Quantcast
CounterSpy takes inspiration from classic side-scrollers - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


CounterSpy  




CounterSpy takes inspiration from classic side-scrollers photo
CounterSpy takes inspiration from classic side-scrollers

11:00 AM on 05.19.2013

Infiltrate to sabotage weapons of mass destruction


The first thing you'll notice about CounterSpy is its unique art style. Really, you can say that about a lot of the indie titles Sony has been picking up lately, but there's something extra special about this one. That probably has to do with the fact that the ten-man team at Dynamighty is comprised of ex-LucasArts and Pixar folks.

As you can probably tell from the title, CounterSpy has you playing as a spy tasked with infiltrating two opposing superpowers in order to sabotage their weapons of mass destruction.


CounterSpy (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita)
Developer: Dynamighty
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release: 2013

The story draws inspiration from the Cold War era, when the United States and the Soviet Union were a button press away from unleashing nuclear winter upon the world.

"If you abstract yourself from how scary it was, it was this super fascinating time from a historical perspective," co-founder and lead designer David Nottingham told me. "You had these two opposing sides that represented these very, very different ideologies. They're both pursing these kinds of crazy goals of like 'let's build all these nuclear missiles!' Some of the crazy plans they were putting into place when you read about when files get unredacted after 30 years is almost as bizarre as some Bond plots."

David felt the time period would be a great area to play with, but they're not going for historical accuracy here. They're creating a fun world, as if CounterSpy was some long-lost TV show from that era. Some of the inspiration of also comes from titles such as Shadow Complex, Flashback, Metroid, Impossible Mission, and Prince of Persia. Those last two games in particular had a lasting impact on David, mesmerizing him at a young age from how they let players infiltrate environments.

The action espionage game is primarily set as a 2D side-scroller, but there are points when the perspective switches to open the environment up. These camera changes happen when you take cover, which you'll want to do in order to take out guards safely. You can attack guards from the 2D perspective too, but you may not see them coming until it's too late due to the limited view.

Every level has you infiltrating a rocket launch site, and there's a countdown timer indicating when the rockets will launch. Your objective is to reach the launch pad and sabotage the controls before the rocket takes off. There are computers that you can damage along the way too, which will delay the countdown and buy you more time.

Levels also have blueprints and files which can go toward unlocking experimental weapons. CounterSpy has some limited Cross functions between the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions, where if you find these blueprints in one version they'll be automatically unlocked in the other. Not the best Cross feature ever, but there's going to be more things announced in the future.

Employing a unique art style like this isn't easy, so it's a good thing a partnership with Sony goes beyond just PR and marketing.

"Our resources are super limited, and there are certain things that would be kind of though for us to do on our own," David stated. "Like, character modeling is one of those things where it's really hard to do right. We were actually able to work with Sony and have them create the character model for those guards. It's just one of those things when you're doing something stylized you can look at something 2D and think, 'Oh, that looks awesome,' but you never know how it's going to look as a 3D model. [Sony] just hit it out of the park straight away.

"For us, that's nice to have. It's more than just PR and marketing. They can actually help with some of the development. They're making a big push to work with smaller independent developers like us."

I think Dynamighty is doing something really special here. I am a little worried that all the levels will be rather repetitive if you're being tasked with the same goal in each. Hopefully there's a lot of variety to how you can accomplish your goals.

CounterSpy takes inspiration from classic side-scrollers photo
CounterSpy takes inspiration from classic side-scrollers photo
CounterSpy takes inspiration from classic side-scrollers photo







Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
CounterSpy



12:00 PM on 08.20.2014
Review: CounterSpy

CounterSpy's stylized Cold War re-imagining is on point. It looks good, with its spindly spy running, rolling, and leaping like a jumping spider. It sounds good, with its jazzy soundtrack that reminds of James Bond.  Unfortunately, the rest of it feels half-baked. more



2:45 PM on 07.23.2014
CounterSpy is coming in August for PS4, PS3, and Vita

CounterSpy was revealed last year for the PS3 and Vita, but recently it was also confirmed for the PS4. The good news is that the game will be a Cross-Buy and Cross-Save title, so when you drop your $15 on it you'll hav...more



11:00 PM on 03.13.2014
CounterSpy coming to the PlayStation 4

Some of you were pretty down with CounterSpy when it was revealed last year for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita (along with iOS and Android releases). Well good news, kids! It's coming to the PlayStation 4 as well. Ev...more




E3

2:30 PM on 07.01.2014
Evolve, No Man's Sky win big at the E3 Game Critics Awards

The Game Critics Awards for E3 2014, as determined by 29 media outlets including Destructoid, have been announced. After seeing the nominations, it's no surprise that Turtle Rock's one-versus-four multiplayer shooter Evolve c...more



2:00 PM on 06.28.2014
Hollywood loves the E3 trailer for Metal Gear Solid V

It should go without saying that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain had a great showing at E3. Not only was the official trailer a stellar piece of work, and a big indication of how grim the game will be, but the 30-minute ...more



5:15 PM on 06.25.2014
Photo realistic cat heads in Wii U's The Devil's Third

It's weird clicking a mature content warning on a video on Nintendo's YouTube with Mario staring innocently at me. But the collaboration between Itagaki and Nintendo for The Devil's Third, revived as a Wii U exclusive, is we...more



View all E3






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more