MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - THE GAME Hands-On Preview; GHOST PROTOCOL Gameplay & Levels Revealed
Published: December 8, 2011 - 7:56am
Facebook has brought people to gaming that have never even considered picking up a controller. Now these new players can become agents within the universe of Paramount's upcoming film Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and The Daily Blam got an early look at new content t offer our first impressions.
Mission: Impossible - The Game, the official social game based on the Mission: Impossible movie franchise, will offer players a brand new experience tied to the upcoming Paramount Pictures movie Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which opens in Imax and other select locations on December 16th and nationwide on December 21st. The Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol themed gameplay grants players access to a classified storyline where they will encounter locations, gadgets and characters from the movie, set before the movie’s chain of events take place. Publisher and developer Funtactix, along with Paramount Pictures, invite you to step into the shoes of your own secret agent and start carrying out your mission now at www.missionimpossiblethegame.com. Starting Thursday players will also have a chance to win tickets to see the latest installment of the action packed franchise, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol in theaters.
The demo provided by Funtactix placed my avatar in a pirate submarine that was appropriately dark and dank with good use of red and green lighting. The levels are portrayed with an isometric view that gives things depth without having to overly tax the flash-based graphics engine. Given the limitations of being a Facebook based game, MI looks and runs quite well and might remind some of later Lucasarts point-and-click adventure games. Anyone who has sewn seeds in Farmville will find the user interface welcome with the development team sticking with what works retaining the social element as the most prominent items on the screen. Not seen in the provided screenshot are the mission icons that show on the left-hand side of the screen what tasks are available and what objectives have yet to be completed. As a person progresses through any given endeavor, it's simple to see what needs to be done as it updates in real time. Other icons take people to other locations within the game world, allow the player to go to their customizable safe house, go after rogue agents, and customize their character.
The latter was one of the most interesting parts of my early playthrough. There has been a lot of work done to give the player a sense of individuality through customization. It's not going to give anything like Skyrim or Mass Effect a run for its money, but again it's above par for it's distribution method. You can change your gender, face, and make disguises to just play dress-up for a while if you're in the mood. The same thing can be found in the safe house, which takes on a similar feel to the Sims as one furnishes a agent's area with items that serve the purpose of boosting a character's attributes, which helps out the overall gameplay.
Those looking for an action packed romp may be disappointed, asMI plays more like a strategy game where a player is given a certain amount of energy & power points to complete each objective in a given mission. There's no real danger of "losing", but there is the inherent concept of resource management as reserves are limited. This brings in the all important areas of loot farming, the Facebook staple of begging friends for help, and (yes) real-world micro-transactions. None of these are new to the world of social network gaming and will probably be welcomed and/or seen as an accepted annoyance of an established system.
The boss battle I was given against Kyle Lynch made interesting use of the social aspects of the game. Facebook friends are your squad and will have to join as a tech specialist, security person, B.A. Baracus, etc. in order to take a big baddie down. Each member of the team must complete their given task in sequence before time runs out in order for the player can plug the antagonist full of holes. I did find it funny that my nemesis (after being shot by my hand several times) congratulated me on a well organized team and a good job.
Also thrown into the mix are rogue agent missions in which players can clash against other users of a similar level to infiltrate their safe house, break their stuff (take that strategically placed coffee nook!), and/or shoot them in the face. It was good to see the developers turn the team aspects on their head a bit and give Facebook users a chance to vent some frustrations out on the high school buddy that tagged you in that old embarrassing photo for the whole world to see.
Mission: Impossible-The Game's Ghost Protocol content adds around 40 new missions and 20 new NPCs to the already huge design. It even has head of the fictional terrorist organization Chrysalis as it's own end boss. 7 new locations will take players to the depths of the ocean in a pirate submarine, to historic sites in Prague, and to the Kremlin itself. For those who are looking forward to the film and want to check out the game, don't worry about the threat of spoilers. The storyline takes place before the events found in the movie.