I.G.I.-2: Covert Strike is a computer game developed by Innerloop Studios and released by Codemasters in 2003. The game is a stealth-based first person shooter. It is the sequel to Innerloop's Project I.G.I.: I'm Going In. The original, published by Eidos Interactive, offered only single-player play with no save game feature. Chris Ryan, a former Special Air Service operative best known for being the lone successful escapee of Bravo Two Zero, served as a consultant to the game. The box art is similar to the poster for GoldenEye.
The game's plot features a rogue Chinese General, "Wu Xing" as the primary antagonist. Xing orchestrates various events (such as armed robbery of advanced prototype technology from the Russian mafia) in order to get Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry on a space rocket that he has launch control over. At the end of the game, the protagonist David Jones is finally able to defeat him and stop the launch.
Missions and Storyline
The game is divided into missions, and the story is presented in cut scenes, shown before and after every mission, with animated characters rendered in real-time and pre-recorded speech. This approach is similar to other games in this genre, which don't rely on video, instead providing a comparable quality of visual and dramatic appeal, reusing the same in-game 3D engine for cut scene rendering.
Missions have objectives that must all be completed before the mission ends.
Straightforward tactics are not encouraged, with stealthy and covert movement giving the player a better rating, rank and chance of survival, with the highest attainable ranking entitled David Jones.
Multiple paths exist for every mission, with the most obvious and daunting being a noisy gun-fight, because in every mission Jones is outnumbered anywhere from 20-1 up to 50-1. Every mission presents an opportunity for large groups of enemies to be bypassed or sneaked past, undiscovered. Certain missions even require entire operations to be carried out undetected, i.e. without giving enemies a chance to sound the alarm, as the name Covert Strike suggests.
At the start of a new game, a difficulty level can be chosen, changing the number of bullets Jones takes before dying, the intelligence of the enemy and group AI, and the number of save-games available.
The player can use the available Map computer to recon the mission area, remotely viewing a real-time satellite image of the terrain with structures and outdoor enemies clearly visible, which is also necessary to plan strike routes, after monitoring enemy patrol routes and other strategic information. Using the binoculars and thermal goggles, nearby enemies can be located, sometimes even through walls.
Jones is equipped with lock picks, and safe crackers making him capable of forced entry into any locked room or safe, enabling noiseless and stealthy entry into restricted areas and buildings, and obtaining military secrets or private information, and objects. Remote-controlled CR-4 explosives are also available for use on certain ground targets, meaning large structures can be destroyed safely, from a distance, leaving Jones undetected. Air strikes can be called for on certain missions, using the laser designator to pinpoint ground targets for bombing.
During gameplay, the player has access to a large arsenal of real world weapons, including handguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, light machine guns and RPGs. Although these cannot be bought, the weapons available in game levels can be exchanged with carried ones.
Players begin missions with certain fixed or carry-over weapons from earlier missions, although additional weapons can be obtained from killed enemies, the player is required to assess future tasks and equip the most suitable weapons, judging based on the cut scene briefing, and the objectives list.
Like its prequel, realism was intended to be paramount in this game, which features more than 30 accurately modeled real-world weapons which look and behave exactly like they do in real life, including their rate of fire and loading times.
- Silenced weapons, completely unavailable in the prequel, such as the G17-SD and SOCOM handguns, the SMG-2 sub-machine gun, and the PSG-1SD sniping rifle, enable silent and stealthy killing even from great distances, leaving the enemy clueless and Jones completely undetected.
- Heavy weapons such as the MP5-A3 and MP5-SD3 sub-machine guns, AK-47 and G36 assault rifles, with faster fire and reloading rates, more range or hitting power are needed for all-out gun-battles, where usage is usually at the cost of being discovered by multiple nearby enemies, and therefore giving Jones less chance of survival.
- Balanced weapons such as the SVD Dragunov and M82A1-T sniping rifles, the G11 assault rifle, however, provide a balance of both power and stealth, emitting noise, yet usable from great distances meaning if used strategically while under cover, Jones can go undetected while effecting a 1-shot 1-life hitrate.
Bullets also perform and penetrate differently, based on their speed, weight and caliber, and target material: wood, steel, plastic or flesh, meaning players will be able to kill multiple targets with one shot or hit targets right through cover. Targets are affected not only by Jones's movement and stance but also the calculated kickback for each weapon.
Only 2 guns can be carried at any given time and the rest have to be left behind, unlike its prequel where Jones could carry any number, promoting critical thinking and weapon understanding, as each weapon has very different strengths and side-effects. In addition to the two chosen weapons, a Combat Knife is carried at all times and always available for use, enabling noiseless kills and hand-to-hand combat when out of ammunition or without guns.
David Jones: The protagonist of the entire game. He is, in fact, one of the best officers in the IGI headquarters. He is capable of accomplishing difficult tasks and missions without anyone's assistance, and is also pictured as a fearless man who does not hesitate to kill his targets at any spot. David is also described as an officer who does not give up so easily at risky and emergency situations, but stands firm to face and solve the situation calmly.
Robert Quest: Robert appears as one of the antagonists in this game. A strong man in his early fifties, Robert acts as David's temporary veteran pilot, piloting him to every single location in Russia to obtain the chips. Unknown to David, Robert has actually co-operated secretly with David's mission director in order to get the full set of the EMP chips and the blueprints. When David succeeds in getting all the chips, Robert betrays him by threatening that he'll shoot him if he doesn't jump off, the latter of which David chooses. Robert was killed by David in the seaport in Egypt.
