout as you head towards the goal, with each pickup changing the weapon which is equipped or adds more ammo. Transforming the vehicle happens automatically and is a really cool feature – a boat, a plane, a snow/sand mobile car and, for a short time, a submarine. Be aware though, most of the time you spend in Agent Intercept, you will be driving the car.
The boat transformation is the first you get and is very slow to turn; those sections albeit short aren’t the most fun. When strapping on the ski gear to transform your car to tackle snow – or later on sand – the car handles pretty much the same as on land. And then flying the plane is frustrating, mostly as ascending is no problem but descending at crucial points often leads to damage being received. The sub section is however fine, yet you only get this transformation once in the later game.
Playing through the game and sadly Agent Intercept is stuck with those mobile roots and basic controls. The vehicle will accelerate without input until it is destroyed, and it is your job to keep this from happening. You control the left and right movement, with only a turbo boost button and a fire button as the only other inputs. Mostly these controls work but a reconfigured control scheme would have been appreciated with the jump to console.
Missions also suffer from mobile origins as they are all very short – just a couple of minutes in length at the very maximum. There are also added side missions to play and score attack missions that will increase total playtime, but the main campaign is sadly finished quicker than a lot of games.
Graphically there have been some improvements and the menu comes complete with both performance and graphics modes as options; something which is nice to see. The colour palette is vibrant and flashy in all the right ways, yet the enemy variety is low, with there being only so many different cars and trucks you can have.
Music in the game is a high point, coming over the speakers like a mix between Adam West’s Batman and some old-school Bond movies. It’s all very definitely fitting for Agent Intercept and matches the action very well.
It must be said that a full blown sequel would be well received if it was developed for consoles exclusively, especially if it were able to allow for a much longer campaign and more variety. I may be showing my age by saying that the James Bond Jr license would be absolutely fantastic slapped onto this game. In fact the James Bond license in general would benefit things, as the tongue-in-cheek references with names of people and organisations aren’t quite as charming as hoped.
All in, Agent Intercept is a fun little title that is sadly rooted quite firmly in its original mobile game ground. Perhaps this is one for the younger player as the difficulty options can be adjusted, with standard mode already really easy. For others, this is one that fails to have the ‘must buy’ stamp put on it, mostly due to the short campaign, basic gameplay and obvious mobile origins.
Agent Intercept is certainly a fun enough action racer that doesn’t outstay its welcome, but in this instance, it really should have stuck around a bit longer.
Agent Intercept is available at the Xbox Store