PhantomZ2 goes undercover to transmit intel on Assault Spy for this review. Special thanks to NIS America for providing us with a review code!
It’s not every day or really anytime ever that I step my foot into Early Access games on Steam. I’m very skeptical about what I like spending my computer space and money on. However, thanks to NIS America sending us a review code – I can now step into action and see if you should do the same. Gear up spies, it’s time to head undercover into Assault Spy!
Although the full story isn’t available in the Early Access version, Assault Spy’s story focuses on the story of Asaru Vito – a stunning blue-haired, suit wearing, and talented, but currently low performing spy no matter how serious he takes his job. Don’t worry, it isn’t his fault completely as he has to deal with Kanoko – his punkish, pink haired teammate that loves causing him trouble. Although the dynamic between the two may seem very detrimental on missions, they’ll need to work together in order to (hopefully) complete missions assigned to them by their Boss.
I wasn’t completely sure if the dynamic between Asaru and Kanoko would get stale very quickly, but the dialogue tends to be very comedic between them. It is very interesting to see what stunt Kanoko will pull next or how she’ll get under Asaru’s skin, thus making her my favorite character.
There is also another playable character: the fast and beautiful blonde, Amelia. However, her story within the Early Access version isn’t playable – she is only available in the Dojo and Death Run mode.
There will be other sorts of spies you’ll meet, friend or foe, are you up for the job?
Alright spies, prepare for your combat training.
Assault Spy has a very simple control scheme, but that’s no insult. You can jump, dash, punch, kick, and shoot your way through various mechanical enemies. If you string together certain buttons or combine inputs, you can pull off other combos as well. Single attacks can also be charged, on the ground and in mid-air, to pull off stronger one-off attacks. Don’t be afraid to just go crazy either, it is very easy to string into your other attacks and commands without them being real combos. Within the story mode, you’ll also be able to purchase more moves and combos for you to destroy your foes with.
There are two characters you can play as Asaru who fights with his feet and a suitcase and Amelia who uses her hands, feet, and a gun. I personally prefer Amelia’s style as you can dash and attack into a flurry of punches or kicks, both on the ground or in the air. Her gun, when charged, shoots out beams as well.
Within the story mode, you’ll be facing off against monsters and traveling through different parts of the given level, but it is very linear. If you want to practice your combos and get adjusted to the controls, there’s the Dojo mode. But, if you’re looking for a real challenge, there is the Death March mode – where you’ll be put into continuous battles, while you’re also fighting the clock. Run out of time or KO’d? It’s back to the beginning for you.
If there was one critique I would give the game, is that it relies too much on the Lock-On feature. In situations where you’ll be put against multiple enemies, you may find yourself missing many attacks even when very close to foes. It also makes me question why not make the feature automatic, but doing so would also take the choice to allow players to prioritize certain enemies first.
I am definitely in love with this game’s art style and presentation. Having different illustrations and lively character portraits for dialogue helps build the characters and being shown the game’s concept art within the loading screen is something I would highly encourage many other games to do. Although I don’t feel as if the game completely uses the Spy motif in its menu design, it does it well enough that it is still interesting and unique from the average Spy movie.
Of course with certain PC games comes the question of – Can I run it? That’s where it becomes tricky as the game only ever crashed on me once, but while I was recording. You can lower or raise the textures, resolution, anti-aliasing, and shadows to your liking, but this game still has quite a few issues with that. For example, on my first startup of the game, the main menu itself was lagging. So if you have a high-end PC, you’ll have no problem running this game. If you’re like me, with a PC that has never been modified, be careful and research whether your computer can handle it.
Assault Spy, although in Early Access, is a very interesting title. Not only in terms of its characters and concept, but also in terms of its fast-paced beat em’ up gameplay style. If you’re still skeptical about sinking money into an Early Access game, I can understand that. However, I think Assault Spy is looking to be a promising title and is worth the $25. With that being said, I give Assault Spy 4 out of 5 stars.