CounterSpy Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of CounterSpy. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience.

Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Developer: Dynamighty
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki
Presentation 9/10 
Set in the cold war, CounterSpy's visuals and audio are charming and impressive. The soundtrack is something right out of a seventies spy thriller and the simple yet detailed visuals are almost like a 2D Pixar movie.
Gameplay 5/10 
When it's playing as it should, as an easy to pick up and play stealth game, it's a fun experience, but everything starts to fall apart when you have to actively take on opponents, and that's far too often.
Lasting Appeal 5/10 
Everything that makes the game fun is stripped away midway through the game and what was once a fun and charming stealth game will become little more than a subpar cover-based third person shooter.
Overall 6/10 
It's unique, dripping with style and charm and most importantly fun to play. Expect that feeling to fade though as the game becomes a simple and subpar third-person shooter with major narrative and AI issues.
CHEATfactor 1/10 

CounterSpy is an agent with two left feet. It glides through the proverbial shadows, eluding its enemies only to mistakingly crash into an awkwardly placed window; alerting the guards. Dynamighty's arcade stealth title has great intentions and drips with charm but falters under the weight of its own flaws just when it starts to get going. You'll enjoy it's main gameplay, but when it starts to be ambitious and introduce other gameplay mechanics it becomes obvious just how paint by numbers CounterSpy really is. There's a lot to like in CounterSpy if you're looking in the right place, but you just can't help but feel like it could have been so much more.

The first thing you'll likely notice with CounterSpy is just how impressive and charming the presentation is. Looking like a stylistic 2D pixar adventure, CounterSpy puts you in the shoes of a counter-terror agent during the cold war. Your main objective is to intercept classified intelligence from both the Imperialists and Soviets so you can stop their attempts to blow up the moon. Yes, the moon. The wonky over-the-top plot is filled with deadpan humor and references to popular spy characters like James Bond. Combine that with the superb soundtrack and CounterSpy does a great job putting you right in the middle of some of the best pulp stories from your childhood.

"As a stealth game, CounterSpy is solid enough, but as a pop and shoot..."


You'll obtain the intelligence you need to stop the destruction of the moon by sneaking through military complexes and extracting it (hopefully) without being noticed. Each level is randomly generated, so there's always a bit of challenge here and you'll spend most of your time popping behind obstacles and waiting for your time to take out enemies or cameras. When you're able to pull of a stealth attack on a guard, it's satisfying, especially since it's actually kind of hard to do. That's not to say that the game is complex or anything; in fact CounterSpy is noticeably simpler and more arcade like than other stealth games on the market, but rather because the game thinks too simply. Each level in the game is broken down into sections and each section really only has one or two ways for you to avoid detection and their often repeated frequently

More often than not you're left with no choice but to engage your enemies with gun fire, and that's really where the game starts to go downhill, and quickly. As a stealth game, CounterSpy is solid enough, but as a third-person pop and shoot; it's just plain bad. It's fun enough to shoot at a gasoline tank and watch it take out your enemies, but the awkward controls make it more of a task whenever you're in a gun fight. Needlessly complicated aiming mechanics make sure you're taking more damage than you probably should and since you'll start off the game with a pretty small health bar, you'll be failing a lot. The game turns into a dumbed down version of itself whenever your stealth plan goes awry, so you should be good as long as you're careful with your moves right?

The problem is that the game seems to go out of it's way to ensure that you get into a ton of gun battles, especially in the later sections of the game. You see, later in the game, when the two nations both become aware of your plan they'll notice you almost immediately and you'll be forced to take them on the hard way. Gone is the rewarding feeling of pulling off a perfect stealth kill, the cool spy gadgets and even the game's very own identity. For some reason Dynamighty took everything that was enjoyable about the game and did the complete opposite towards the later stages of the game. While playing CounterSpy, I've also been playing Klei's currently in development Invisible Inc and it's remarkable take on the stealth world just remind how disappointing CounterSpy turned out to be.

"It's unique, dripping with style and charm and most importantly fun to play."


It's these shooter heavy moments that also go a long way in pointing out the game's major flaws; mainly the terrible AI of the soldiers throughout the game. There are different levels to each level and though most of them are in giant open rooms, guards on different levels seem completely unaware of what's going on around them, regardless of how loud it is. Countless times I shot a gas tank and created a huge explosion to do away with a number of soldiers that were hot on my tail. I snuck down to the level below me, getting ready to dispatch my enemies who surely would be looking for me after hearing the explosion. Nope, nothing. They just kept going on their patrols as if nothing had happened. I get that this makes it easier to recover from failed attempts at being stealth easier but I couldn't help but be taken out of the experience each time it happened.

You're going to really want to love CounterSpy, and from the beginning of the game it's easy to think that you do. It's unique, dripping with style and charm and most importantly fun to play. Expect that feeling to fade though as the game becomes a simple and subpar third-person shooter with major narrative and AI issues. Why the developers thought the best idea was to take everything that made the game unique and throw it out the window midway through the experience is baffling and CounterSpy suffers as a result. Quite simply, it's impressive presentation just doesn't hold up under the weight of all of its flaws.

CHEATS USED: Trophies & Achievements, more

Save for the trophies and achievements, there are no known cheats for CounterSpy. I'd love to see a cheat to access all of the spy gadgets right away, as they're most fun to use in the earlier stages of the game when you're actual allowed to be stealthy.

Stick with Cheat Happens for more cheats as they become available!