|Dev: Rockstar North|
|Pub: Rockstar Games|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Josh Wirtanen
Rockstar announced that they were working on a PS3-exclusive title way back in 2007, but it wasn't until June of 2009 that we actually found out what that was. Now here we are in 2012 and the details on Agent are still sparse. So, at this point, what do we know for sure?
Well, first of all, Agent is supposedly a game-changer. In the announcement press release, Sam Houser, founder of Rockstar Games, called it "the ultimate action game." Additionally, Ben Feder, former president of Take-Two Interactive, told Eurogamer, "The game, like anything from Rockstar North, is going to be very, very cool. It's going to push the edge, it's going to be genre-defining and it's going to be a whole new way of experiencing videogames that we haven't really seen before."
So how is it going to meet those extremely high expectations? We can't be sure at this point. Bragging about how it will change the gaming industry—some even going as far as to say that Agent will be the next Grand Theft Auto in terms of sheer industry impact—seems like a risky hyperbole to make about a game we know so little about at this point. However, considering Rockstar very rarely lets us down, we can be pretty sure Agent will be great after cooking for five (or probably more) years.
Besides pedigree, though, one of the intriguing things about the title is its setting. The announcement press release calls the game "a paranoid journey into the world of counter-intelligence, espionage, and political assassinations during the height of the Cold War at the end of the 1970s." That's right, we're going back to the Cold War.
For those of us who loved the Cold War setting of Call of Duty: Black Ops, and are disappointed that Black Ops II is forsaking this for a futuristic environment, it's nice to know that we can look to Rockstar to fill that void in our hearts. However, mention of "counter-intelligence, espionage, and political assassination," also bring to mind another Cold War throwback game, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. It's tough to say whether we'll see any of Black Ops or Snake Eater rubbing off on Agent here, but considering the game was in production long before Black Ops was even a thing, it's not likely that the Call of Duty series provided any insight here. Also, since Rockstar is a company that's constantly innovating and redefining the way we think of video games, it's not likely that Agent is going to feel all that familiar no matter what time period its set in.
But one question lingers: Why should this Cold War era game be a PS3 exclusive? Well, there are several answers. First of all, Rockstar has had success with PlayStation exclusive titles in the past, and several of its biggest franchises began their lives exclusive to Sony's consoles. As Sony CEO and President Jack Tretton pointed out back at Sony's 2009 E3 keynote address, Grand Theft Auto, Bully, Midnight Club, and Manhunt all serve as examples of this. The team has faith that the benefits of Sony's support far outweigh the risks of remaining exclusive to the PS3. And they're probably right; in their time, three GTA titles that were originally PS2-exclusive managed to crack into the list of top ten best-selling games of all time: GTA III, San Andreas, and Vice City. (They've since been knocked off that list by other heavy hitters like Wii Sports.) Then again, the PS2 was the leader of the console pack last generation; this generation saw both Nintendo and Microsoft consoles outselling Sony's.
So when can we expect to see Agent on store shelves? We don't' know. With how long this one has managed to stay under wraps, many fans have begun to suspect we won't see it at all. Then again, Rockstar still has Agent listed on its website, so the project hasn't been officially cancelled yet.
I think it's safe to say that Rockstar is going to want to channel its hype into the upcoming GTA V for the time being. Once that lands and the initial launch hype begins to settle, I imagine Rockstar will give us a much better taste of what to expect from Agent. In fact, I doubt we'll even hear anything about Agent at E3 next month. But when we hear something—anything, whenever that may be—you can be assured we'll waste no time in letting you know about it.
Editor / News Director
Date: May 14, 2012