Backlog Quest II: Day 31 – Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice – Ultimate backlog material

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Dear Journal,

Today I finished Backlog Quest II by throwing myself into harm’s way to protect The President of the United States of America.

I say that Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice is “ultimate backlog material” because it is that game you’ve probably see on the budget/value rack a dozen or so times and just never picked up. It never really drops in price, never goes on sale, and so few copies seemed to have been produced that there actually aren’t many cheap used ones out there either. It’s sort of the partner in budget video game crime to Jurassic: The Hunted.

Secret Service is clearly a budget FPS too. In addition to re-using re-loading animations from other games, you would think based on the graphics that it came out around the time the Xbox 360 launched rather than the same week President Obama was inaugurated (bad taste or smart marketing?).  Everything has that “next gen” but really smooth lacking in a lot of texture look. Basically, not blocky but also not detailed. Shiny might also be used to describe the visuals.  They work, but in that budget movie special effects sort of way.

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The bulk of Secret Service is spent at various Washington monuments and notable buildings as you attempt to secure The President after a foreign country has launched an attack during the inauguration. All the normal lies, conspiracies and endless terrorist that you imagine might be involved in such a story and game is. The fat that the game takes place in the halls and shadows of all these historic buildings is probably the game’s biggest asset. We’ve certainly held off a wave of attacks from a besieged White House before, but lets face it, on some level it just works.

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Aside from a fairly generic story and acceptable visuals the gameplay is pretty much exactly what you would, and at this point should expect from any FPS made by Activision. In almost every way possible the combat controls copy Call of Duty to the point of copyright infringement. Some mini-games, such as a BioShock inspired “hacking” game are thrown in with the occasional more stealth-orientated mission to keep things a little less repetitive; but nothing here is new.

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That’s the real bulk of what you wind up walking away with from Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice. Just how rather uninspired it is. At least Jurassic: The Hunted had an interesting time travel plot thrown on to give you dinosaurs and historical weapons. Civil War: Secret Missions had a historical link to add in. Hell, even Blackwater tried to incorporate a unique control scheme into it.  Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice is just average in every single way possible, making it the ultimate backlog material bound to hover around in the middle for a very long time.

Tomorrow I don’t review anything for the first time in over 30 days because this quest has come to an end.  Though I may wrap everything up in a little review of where we’ve been.

Final Rating: 4.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox 360
Time to completion: About 5 hours
Gamer Score Earned: 490/1000
Price Bought at: ~ $10
Current Price: $8.09 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: Hard to find for under $10, but $5 is the honest price you should pay.
Why you should buy it: Mildly fun to run amok in famous D.C. landmarks
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Offers nothing new or really exciting.

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.