Click here to return to the main site.

Xbox 360 Game Review

Secret Service


Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £29.99
5 030917 059728
Age Restrictions: 16+
Available 13 March 2009

Assume the role of an elite agent on Inauguration Day in Washington D.C. An extremist assault has been launched against the capitol - security has been compromised and it is unclear who is friend or foe. There is no time for negotiation as you are thrust out of the shadows and into the line of fire in order to protect the nation's leaders. The tactical first person action takes place among famous landmarks and everywhere in between, including both Marine One and Air Force One...

Extremists are threatening the American President, and it’s your duty to protect him at all costs. You take the role of an elite agent facing true enemies of freedom. It’s Inauguration Day and Washington D.C. has turned into a war zone where it’s impossible to tell where loyalties lie - there could be someone on the inside plotting America’s demise. Fierce gun battles take place at the country’s most famous landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial and the White House.

Secret Service is a budget first person shooter (fps) that borrows heavily from games like Call of Duty 4 and World at War. However, while COD4 and WAW are both successful fps games which run quite smoothly, Secret Service suffers from a multitude of glitches that riddle the game. The most obvious, and unforgivable, include segments of the game where you are unable to complete your mission because there’s something in your way (that shouldn't be there - and isn't when you reload the level) or you have left something or someone behind and you cannon get back because an element of the game (like the helicopter crashing in the first level) has failed to happen.

But it's not all bad news. When the game does run smoothly it is extremely enjoyable. There are even a number of things added that Call of Duty fans will wish were included in the COD franchise. These include the ability to lean around corners to see where your enemy is without putting your full body in harms way. Also the environment is a little more destructible - large chunks of walls come away as you spray them with bullets. And a nice touch is the fact that when you reload your gun the background goes slightly blurry as your sight is focused on your weapon.

One of the biggest let downs is the fact that there is no online play, so all of these extremely useful and impressive updates are unfortunately wasted and the game becomes next to useless for those that prefer to engage in online battles with real gamers rather than predictable offline AI.

The cut sequences in the game are also a little on the poor side. All we get are wire frame graphics at the end of every level - which make it look like these were supposed to be fully rendered segments but that the developers simply ran out of time and simply cleaned up the rough wire frame animation.

As the levels progress it soon becomes clear that there's very little variety to the game play. It just seems to be an endless stream of combat, which after a while gets very boring. Some of the locations also get a little repetitive - once you've seen one room with a photocopier you've seen them all. And, while the AI is fairly good, with the enemy charging your position, there are a few too many instances where they'll just stand out in the open, or hide behind objects and pop up and down like a fairground shooting arcade.

However, to try and stop the shooting becoming totally tedious, there are a number of mini games. Anyone who's played Bioshock will instantly recognise these. You get a grid of tiles that need to be individually turned so that the circuits on each tile link up. For example, to defuse large bombs you have to connect some chips to the power supply while making sure that others are not connected.

Secret Service is a game that has so much potential and could, if funded properly and given an online game play, have easily taken its place next to the Call of Duty and Halo games. As it stands, it's just a slightly better than average fps.


Carl Simpson

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£29.05 (
£24.99 (
£49.99 (
£24.99 (
£24.96 (
£24.97 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.