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The lowdown on 'S.P.I.E.S. Don't Die'

You probably heard back in August that a cease and desist intimation from Danjaq cancelled the freeware (and unofficial) GOLDENEYE 25 project. This was the same month where the Project Ianus, now titled S.P.I.E.S. DON’T DIE, was born. Developed by GOLDENEYE: SOURCE’s Ben Colclough and Yannick Zenhäusern, who is also in charge of the soundtrack and sound effects, the game will homage the classic shooters from the 1990s in terms of story and gaming style.

GOLDENEYE 007 is, naturally, the primary influence. But games like PERFECT DARK, TIMESPLITTERS, DOOM, DUKE NUKEM 3D and the Nintendo 64 version of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH will also be referenced throughout this interactive adventure. It is also understood that Martin Campbell’s futurist thriller NO ESCAPE from 1994 as well as Michael Bay’s THE ROCK and THE SUM OF ALL FEARS were also on the developers’ mind when they created the story.

The main character of S.P.I.E.S DON’T DIE is Guy Glames, a member of the Canadian Intelligence. Those who know James Bond games very well notice the homage to one of 007’s long forgotten interactive adventures, THE STEALTH AFFAIR. This was a DOS game developed in 1990 by Interplay, whose European version was detached from the James Bond licence and named the protagonist John Glames, turning him into a CIA agent.

The first mission of this upcoming game, set in 1986, will take Mr. Glames to Kazakhstan to confirm if the Soviet Union has stolen space shuttle blueprints from NASA and are making their own version of them. The player will be able to opt if he wants to go dynamic or stealthy before planting bombs on the liquid hydrogen tanks to cripple the Soviet shuttle program. After succeeding with this mission and one more following mission, the rest of the game will be set in the 1990s and the player controlling Glames will visit a nuclear submarine, a residence in Japan avoiding Yakuza assassins, a Siberian base, a villa in Belize and the villain's hideout.

Dr. Doak from GOLDENEYE 007 will make a reappearance assisting Glames throughout his adventure, as he faces Soviet General Azamat Gavrilovich Duyumov and his sadistic Ukranian henchwoman Oksana Kovalchuk, both in league with Canadian businessman Jean-Pierre Graslow, who holds a profound grudge against the West.

Much of the antics from the Nintendo 64 classic will be recognizable, mainly the freedom the player will have throughout the game: he will control the pace of the action as much as in GOLDENEYE 007 and objectives will change with difficulty in most of the levels. The developers are reluctant to modernize the game to the customs of today's shooters: there will be no quick-time events, on-screen waypoints, mandatory platforming and the player's camera or movements control will never be taken away. Among the game mechanics that we may find are hacking computer terminals, negotiating with characters and reading documents, as it happened in the NO ONE LIVES FOREVER games.

Yannick Zenhäusern’s score will still be based on the sound of Eric Serra and he has implemented an Ultra-Dynamic Music System where the game’s soundtrack will be prompted by different actions taken by the player like killing enemies, escaping from compounds or sneaking around.

S.P.I.E.S. DON’T DIE is planned to be commercially released for PC between 2022 and 2023. We'll have to wait a little bit more to know what S.P.I.E.S. stands for. In the meantime, you can interact with the developers and make them suggestions to their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

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