24: The Game is a third person perspective shooter game developed by SCE Cambridge Studio and released in 2005. In this story you are about to seize a boat that is packed with dangerous weapons, including chemical weapons. The boat is docked in the LA harbor and it obviously requires a degree of finesse when dealing with the terrorists so as not to cause tensions, and ultimately, the boat to ignite. Jack Bauer is a member of the Los Angeles Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU). He’s tough as nails, takes no crap and is always willing to risk his life for the innocent – and ratings – each and every week. In this game, he’s actually risking his credibility.
Looks Aren’t Everything
On the surface the game looks good, sounds good and has a story that’s so engrossing that it could have been an actual episode. For those that aren’t in the know, 24: The Game takes place in real-time, during a 24-hour time period. It typically involves the lead character, played by Kiefer Sutherland, having to break up some terrorist plot by rescuing hostages, diffusing bombs, interrogating suspects, sneaking around, and shooting it out with bad guys. All of which you will do in this game. Knowing that there is a time limit, or “dead” line, adds a great deal of immediacy and stress to the drama.
The mini-games include computer-hacking, bomb diffusing and interrogation where you monitor the suspect’s stress level in response to Jack’s tone of questioning. If he’s too aggressive the suspect will get stressed and will be uncooperative. At the same time if you’re too friendly he won’t be intimidated. You have to find the right balance which you can gauge on a meter. It’s all about careful timing.
24: The Game Features
There are three playable characters in all with different abilities that you will need to exploit during the 100 missions. Some missions require hacking into computers to retrieve information from the hard drive. You will diffuse bombs, break codes, perform stealth missions and run and gun.
Shooting is inconsistent, thanks mostly to the camera angles. Shooting from a distance is relatively easy but as soon as you close in the camera goes wacky. Your peripheral view is diminished as the camera focuses too tightly; and usually not where it should be focused, allowing the enemy to take pot shots at you while you scramble to find your bearings. This is about the only time the enemy AI has the advantage since most of the time they will stand out in the open and offer themselves as targets.
You don’t have to make many decisions about what weapons to arm yourself with for any particular mission as the CPU will automatically choose the best weapon for the job. For instance, if you’re on a stealth mission you will automatically default to the gun with the silencer – or a sniper rifle. When preparing for a big shootout in a warehouse, you will be armed with the biggest and baddest gun in your arsenal inventory. It’s not a big selling feature by any stretch but it keeps you from having to access the interface since the s CPU’s selection is usually right on the money.
At the core of the gameplay of 24: The Game is a generic and inconsistent third-person shooter with some stealth, puzzle solving, and mini-games thrown in for apparent good measure. Fans of the show may enjoy the novelty of interacting with some of their favorite characters but even they will be hard-pressed to be impressed with this misadventure when all is safe and sound. The game will only take you about eight hours to complete and with no multiplayer modes or unlockable, there is no actual replay value. If you want to get 24 hours out of it, play it three times.