Many stealth games have been made in the video game industry, although most of them are 3D-based. Counter Spy may be the first stealth-based game that is a 2D side-scroller.
The cool thing about Counter Spy is that it is set in the Cold War and both the Soviet Union and the United States are both considered to be threats to the world. This is because (in the game's story) both countries intend to launch a nuclear missile on the moon. This is obviously disastrous and our secret agent hero is here to try and stop both countries from doing that.
What I liked most about Counter Spy is that it reminds me a lot about the older James Bond films starring Sean Connery. The main character has to steal nuclear launch plans from each base in hopes of saving the world from destruction. The game even shows that he flies in a helicopter to each mission which resembles the one James Bond used in the movie "You Only Live Twice". Every time I played the game, I always imagined I was being Sean Connery's take on James Bond.
Even though Counter Spy is a side-scroller, you goal is not to kill or beat up all of the bad guys in each level. This is where Counter Spy shines as I've never played a 2D game before that uses stealth as its key gameplay element. The game has clever level design that allows you to take down enemies without getting caught. The main aim of the game is finding all of the launch plans in each level as opposed to just ending every level by moving forward.
The controls and overall gamelay mechanics in Counter Spy are fun and easy to master. The secret agent can jump really high and also crouch into vents with ease. If you press the circle button, he can roll or even take cover during special areas in the game. When you take cover, the game's camera changes which allow you to shoot at enemies with more precision.
When you aim and shoot while taking cover, the camera pans to make it look like a third-person shooter. This gives you a better view for shooting bad guys in the head. You can also shoot red barrels that will explode and kill multiple bad guys all at once. Gun battles are cool, but ill advised sometimes as you alert too many people and the mission will end if you alert them too many times.
If you are skillful enough, you can sneak up behind enemies and take them out that way. You can also find blueprints in each level to unlock more guns and/or abilities for you to use. I managed to snag myself an ability that made the agent's shoes quiet when he runs. I also find a silenced pistol too that made sneaking easier than before. You can even unlock a loud shotgun if you want to go all guns blazing.
All in all, Counter Spy is a unique game that I made so much fun playing. It's available for the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita. You only need to buy the game once as all versions are included in the purchase. If you like stealth games, you are sure to love this new take on the genre. The 2D perspective is challenging, but rewarding if you manage to sneak past unnoticed.