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Review by: Brian Pipa
Published: January 4, 1998
Following hot on the heels of the most popular movie of 1997 is MIB: The Game. Gamers can play as Agent J, K, or L and help them in their attempt to rid the Earth of the scum of the universe. Whether you’ve seen the movie or not, you’ll be able to jump right into the game, since only the first mini-episode loosely follows the beginning of the movie’s plot — the rest of the game is a new story altogether in the MIB universe.
The gameplay is similar to the classic Alone in the Dark and the more recent Resident Evil. You play the game from a third-person point of view and your character is seen from different camera angles, depending on which area you are in. Sometimes your view is from above, sometimes from a corner of the room, sometimes at foot-level even.
You control your character with the keyboard and it’s really easy to learn. Arrow keys move, shift runs, alt + arrow attacks, etc. Home and End cycles through your weapons, and PgUp and PgDn cycle through your (potentially) extensive inventory. I was a bit annoyed at first that there was no joystick support, but the keyboard control became second nature in no time at all. The mouse is also used for a few things here and there.
After the initial run through New York as Agent J (Will Smith’s character) you can choose which agent you want to control for the other missions. Each agent has strong points and weak points, so one may be better than another for a particular mission, but each mission can be won by each character. There are three major missions after the initial proving mission — The Arctic Listening Station, The Amazon, and Frales Island.
On the Arctic mission, you are sent to find out why the Arctic station’s periodic check-in is so late. Once there, you find out that there is a mysterious disease running rampant and that all is not as it seems. See if you can make it out of there alive. The Amazon mission sends you to a warmer climate — the Amazon River valley. The locals believe the mythical creature Chupacabra (remember that from the X-Files?) is killing people in the mines. I’ll give you one guess what the creature really is. The final mission is at the estate of Skip Frales, a rich computer giant eerily fashioned after Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Is his computer technology his alone or is he having some help from an outside source?
Each mission involves some shoot-outs and fights with humans and extra-terrestrials and a lot of puzzle-solving. Pick up everything not nailed down and solve the puzzles logically (and creatively). The puzzles are by far the best part of the game and the action parts became boring rather quickly for me.
Men in Black was the hottest movie of 1997. Will MIB:The Game follow suit? Let’s find out…
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