Espionage has always been somewhat of a niche genre because of how it handles action differently. These games where you take on the role of a spy come in many forms. Some are all about the plot and how you can infiltrate your way through enemies’ headquarters. Some, on the other hand, are all about being in the shoes of a special agent wearing cool goggles and equipped with fancy gadgets. And others are all about causing a mess that alarms every guard around.
While it’s true that stealth is a crucial element in an espionage game, other games give the player a sort of freedom where they have to choose between going all out and massacre everything that moves, or be patient and perform well-executed kills without leaving any trace. That said, let’s dive into our five favorite spy games.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is Ubisoft’s ultimate answer to the renowned Hitman and Metal Gear Solid series'. Despite being released 15 years ago, this classic stealth sandbox still captures the excitement of being in the shoes of a special agent. Not only that, but unlike Splinter Cell: Blacklist or Conviction, Chaos Theory actually uses stealth mechanics to their full potential to bring you a unique experience. Instead of being a full-action game where stealth is optional, the aforementioned actually nudges its players to reconsider the way they play any stealth game.
When playing Chaos Theory, players will have to pay attention to many aspects, including the surroundings. Furthermore, time and patience are key to accomplish your tasks as you don’t want to alarm enemies of your presence. Otherwise, that will just make the mission harder than it already is. If you’re a fan of Hitman: Blood Money and looking for something similar, this title is your best choice.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
One does not simply, talk about espionage and not end up mentioning Konami’s masterpiece. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is the third entry in the series, and the sequel to the original Metal Gear Solid which was initially released on PlayStation and PC. When it comes to tactical espionage, the Snake Eater does an unbelievable justice to the genre as it incorporates a plethora of elements that manage to successfully suck you into Kojima’s peculiar brain verse.
Similar to Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, players have to take advantage of their surroundings and make sure not to get spotted by any guard. Otherwise, they’ll have to be ready to hear the famous alert noise which will be forever burned inside their memory. Yet, if you ask me, the guards can sometimes be dumb as they’re slow to respond to your presence unlike other AI from other stealth games such as Hitman or Death to Spies.
Hitman: Blood Money
Hitman: Blood Money is one of the highest-scoring titles in the series along with the recent Hitman trilogy, and specifically Hitman: Silent Assassin, which introduced groundbreaking mechanics that took the series to a whole new level. One of the mechanics that Silent Assassin introduced was the implementation of disguise to fool your enemies and the open-ended level design.
However, the reason why I choose Hitman: Blood Money is because of how it acts as a true sequel to the aforementioned game. The game goes back to the roots of what made the previous Hitman titles a unique experience, while presenting more polished gameplay, different ways to execute your enemies, and a plethora of ways to finish your objectives.
With the recent announcement of a new James Bond title by IO Interactive, I found myself looking back at every game I played from the franchise. Most of them were underrated titles including James Bond 007: Everything or Die, Blood Stone, and From Russia with Love. However, we can’t deny that GoldenEye 007 still holds a precious place in our hearts.
GoldenEye 007 was a revolutionary game at the time thanks to Nintendo 64’s technical capabilities, which offered what every player wanted in a first-person shooter game back then. What made people fall in love with the game even further is how it followed the premise of the film that it was based on. Not only that, but it also made players feel as if they were James Bond themselves. Oh, and let’s not forget about that memorable soundtrack either.
Death to Spies: Moment of Truth
Death to Spies: Moment of Truth is the sequel to the once-popular Death to Spies game. Over time, an abundance of spy-oriented games began to emerge, and as a result, Death to Spies: Moment of Truth ended up being forgotten. The game takes place during the WWII era and puts you in the shoes of Semion Strogov, a Russian agent tasked with eliminating spies and saboteurs who are plotting to destroy the Soviet Union.
The gameplay is very similar to the Hitman series. Players who’ve experienced the game called it “Hitman in WWII era“ as the comparisons are obvious at first glance. One thing to remember is that the AI in Death to Spies is clever and competent at what it does. This creates a sense of challenge that’ll nudge you to pay attention to every move you make, every decision you take because it all matters.
The graphics may seem dated compared to other spy games nowadays, but the experience still holds up well. If you’re looking for something similar to the Hitman series and looking for a challenge, Death to Spies: Moment of Truth is a recommended choice.
What's your favorite spy game? Are there any you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below!