Review by Dogg

"A piece of unfinished work is all this is"

One of the most delayed games of all time was probably Ocean’s Mission: Impossible game for the Nintendo 64. But of course the real question today is, was it worth it? Has the extra time resulted in a game that is thoroughly buttoned up, polished, and looks if it has been gone over a toothed comb? In a short word the answer is, no.

Most noticeably Mission: Impossible from Ocean is one unattractive game. Apart from the typical Nintendo 64 graininess and blurred textures, Mission: Impossible suffers from frequent frame rate drop and all kinds of screwed up looking dithering. The whole affair just looks sloppy and unrefined, though in its favor, the engine is being asked to present a wide variety of environments, from sprawling outdoor levels to confined train interiors.

Mission: Impossible puts you into the lead of a character called Ethan Hunt. As Ethan you must try your best to acquire your memory while going through missions of sorts. The game acts a bit close to the Mission: Impossible movie that had Tom Cruise play Ethan’s part. Mission: Impossible’s one positive note is in its missions. You are given a wide range of tasks to perform, though admittedly in a very linear fashion. There are bombs to set, people to rescue, identities to assume and resume, and much information to recover. A particularly cool mission has you protecting Ethan through the point of view of a couple of snipers; another details the recovery of the NOC list spanning several missions, though in a manner all together different from the film. In fact, those expecting a re-creation of the events in the film will be mostly disappointed, as only the vault and high-speed train levels resemble the movie in any way. And, on the side note, I’ll just say that most of the missions in this game are very big and tedious. So if you die once during this mission, then next time you are going to start all the way from the beginning...which really sucks.

Also the vital aspect of control leaves little to be desired. While the relatively slow nature of the game allows for the less than pinpoint character movement, control is decidedly sluggish and inspires little confidence. You’d get used to the control problems soon, but they in a way just can’t be ignored especially since this game had a lot of time in its development stages.

You would also expect a game that has had this type of extended gestation to at least feel complete, but I am telling you, that it all feels very unfinished. There was even a time when I was playing the game and the game completely froze and then I was stuck in a desk (nice collision) and then of course I had to reset. There were even times in the sniper level when non-player characters would appear and then all of a sudden disappear between my very eyes. Now tell me is that an excuse for a game? It definitely is not. If it weren’t for the fact that I actually found myself caught up in some of the cooler missions, this game would be a complete train wreck. Oh yeah and that whole laser thing, where you pass all the lasers and avoid being caught is poorly executed in this game.

The Final Verdict- There were times when I found myself enjoying Mission: Impossible in spite of, well, everything. For such a lengthy delay, however, I expected a lot more. One more thing that should be mentioned; Ethan Hunt has had it with the video game world. Now leave us alone fool!


Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 02/08/02, Updated 09/03/02

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