Friday, August 18, 2017

Counter Agents - The Friday FREE GAME Feature!


Get sneaky in solo challenges or race your friends in local multiplayer mode!

Counter Agents is a puzzle game based on one of the first stealth titles, 005. Your mission is to sneak past the guards, nab the briefcase and get to the exit.


The game's mechanics are as simple as its premise... and I mean that in a good way. You have no special abilities - all you can do is walk and pick up the briefcase. Doing so will "alert" the guards, making them speed up. Avoiding guards is mostly about watching for patterns, but time is of the essence. Getting caught will drop the briefcase on the spot (if held) and return you to your most recent checkpoint. A dropped briefcase starts a countdown timer, and failing to retrieve the case in time returns it to its original location.

The higher difficulty maps gradually introduce a handful of environmental doodads - such as ramps, giant springs, sprint spaces and ice - to add complexity and variety to the missions. While I like the overall design and mechanics of Counter Agents, I'm not a fan of its physics. Your character seems to have a bit of momentum (or perhaps a delay) when moving, which can easily send you right off a bridge - or worse yet - plummeting to your death. The giant springs can be particularly tricky, as both the direction and momentum of your character seem to affect how far they'll catapult you, and landing exactly where you want is hard to accurately gauge.

The base game comes with 25 solo challenge missions, but is easily and freely expandable thanks to the Steam Workshop and built-in editor. You can create and share maps with the community, and importing other players' maps is as simple as a handful of button presses. Local multiplayer adds a racing element to the game as the first player to exit with their briefcase wins.

Having completed all of the original solo missions during the stream, I found Counter Agents frustrating... but in a good way. At first, I was frustrated by the character walking off bridges or falling off the map. After a while I got used to the momentum and could more or less compensate for it. After that, my enjoyment of the game quickly grew and my opinion of the game turned around. I wish a I had a less cramped location for my PC now, as I'd love to see how much fun the multiplayer mode for this game is!

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