LifeisXbox’s Agent Intercept review | Agent Intercept is an arcade action game that originally released on mobile platforms and now made its way unto consoles. You drive an experimental spy vehicle called the Scepter which can transform into a snow-mobile, a boat or even a fighter jet and you take on an evil organization called CLAW.
Originally released in 2019, Agent Intercept finally got some attention when it arrived to Apple’s subscription service, Apple Arcade, in 2021. With the console port, they’re welcoming new spies behind the wheel and hoping to gain even more fans.
We’ll find out in this review if the game remains as fun as it was on the small screen, or if it was better left in our pockets.
Most Memorable Moment
Agent Intercept seems to take inspiration from the over-the-top plot of 90s cartoons with double crosses and plot twists. While the story itself didn’t really manage to impress, it was still a welcome break in between missions. You can check some of them in this first half-hour of the game:
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by the developer, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- Arcade Gameplay | Agent Intercept is really easy to pick-up-and-play, with only 2 buttons to use (LT to boost and RT to shoot) and simple directional inputs. You can’t make the controls much simpler. Because of the point multiplier system and levels with branching paths and optional jumps, however, it becomes a fun hunt for the optimal score.
- Optional goals | Each mission has four extra optional goals like reaching a certain score, multiplier or distance drifted, giving the level some replayability if you didn’t get them all on the first attempt. You’re rewarded with collectable info on the many spy technologies you’ll see in the game. Some of these goals even require forward-thinking and knowledge of the map in advance, like the one where you need to collect 3x 500 point symbols and drift perfectly to pick them up.
- Side Missions & Leaderboards | By playing the campaign missions, you also unlock side missions with their own optional goals and even a leaderboard where you can try to get the highest score. It adds a lot of needed replay value.
- Fun list of achievements | The Achievement list is very doable if you’re keen on playing through the game a few times and even helps motivate the player to keep coming back.
- 90s spy story | Seeing the story unfold reminded me of watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid, with predictable plot-twists and over the top scenarios like destroying the entire world. It’s childish fun, but the writing itself won’t leave a lasting impression.
- Voice acting | Similarly, the voice acting isn’t exactly something to write home about, but it gets the job done. There are a handful of voiced characters that lend their performance to the game, but you can hear most of them struggle to make the script sound entertaining. One of them even rubbed me the wrong way with how he kept pronouncing “data”.
- Visual Style | The game didn’t live up to the expectations created by the screenshots I saw before playing it myself. The graphics are colourful, but in motion, I can’t help but feel like everything looks a bit too bland. I normally always use my own screenshots for these reviews, but other than the special moments where the camera changes perspective, the top-down view used through most of the game doesn’t do a good job at highlighting its strengths.
- Transformation gimmick | Triggered by certain set-piece moments, your car will transform into a boat, snowmobile or even a fighter jet, but other than the latter, the gameplay doesn’t change at all and the fighter jet is hard to control (you used the boost button to gain altitude, but it’s far from ideal as you have little control over the exact location of your plane, making it hard to collect certain bonus points). I feel like they could have done even more with this instead of keeping it as a mostly visual change.
What we Disliked
- Performance | Agent Intercept started as a mobile title and has difficulties shaking off its portable origins. While you’d expect the console version to run smooth because of the increased hardware potentials, it feels held back by it. The game seems to struggle to keep up a decent frame rate when a lot of on-screen action is happening, and for a game with such low graphic requirements, you’d expect better.
- Sense of speed | If you’re not boosting, it feels like your car is crawling on the road. And when you ARE boosting, it doesn’t exactly scream “high-powered super car” but more “family wagon on the way to the grocery store”. It fails to deliver any kind of excitement because of this. Exception: the Time Trial mode introduces boost pads and those at least give the right sensation of speed.
How long to beat the story | 2.5 hours
How long to achieve the full 1000G | 6-7 hours (estimate)
Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.