Format: PS2

3 455192 323210
Age Restrictions: 12+
08 April 2004

Step into the shoes of Sydney Bristow, an agent for the CIA. Use your cunning, extensive knowledge of martial arts and array of high-tech gadgetry to accomplish dangerous missions...

Alias is a third-person action adventure video game in the same vein as Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell. While not quite up to the standard of either of these games, Alias does have a lot to offer.

Your mission starts after an operative disappears in mysterious circumstances. When he last checked in he had some sensitive intelligence on Sydney's arch nemesis, a rogue agent called Anna Espinosa. The missing operative's last known location was a Monte Carlo casino and that's where you must start your investigation. However, it's not long before you are travelling across the globe taking in locations including Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro.

You'll spend most of your time trying to negotiate guards in various buildings. The guards can be a bit stupid at times - not seeing you when you are right on top of them, or refusing to follow you into other rooms. And at other times they are so on the ball that you really have to do a little recon before you attempt to take them out - disarming one may alert the others to your presence.

There are also a few mini-challenges that help to spice this game up. You can hack into computers, but you are going to have to guess the encryption code. This is a three lettered code which can use any one of a combination of the letters A, B, C and D. Type in a random code (L1="A", L2="B", L3="C" and L4="D".) and the computer will tell you how many letters you have in the right order. It's then just a simple matter of trial and error and you can hack into any mainframe.

There are numerous weapons that you can pick up from your surrounds - each of which inflict a different amount of damage on your target. For example, a meat cleaver will render your victim immobile quicker than a saucepan. And once you've knocked your target out, you can take their weapon - the best way to get hold of a gun. But you may find that in a lot of situation it is better to sneak around in stealth mode, rather than running head first into a fight you will probably loose.

But where this game has the edge, is in the cut sequences. Thankfully the scriptwriters from the show have been brought in to make everything as appear as true to the series as possible - they have even used the vocal talents of many of the actors from the TV series. A lot of the humour in this game comes from the vocal talent's of Kevin Weisman's Marshall Flinkman, who pops up now and again to help you out of difficult situations.

Probably the biggest fault with this game is the loading and saving facility. Firstly it's way too slow and secondly you are going to be using it a little too much - if you want to avoid returning to long cut sequences.

In conclusion Alias is a good, solid game which only really suffers from a slight amount of repetitive gameplay and a lack of thought in the save options. However, this is still one of the best movie/TV series tie-ins we have played, and the graphics kick some serious ass. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.

Nick Smithson

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