IGI 2: Covert Strike Review

This new shooter has us feeling all covert and wondering when to strike.

Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 28th February 2003

IGI 2: Covert Strike

  • Developer: Innerloop Studios AS
  • Publisher: Codemasters
  • Release Date: 21st February 2003

After the original game that was 'IGI: I'm going in' it's nice to see the sequel has given the series an image overhaul, the games less then imaginative title has gone, many of the flaws in AI and gameplay have been corrected, and just for boot it's even got a new publisher.

The story takes place in the mid 90's when world peace seems closer to reality then ever before. To some however world peace means loss of profits and power and so behind the scenes big corporations, fanatics, terrorists and big businesses continue down the path of war for their own gain.

To combat the threat of global instability, the Institute for Geotactical Intelligence (IGI) was formed. A strike force of highly trained solo operatives committed to fighting terrorism and ultimately averting world-wide destruction.

IGI 2 is essentially a first person shooter, although stealth, tactics and planning play a major part in the gameplay. You play as IGI agent David Jones, on the first mission David is sent to infiltrate a mountain base in order to recover some important and sensitive technology and the rest of the story follows on from there.

Missions take place in highly detailed and varied surroundings and at the start of each one is a short cutscene explaining the current situation and what is required of you. Although you are armed at the beginning of each mission you can also pick up weapons from dead bodies.

Whilst it is not impossible to run through the game with your finger on your trigger it is far easier and more enjoyable to make use of the games excellent stealth features. There are 3 stances available to you including stand (run), crouch (creep) and lie down (commando crawl), all come in handy at various points in the surroundings for instance in one area we came across a long stretch of unguarded ground that we needed to be at the end of so we ran close to the wall and once we reached some piled up boxes at the other end we crouched to plan our next move. The area was guarded by the enemy so our best option was to commando crawl from there to some shrubbery that acted as camouflage.

The enemy AI is amazing, when alerted by a noise they will stop in their tracks and look around, if they see nothing they frantically shoot randomly into the direction of the noise. There are numerous ways to kill the enemy and the best option is to do it as quietly as possible. You are armed with a silenced gun but a quieter option is to sneak up behind them and break their necks, the knife is also a quiet way of 'disposing' of an enemy but which ever method you choose, if the others hear or see one of their men being killed they will come after you.

As in other stealth games, actual people are not your only worry, security camera's can be a pain too and thankfully this game allows you to shoot and destroy them. If however your presence is caught on camera the alarm will be triggered and every enemy in the area will come looking for you.

Also on the list on David Jones' available moves is the ability to peek around corners that is invaluable for assessing an area before you make your move. There is no set route for each mission so the path you take is your own choice although naturally some routes are more forgiving than others!

The graphics for the most part are great, environments are highly detailed with an excellent draw distance and shadows seem highly realistic. What lets the game down in this department is the presence of 'floating' dead bodies or bodies stuck half way up doors etc. Gamers with less powerful machines may also encounter problems running the game properly.

The games audio fits the game perfectly, environments seem to come to life with the sounds of howling dogs, wind and other weather effects. Different surfaces create different sounds when walked on and you can also hear enemies approaching you creating a sense of excitement and suspense.

All in all Convert Strike is certainly a big improvement on 'I'm going in', the mix of stealth, planning, tactics and action create a game that is varied and highly addictive. Combine Splinter Cell with Rainbow six and you have IGI 2, a must have addition for any gamers collection.

Review Score: 8.6/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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