EyeToy: Operation Spy Review

When I was a kid I went through a phase in which I wanted to be James Bond when I grew up. To my young mind there was some sort of karmic significance to the fact that Bond’s codename was 007 and that I was seven years old at the time, and this meant that my destiny lay in playing with cool gadgets and blowing up secret lairs. Had the cosmic spheres been aligned and this game was released during that time in my life, I would have been overcome with unbridled childhood glee to the point of spontaneous combustion. But alas, I am no longer seven and now I’d prefer to be an astronaut, and in this state I can look at the game with detachment and let you know that if you’re older than seven or would prefer to be a cowboy to a super spy then this game will probably fail to hold your interest for very long.

The facial recognition mini game.
Almost all of the games released for the PS2’s EyeToy camera have been collections of mini games. EyeToy: Operation Spy is ostensibly a full game for the EyeToy that casts you in the role of a secret agent for the Strategic Intelligence Agency, or SIA, but in reality it is another collection of mini-games glued together by some menu screens and a paper thin plotline. Kids may be able to play the game and not notice that the lips of the characters giving them orders flap repeatedly without any synchronization with their speech – or even when they are not saying anything at all. They may also accept the short spoken assignments given by these talking head characters as compelling reasons to play the same handful of mini games over and over again. They might not even notice that they’re playing the same mini games over and over again. Everyone else however will notice all this and more…

The mini games you’ll be spending a lot of time with include facial recognition, code breaking, and skydiving. Facial recognition has you selecting various facial features such as eyes or nose and then rotating through a selection of these features until you find the ones that match those of the person in question. This is basically a simple pattern matching game, made simpler by the fact that there are not that many options to choose from for each feature. The hardest part of this game comes from accidentally hitting the selection buttons after you made a match while moving your hands around the screen. This happens pretty frequently and will leave you a bit frustrated with an exercise that would be far better accomplished with a controller than an EyeToy.