this had been a movie rather than a video game you could bet your
life that only one actor would top the bill - Arnie. You know the
type of game - 'your on your own', 'we'll deny all knowledge',
'parachute behind the enemy lines', 'place explosives on the
towers', 'rescue all hostages', Oops, I almost forgot, 'kill
everyone in sight'.
Steady yourself for a non stop blast as one lone agent takes on all
evil, single handed, and wins (that's if your good enough and you
use your memory card). Prepare to become Agent Armstrong.
Agent Armstrong is set in the 1930's where a criminal cartel known
as the Syndicate is gradually taking over the world. Enter the most
respected agent from the British Secret Service to track down this
organization who will lead him to various locations across the world
from the Amazonian Jungle to the Chicago dockyards.
Armstrong is an arcade shoot-em-up/platform game which is set in a
full 3D environment that allows the player to move left and right,
forward and backwards, jump up and fall down. Your versatile
character can walk or run, climb or drop, stand or lie down, shoot
bullets or throw weapons.
game opens up with a superb FMV intro that displays our super heroes
agility and skills in a cartoon style reminiscent of the Worms
intro. These scenes are spread throughout the game and appear
The in-game graphics are very good. The main character's motions
remind me of the way the cowboy moved around the screen in Toy Story
on the Megadrive, as if he was on strings. When under extreme attack
from the enemy he can leap over the bullets while a press of the X
button sees him hit the deck before continuing his assault from a
lying position. Armstrong moves around the sets quite fluidly
although the lack of a shadow makes it difficult to judge where or
what he is standing on. This results in countless tumbles from the
platforms and the loss of a life.
That aside, the sprite enemies are fine and appear in many guises.
Troops march back and forth patrolling their sentry duties but if
you get too close they will group together and attack from all
angles. Gangsters seem to prefer hiding out on the rooftops,
sneaking around in their 30's style attire armed with a lethal
machine gun. Very Al Capone. Bare chested flame thrower troops stalk
the grounds ready to unleash a ball of flame in your direction,
while high above jet packing forces rule the skies as they drop
masses of 'chute bombs whenever you are spotted.
The polygon vehicles and gun towers look solid enough. Explosions
are bright and colorful while the demise on an enemy is accompanied
by the glowing framework of his skeleton bone structure.
music that accompanies the action blends in with the themed levels
superbly. It ranges from a nerve tingling Mission Impossible style
to a full cinematic score that would not be misplaced in E.T. or an
Indiana Jones movie.
Crash! Bang! Wallop! Whoosh! Rat-a-tat-tat! That's the sound
effects out of the way now on with the game.
first port of call is the agencies headquarters. No this is not the
first level but a neat way of setting up your game options. Here you
can customize the settings, load and save games, select your mission
from the world map or, best of all, enter the practice room to hone
your crime fighting skills on dummy gangsters and troops, safe in
the knowledge that nobody will shoot back. A visit here is
recommended before launching into your first mission as control of
Agent Armstrong takes a little getting used to. Crouch, fire, throw
missile and jump will soon become second nature but shooting at
angles requires a bit of practice. Jumping from a roof onto a wall
ladder will cost more lives than you care to lose so use this
opportunity to exercise the skill.
Before you accept a mission, carefully read all of the objectives.
These are divided into Primary and Secondary tasks. Completion of
Primary objectives will allow you to complete the level and move on,
but Secondary objectives earn you a gold Medal of Honor and as you
are not getting paid to play this game then you may as well go all
out for the silverware. A letter 'P' will be displayed at the bottom
of the screen and a loud horn will sound when your mission is a
success. All that's left to do is 'get the 'ell outta here' by
deploying your green flare at the extraction zone for five seconds.
An agency chopper will come and hoist you out then return you to
Some missions are fairly basic and involve tasks such as rescuing
hostages, destroying crates and killing a certain number of troops.
Others will have you scurrying back and forth destroying buildings
with wireless bombs, leaping over rooftops lighting flares for air
raids and generally causing as much mayhem and destruction as
Agent Armstrong is armed to the teeth with many highly destructive
weapons. A constant companion is his rifle where bullets can be
collected throughout each level. Several throwing projectiles may
also be collected such as grenades and gas bombs The longer the
throw button is held down the further the missile is hurled.
Destruction of objects and scenery will reveal hidden ammo and
health boosts. These are essential to keep his supply of bullets
topped up while heart shaped power ups will replenish Armstrong's
falling health bar.
At the end of each section there are challenging bosses to overcome
such as girocopters to shoot down, tanks to destroy and giant robots
each mission is varied, the outcome will usually be the same -
frantic and prolonged shooting leading to green flares raised and
chopper to the rescue. Don't get me wrong, a great amount of
satisfaction will be felt when a mission has been completed
successfully, it's just that the gameplay rarely allows you a pause
Agent Armstrong is a pure, unadulterated, action all the way, blast
of an Arcade Shooter. You know what you are getting when you enter
the practice room, never mind starting the first level. If that's
what you like, then go get it.
Me? Yeah, I'll pop back for a mission every now and then but I'll
be sure to remember the headache tablets next time.
Armstrong is divided into thirty levels and amazingly each mission
is dissimilar to the rest. However the gameplay remains the same
throughout - running around shooting everyone, collecting power ups
to sustain your life and completing each task before your health bar
runs down. I found it a little difficult to successfully jump over
hazards due to the ommision of shadowing which can be quite
frustrating when you know it is not your fault. Overall a good
arcade shooter in the Loaded mould.