Spy Hunter Impressions

We check out the PC version of Midway's 3D update of the video game classic.

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Aspyr Media recently held an event to show off its entire line of upcoming PC and Mac products. The publisher is new to the PC game market but has an established business publishing conversions of major game franchises for the Macintosh. Aspyr told us that Spy Hunter for the PC is expected to go gold any day now and is on schedule to ship next month as the company's very first PC release.

Spy Hunter is based on the 1980s arcade game of the same name, and it shares the same James Bond-like superspy premise that will have you take on an evil organization in an incredibly powerful vehicle, the G-6155 Interceptor. Many of the mechanics of the original game remain intact--you'll take out enemies with the smoke screen, oil slick, and front-mounted guns found in the original, but you'll also have more potent weaponry, such as heat-seeking missiles, defensive flamethrowers, and an electromagnetic pulse cannon. The interceptor proves to be a very adaptable vehicle, as it can switch from car to boat and back, and if it takes too much damage, the outer shell will fall off to reveal either a slim motorcycle or a Jet Ski, depending on whether you're on the road or in the water.

The new Spy Hunter brings with it a more varied range of objectives, and the missions have both primary and secondary goals to accomplish. Objectives include escorting defenseless vehicles, collecting sitcom icons, and blowing up stolen interceptors and enemy communications towers. Accomplishing secondary objectives helps you rack up points and upgrade your vehicle. There are 14 levels in the game, plus a variety of content to unlock to keep you busy.

The PC version of Spy Hunter is a direct port of the Xbox game. While the game has been adapted to run at higher resolutions, the visuals in the build we saw didn't appear to be particularly crisp. The game was demoed using the keyboard controls, but it will have support for gamepad controllers. It's such a direct port, in fact, that while it doesn't have online multiplayer features, it does include a split-screen mode, which will require that PC owners have two gamepads on hand to play.

After a long conversion process that required the PC developer, Fluent, to work directly with Midway because the original developer had since closed its doors, Spy Hunter is almost ready to ship for the PC. When it arrives in May, it'll carry a suggested retail price of $29.95.

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