Phillip White: The mission director; is actually a good friend of David's. He guides David sincerely throughout all the missions in Russia to recover the stolen EMP chips to obtain the chips for himself and Robert Quest, his close comrade. Both of them infiltrated the IGI for decades and had earned great trust in the agency just to wait for the very moment. After betraying David with Robert, he and Robert escape for sanctuary in China, where they obey the command of General Wu Xing and handed the EMP chips to him. Finally, he was killed by General Wu Xing for accusing the general of killing Robert.
Rebecca Anya: Anya is one of the female officers operating in the IGI agency, although she usually spends most of the time in front of the monitor as David's new mission director after the dreadful incident. She has a typically cool manner of soldiers and does her job well, causing David to succeed in every mission without further dangers or failures.
Jach Priboi: A middle-aged man, Jach is actually an old pal of David's, but had not communicated with him for the past few years. Since the Russian fiasco, Jach had moved his illegal weapons trade to Libya, where he was held captive by the Libyan Intelligence for unknown purposes. While serving close surveillance in Libya, he unexpectedly encounters David who intends to rescue him out. He tries his best to assist David in every way and eventually recovers his important trade documents and also kills Major Zaleb Said in the end, fulfilling his intention and revenge.
Senator Pat Lenehan: Senator Lenehan is the main administrator and founder of the IGI agency, which was created in order to combat the threat of war. Lenehan seems to express great interest in David's missions. He constantly goes to the command center to monitor David's missions together with Anya. An elderly old man, he is pictured as one who cares for the others. Lenehan is also shown organizing large-scale backup troops for one of David's missions.
The game's protagonist, David Jones, an agent working for the Institute for Geotactical Intelligence and former British SAS operator, was sent to the Carpathian mountains in Ukraine to recover a set of EMP chips stolen by a group of Russian mafia from a high-tech US facility. After HALO jumping and infiltrating the weather station in the mountains and retrieving one of the EMP chips, his mission director (Phillip White) commands him to go to retrieve the remaining EMP chips so that the IGI researchers can launch a full scale research on the chips to determine their real usage against the thieves.
The game continues with him retrieving the chips in various locations in Russia. Soon after, David Jones is betrayed by his helicopter pilot (Robert Quest) and Phillip White; after a series of events, he eventually finds himself at the borders of Romania, where he is then forced to evade the incoming border patrols.
Meanwhile, his former pilot and mission director had escaped. The IGI was not able to detect their whereabouts after the incident, but spent enough efforts to get an important detail that Phillip White had made several weapons and military deals with Jach Priboi in Libya. Under Anya, his new mission director, he sets off to Libya and searches for the middle-aged Priboi, who had been locked up by the Libyan Intelligence as he was supplying weapons to the rebel forces.
After rescuing Priboi and escaping out of the Libyan prison, Priboi states that all the information which David needs are in a safe in his villa, which was at that time being used as a command center by the Libyan general, Major Zaleb Said. David decides to go to the villa to get the information. Surprisingly, after expunging much effort and going through many of gunfights, Priboi discovers that Major Said had taken his papers and he then vows angrily to take them back. He suggests David to take control of the helicopter in his airbase not far away from the villa in order to confront Major Said. They get the helicopter without much conflict, and manage to gun Major Said down amidst the confusion and get the papers back. Upon returning to his villa, Priboi tells David that the trade that he made with David's former missions director was in a seaport in Egypt.
David sets off to the port without hesitation, and discovers that Robert Quest and Phillip White were actually cooperating with an unknown country to operate the chips. David kills his former pilot in the aforementioned seaport, and takes a seaplane to the unknown country and ventures off to the Spratly Islands near China, where Anya states to be running suspicious activities throughout the time. What Anya said was quite true; David found his mission director cooperating in secrecy with a Chinese general, whom he found out later to be General Wu Xing, who plans to use the chips to blindfold US intelligence and cripple the powers within.
Later David finds his former mission director Phillip White killed by General Wu Xing himself, as the former accused the latter of killing his friend Robert Quest, who was actually killed by David at the Egyptian port. In Wu Xing's secret weapons lab David Jones gets to know that the General was going to start a "World War III". He then engages in a gunfight with Wu Xing killing the latter.
After some chaos and confusion, David tracks the entire plan location to a large and closely-guarded rocket launch pad, where Anya asks him to disable the system immediately before the launch is made and causes an international incident. With efforts, David then succeeds in preventing the rocket from heading towards its programmed destination and to detonate somewhere safe. Finally, he prevents a major disaster from occurring, and the world is once again safe and sound.
- ↑ Computer game cracked down on for discrediting China's image, CHINAdaily
- ↑ IGI 2: Covert Strike Reviews, GameStats
- ↑ IGI 2: Covert Strike, Metacritic
- ↑ IGI 2: Covert Strike - The Weapons, Gameplanet
- ↑ IGI 2: Covert Strike Review, Gameplanet
- ↑ IGI 2: Covert Strike Review, GamingExcellence
- ↑ IGI 2, Codemasters Official US Website
- ↑ IGI 2: Covert Strike Review, PC Gamezone
- ↑ IGI Mission 1 (Infiltration) Cutscenes, IGI Wiki
- ↑ IGI2: Covert Strike Telephone Walkthrough, Codemasters Support
- ↑ IGI2 Stealthy Walkthrough, Codemasters