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IGI stands for I'm Going In, to start with, okay....

I fickin love this game, and I got some real good reasons why. Firstly though, what's it all about?

It's a first person shooter on the PC, in the same category as Half-Life or Unreal but with a slightly different twist and approach to things. The storyline though....

You are David Jones, a former SAS agent. After serving in various black operations in the time period up to and including the Gulf War, you retire due to an injury. Recovering, you go back to work. The only difference now is you are a freelance agent. You do 'odd jobs' for a joint British/U.S. intelligence operation. You're basically a James Bond type person, this is backed up by the fact that David Jones is voiced by Sean Bean, who of course was in Goldeneye.

In the game, you are launched into an increasingly difficult series of missions, revolving around a stolen Russian nuke and the Russian gangster who took it, Josef Priboi. You take your mission orders and intel from Anya, whose main job is to tell you what your mission is each time. Then sometimes she tells you some crap during the game which I don't pay too much attention to, stupid woman, always trying to interfere, I mean I got bullets buzzing all around me and all she can say is that there's heavy resistance, well....no shit!

When I started playing this game I couldn't give a toss about the storyline, yeah I gotta get a nuke, yeah ok, can I go and shoot some bad guys now, ok I gotta get the Russian first, right ok, but before that I get to shoot bad guys, and creep around everywhere yeah? yeah, WOOHOO!

I'll tell you what I especially like about this game, and what makes it uniquely different from all the other available:

  • When you start a mission, you're normally a couple of minutes walk away from an enemy base, situated in a mountainous area. Now you can approach the base from any angle you want, although there's normally only one way in, but that's fair enough.
  • The enemy don't know you're coming, so you creep around, staying out of sight. I love this sort of gameplay, you don't just go in there all guns blazing, you have to think about where you are, what cover's available, are you in the enemy's line of sight. There's also security cameras which you have to look out for, if you stay in sight too long they set the alarm off and bad guys start running about looking for you. If the cameras do see you, they start to beep, and the beeping gets faster until it's a continuos high pitched noise, that's when the alarm go's off, so as soon as you start to hear that bleep you shit your pants looking for the thing so you can put a bullet through its lens. Although if you can handle your shit, and you know where they'll all come running from, you change to your M16 or AK47, crouch down, and pick them all off as they come running out, oh man that's some satisfying shit, although they were men with families at home, just earning a crust, but, oh well.
  • The guns in this game are just so satisfying, more then in any other game I've played, and I'm including the MP5 in Half-Life, man I love that MP5. My favourite in IGI is the M16 with the M203 grenade launcher. Firstly the sound it makes, ratta tat tat, how else can I describe it, it's meaty, with big flashes coming from the end of the barrel. The underslung M203 just finishes it off. It's much better then the grenade launcher in Half-Life, which only shoots the thing 10 yards with no great accuracy. With the one in IGI you can take a group of bad guys out from 200 yards away with accuracy.
  • I adore the shear simplicity of the game, as opposed to something like Janes F15, where you have to read 200 pages of the instruction manual just to take off! All games should be so simple that you don't need an instruction manual.
  • What I most love about this game though, is that you can play it using your own rules. You know I said about the fact you can stalk the enemy base and attack from any direction, well that's something that's great fun. What I'm talking about though, is when you start setting yourself little challenges, for example. In one level named 'Radar Base' I set myself the challenge of completing it, on hard, using only hand guns, the Glock and the Desert Eagle, it's damn hard to do, and I could just switch to the M16, but I want to do it using handguns, no matter how many restarts it takes. A couple more examples of this......
    1. In Motorcross Madness, me and my mate lofidan only had the demo, but we set ourselves the challenge of who could get the single biggest point jump, I think we ended up with something like 17000, which basically involved staying in the air for about 10 seconds. Great fun!
    2. In Monster Truck Madness, again we only had the demo, but after a while we weren't interested in if we could win the race. What caught our eye was the train that ran through the course every so often, which was on an embankment. We decided to see who could be the first to drive along by the side of the train, then drive up the embankment and jump onto the top of the train and then stay there. Now I don't think the programmers meant for people to be doing this, and for a while we thought it was actually impossible, then we did it, even if it did monkey around with the graphics a bit.

