Fission Mailed: An Agency Preview

The Agency, a title I am really looking forward to getting my hands on, is one that’s sadly getting little attention, especially post E3. There are small bits of info all over the web, but “all over” is inconvenient, and I want all the info in one place – our fantastic site to be exact.  This then, would be my mission – to collect all the information I could…

Under the really swish name of “Special Agent Fruit” I sneaked past the new vicious kitten which seems to be the result of a mad scientist (an experiment with feline and shark DNA) and an incubation chamber. I managed to bypass the washing up sentry and her suggestions that I wash the pots, as I knew she would have put a nano-piranha in the sink in an attempt to sabotage my DualShock 3 operation devices. I avoided her like I would anyone with a sneeze. Having cracked the password on the laptop, technically only needing to be cracked because I’m useless at remembering passwords, I was now browsing the world-wide-web. Using a sophisticated bit of software codenamed “search engine”, I was able to view and make notes on all things about the video game named “The Agency”. What Intel have I retrieved for TSA Towers? Well make sure no one is around – and read on.

We know this title is being developed by Sony Online Entertainment Seattle. It is being developed for Microsoft Windows and the PS3, thus not technically an exclusive. The game is a massive multiplayer online (MMO) title that will see players travel around the world to exotic locations, retrieve Intel, form networks and assassinate targets. All this by using stealth and / or with a guns out, finger on the trigger, skin of your teeth approach with plenty of fireworks. All this and then home in time for tea and medals.

At the start you will join one of two agencies. The United Network of Intelligence and Tactical Experts (U.N.I.T.E) are your martini sipping, hi-tech and most elite secret agents. These agents are as skilled in anti-terrorism as they are with tying a bow tie, and are fighting against corruption. Over in the red corner we have the Paramilitary Global Operations Network (Paragon). These bad-ass mercenaries form one of the worlds largest private armies, are efficient and honourable, and like to blow stuff up – sounds like a blast!

The game is a first-person shooter with the option to go 3rd person should you have self-esteem problems, and want to remind yourself you don’t look too bad in that tuxedo holding an M4. Apparently a head shot is a head shot, so when the hell is a head shot not a head shot? Anyway, players can drop like an online gamer up against a TSA Killzone clanner (did you really think I wouldn’t mention the clan?) when shot in the head, which indicates we will see a shoot ‘em up style of action with RPG elements thrown into the mix too. We know this can work thanks to games like Oblivion and Fallout 3, and should attract a wider audience than just die hard RPG fanatics.

The title seems to feature many clever ideas, such as mini games like Texas Hold ‘em, where you can win or lose too much to become a distraction for the guards, thus enabling your co-op buddy to sneak further into the mission area. I’m looking forward to sending Nofi over to the guard at the door to flutter his eyelids so I can sneak through to the office safe. You can go solo when attempting a mission, or enlist the help of up to three friends, and I am very excited about tackling the missions differently with or without company. A player vs player system is also featured and will see up to thirty two players praying their agent is well geared and experienced as they battle it out for bragging rights.

Once a player reaches a certain level, they are given the option to form or join another agency, and agencies can even combine forces. So a clan like system seems to be in place, and shall get some serious attention from me as I start to think about a TSA agency feared and respected in the world of espionage. Perhaps a really exciting bit of news is that this title is being developed with cross-platform gaming in mind. Meaning PS3 and PC gamers alike should be able to play in the same world together, and that means a lot of James Bond wannabes running wild.

This title has me very excited, and I really hope SOE make a great job of executing all the features mentioned. So I can be a spy, going stealth or letting rip, and join forces with my mates? Providing the mechanics and graphics are up to this generations standards – you won’t be seeing me in the field. I hope I get the chance to take on many more missions to bring you further Intel, and maybe HQ could send me on a more “covert” mission. Keep all eyes only here for more Intel as it is retrieved.

Crap, I’ve been compromised! It isn’t all bad though, apparently if I defect and complete operation “lay the table” my life will be spared. Luckily I hit the upload butt – wait – “Formatting drive C:” Oh crap, Plan B! Plan B! Ha ha, you’ll never take me alive woman – cyanide pill – wait – it’s minty? Is that a Tic-Tac? Damn!