'CounterSpy' Takes A Stealthy Walk On The Wild Side

August 22, 2014

The United States and the Soviet Union were never really on the best of terms. For a long time no one knew whom to trust, or the potential of just how bad things could get. The tension of arms races, cold wars, and espionage hung in the air on a daily basis, all around the world... which could come to end at the push of a button. This frustrating stand off sounds like the perfect setting for a video game - enter CounterSpy (quietly, through the air duct). Set in a fictional universe, where two major military powers are trying to nuke the moon, CounterSpy evokes the political unrest of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s in a quirky, stealth action, thriller that's creeping onto Sony's platforms.

Developer: Dynamighty
Publisher: Sony

Dynamighty is what happens when folks from all over the industry come together and form their own studio. With a pedigree that includes big names like LucasArts, Epic Games, and Pixar, the team at Dynamighty clearly have a wealth of creative juices flowing through their reservoir. If CounterSpy is any indication of what this talented group can put together, Dynamighty deserve to be on the list of west coast indie devs to watch.

As two superpowers wage a war that might end all of civilization, sometimes the "bad" guys have to step in and save the world. In CounterSpy you play as a secret agent that works for C.O.U.N.T.E.R., a rogue agency that strategically attacks the fictionalized United States (the Imperialists) and Soviet Union (the Socialists) in order to help keep the planet in balance. Players must sneak into enemy bases, steal top secret plans, take out anyone that might spot them, and get out before being detected. Ultimately, it's a simple platformer, where you have to use stealth to keep the gaming going, and rack up multipliers for your high score. At the beginning of each mission, you can choose which side you want to attack, typically both will equally help your overall progress, but they may offer different rewards. Weapon blueprints and formula recipes can both be found throughout the levels to help unlock your spy's arsenal. While there are different incentives to choosing which nation to attack, the most important goal is always to stay off the grid: the less suspicion you raise in each level, the lower your DEFCON stays throughout the game. Keeping a low DEFCON means you can continue to spy, but if you raise it too high, your mission is over… and so is all life on earth.

CounterSpy is sneaking past security on all of Sony's platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita. The game features both Cross-Buy and Cross-Save features for anyone that has more than one PlayStation machine, making it both economical, and easy to progress through the game, no matter where you are.

CounterSpy blends a sweet 60s style with some basic stealth mechanics, which helps make this a great entry level sneaking game. Where some titles in the stealth genre are unforgiving, or just get slow and boring after a while, CounterSpy keeps things light, and even opens the door to running and gunning if you feel like it. It's reassuring that your game isn't over if someone spots you, it's just marginally more difficult. Blending inviting gameplay with some great aesthetics and a cool soundtrack, CounterSpy is a solid debut from Dynamighty, and hopefully a sign of wonderful things to come.