    This is the factor that determines the longevity of the gameplay. And why I'm still playing this one mission out of the whole game all these months after I first bought it. When you can play a level in an infinite number of combinations it rules.

    Of course I have some gripes about it.

  • On some of the harder levels the bad guys re-spawn, surely the programmers could have come up with a more realistic way to make the game harder?
  • Sometimes you walk up behind a bad guy, with the crosshairs of your Glock on their head, pull the trigger, and for some reason you miss and they turn around and lay into you with their AK47, while you're still stuck there with your Glock.
  • No multiplayer function???
  • Sometimes you see an enemy and pull your trigger straight away, but of course your computer can do it faster, and you get shot, and that's just not fair!
  • Hopefully, you understand some of that, I'm wetting my pants in anticipation of Project IGI 2, to be released in the UK in May hopefully, although it will probably be put back a few months like every other game, lousy software houses.

    I played this game for a long time after I borrowed it from a friend, this was NOT because I enjoyed the game. I am one of those computer gamers who just HAS to complete a game, no matter how little I enjoy it, just so I can say I did it. (And no, I’m not one of those gamers who HAS to complete a game, even if it means cheating, I never cheat to make the game easier)

    Produced by Codemasters, the large resources and past quality of games by this company should have meant that this baby was going to be sweet, unfortunately no. This game is a prime example of why so many hard-core gamers are turning away from newly produced, graphically-puuurdy-yet-content-empty games and reverting to the old skool style games once more again. I guess that instead of making a good game, Codemasters thought it would be more profitable to spew out this trash, the only thing redeeming them is the fact they produced Operation Flashpoint.

    This game is also a prime example of a good concept turned bad by poor execution. This game could have been THE best game ever (this is no exaggeration) if it had been done right. Most gamers bought this game hoping it would be another great "stealth-em-up" something along the lines of "Thief" or "Hitman" but most were sorely disappointed.

    The box of Project IGI claims that the game was "Tested by the military" however it was perhaps the Italian Military because if anyone with any sense in their heads had actually played this game, they might have pointed out a few problems which, if sorted, would have made the game a real treat for its players. Here's what I think the main problems are:

    • The mere thought of a single man sneaking into an enemy military base and stealing/capturing/killing whoever is silly enough, but surely he wouldn't choose to do it at daytime? (Almost every mission is done during the day.)
    • The enemy AI is as sharp as a spoon and as intuitive as a Daily Mail reporter, really, they can't climb ladders, they can't see booby-traps that you lay (which are pretty large) in combat simply stand there and spray at you with their mandatory AK-47s, never taking cover, crouching, using grenades or any kind of tactic or teamwork
    • You can "sneak" past an enemy at 200M out in the open, wearing a clown costume and singing cum-bay-ya (ok, that’s a joke), but at about 100M or less no matter whether you're in the shadows, crouching or not, you still get spotted. This SEVERELY limits the "sneakability" of the game.
    • There is no "prone" position for the player, and although the enemy can leap to the floor occasionally it is usually at the wrong time, often causing high velocity death to rapidly hit their back and head. The prone position would have made sneaking much easier and much more fun.
    • The soldiers are not only stupid, but are boring. Wouldn’t it be nice if the soldier walking around the perimeter took out a packet of cigarettes and lit up every now and then, or if the soldiers in offices sat on chairs and did things, other than staring blankly out of the window waiting for you to happen by?
    • This game is supposed to be faux-real but the main character can take three times as many hits as an enemy trooper and can carry dozens of weapons and hundreds of spare clips of ammo, plus he doesn't limp or bleed when hit by a bullet what’s with that?
    • The Glock 17 is vastly overpowered because of the relatively small number of hits an enemy can take from any weapon (three from a Glock or MP5, two from anything else, unless it's in the head) and the small amount of recoil the pistol has compared to say, the M16.

    There are a few good points to the game though, the map is really nifty for example and when you climb ladders or anything else which requires you to put your gun away, the game switches to a third-person view so you can check no one is sneaking up on you. The best part of the game in my humble opinion is the terrain, which on some missions is actually beautiful.

    All the above points are of course subjective, but if you're looking for a reasonably fast paced shoot-em-up or a nice slow, creeping stealth-em-up this game will disappoint, if you enjoy easily picking off stupid enemies from afar, then this game is right up your alley!

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