I would like to preface this review by saying "No, this game is not like 007 Golden Eye." Instead of having a first person shooter platform this game offers a third person view meaning you will see your guy running around on the terrain. This fits the format of the game which is more of an adventure platform than a shooter. Sure there are plenty of evil men to destroy but that is not the point. The point is to complete your mission no matter how impossible it may seem. That said your opinion of this game will hinge on whether or not you like the type of game it is.
If you have seen the recent movie with Tom Cruise as the lead character, Ethan Hunt, then you will know the general story of the game. There is a infamous NOC list with all the names of all the underCover CIA operatives. This list is highly in demand and must be protected. However, once the CIA accuses Ethan of being a traitor and the good guys become bad guys then the NOC list becomes up for grabs.
Instead of being a high action shoot-em-up like many first person shooters this game is more of a thinking game with tactical operations to perform and underCover missions to accomplish. In many levels you will hardly ever kill anyone since a bunch of dead bodies and gunfire would blow you Cover fairly quickly. Instead you disguise yourself using aliases ranging from a repairman to high ranking officers utilizing costumes and a face-maker which allows you to copy people's identities just like in the movie. While acting underCover you complete all of you impossible mission objectives while trying to remain discrete and unnoticed. This is the most original part of the game and the most enjoyable. It requires every move to be perfect which at times can be aggravating especially if you are at the end of the level and you have to start the entire thing over again.
Action fans never fear. There is plenty of shooting throughout. Many levels have you systematically shooting guys with poison darts, electric bolts, fire extinguishers, and your trusty pistol. One feature that is similar to the Golden Eye engine is the aiming. Once you click into aiming mode a scope comes up on the screen and you move and strafe to target opponents, cameras, and guns. Be careful who you shoot though. The commander that you just put a bullet into might be your only ticket out of the level. This type of gun control takes a little getting used to but once you have it mastered it is very easy to aim and move while targeting.
The graphics are pretty decent for an N64 title. Sure everything is blurry since nothing is ever crisp on the N64 but it doesn't use too much fog and the levels are all in such different locations that you hardly notice that there are no textures anywhere. Your opinion of the sound depends on you opinion of the theme song because that is just about all you'll hear. Some of the noises the guys make when they get shot are humorous, but nothing sounds that great. A real drawback is the fact that nobody ever talks to each other audibly. It is all in text (CD format anyone?).
The best aspect of Mission Impossible is the variety of problem solving in its levels. The structure of the missions follows a very logical pattern and makes for a nice storyline throughout the level. For example you must shoot the head of security and face-make him and get a phony transfer order before the guard will allow you to take the prisoner (a fellow agent). It is solving these puzzles that makes the game interesting and refreshing, not endlessly shooting people. The game like the movie provides a lot of edge of your seat suspense as you sneak around knowing at any moment you could get caught. If you find the game too difficult remember the box doesn't lie when it reads, "Expect the Impossible."
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