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|Developer(s)||Paradigm Entertainment (PS2)
Point of View, Inc. (Xbox & GC)
Midway Games (GBA & Mac)
Sidhe Interactive (PC)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
SpyHunter is an enhanced remake and sequel of the 1983 arcade game for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. In the original Spy Hunter, a popular arcade game, the player drives a souped-up spy car with Bond fittings. While the original was viewed from high above, Midway revamped it with next generation graphics and a behind the car view.
The game features variations of the Peter Gunn theme throughout the game, including menu screens and the main levels, as well as a variation with lyrics called "The Spy Hunter Theme" by Saliva. Each mission, of which there are fourteen (including 2 training levels), has one primary objective and a number of secondary objectives. There is a range of objectives, though the gameplay is similar on every level: the player must drive along shooting enemy vehicles, avoiding civilians and destroying set targets. Every mission must be completed within a time limit. Objectives are generally to destroy things like enemy weapons, equipment and communications towers, to avoid civilian casualties, to tag things with tracking devices and so on, although some objectives that are a little different include escaping from a warehouse using a trabant within a tight time limit, escorting and protecting allied vehicles and even chasing and destroying a stolen Interceptor vehicle.
The car features the same weapons as the original arcade game, although only the machine guns, and oil slick are available at first; the smoke screen and missiles are acquired later (in this game, there are two types of missiles: unguided rockets and guided missiles). New weapons include tracking devices (not really a weapon) and a flamethrower, rail gun, EMP launcher, IR scanner. Larger 20mm guns, then 40mm guns are unlocked as well. The weapons van also returns in this game, and features some of the same enemies (including "Switch Blade" Plymouth Prowler which has tire slashers, and the "Road Lord" Mack Superliner which can't be destroyed with machine guns.) Or The Enforcer With Rocket Launcher And Gatling Guns Back of The Trunk Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit The Interceptor has three modes: car, boat and motorcycle (the third mode is new to this game), the latter mode appearing when the Interceptor's energy (in car or boat mode) is critically low. The game also features a two-player mode, where the player and a friend can race through any of the 14 missions after completing them in single player mode. Some are straight races, while others require the players to kill chickens or drive through icons along the way. The players can also destroy each other, after which they "respawn".
The plot deals with Alec Sects, a F-15 pilot who was trained by the FBI, as he tries to take down Nostra, an Israeli-based international company that produces food products, bio-chemicals, genetics, e-commerce and children's software. Daemon Curry, a man who believes himself to be the figure mentioned in several religions (for example: the second christ/antichrist and believes in the prophecies of Nostradamus), is the founder and leader. To deal with him, the IES create a team called Spyhunter. Curry has reason to believe that it is the same person who stopped him in 1983 (Spy Hunter), when he was trying to launch his plan, he sends all he has after him. Damian's plan is to use four EMPs, dubbed the Four Horsemen, to stop all electricity in the world, then plans to rule. Originally Alec does light missions, mostly destruction of Nostra property (like a vehicle created from Nostra and stolen IES technology). However, Nostra hijacks the "Weapons Van" and an Interceptor, and Alec is forced to destroy it. Eventually, the G-6155 Interceptor receives an upgrade (and a change of paint)to the G-6155 Interceptor II, complete with an EMP Launcher, Scanner, and a shorter Turbo lag time. Later, He finds the headquarters where the Four Horsemen are based in Petra. After a hard-fought battle, the Four Horsemen are diffused and explode, while Alec escapes on the Interceptor II. Coming out of the base just in time, the car begins rapidly descending to the ground. Alec, realizing the fate below, deploys parachutes. After landing safely on the ground, he heads toward Russia, setting the stage for SpyHunter 2. (Curry is most likely killed in the explosion, as Noah Thurgood takes over Nostra).
SpyHunter scored a 31/40 on Famitsu. Gamespot's Ryan Davis praised the PS2 version as "a solid reinterpretation of a video game classic that adds its own unique elements to the franchise without forsaking what made Spy Hunter what it was."  However, he later panned the PC port as "a very modest arcade driving game that's simply not worth playing." "Graphics and the gameplay have been compromised too much in the transition. The end result is a game with shoddy controls that looks more dated than the source material."