Hands-On with MySims Agents (Wii)
MySims Agents is an adventure game for the Wii and Nintendo DS consoles, which stars the popular MySims characters. “In MySims Agents, players take the role of a special agent on a mission to uncover and foil the sinister plans of Morcubus, the corrupt CEO of MorcuCorp.”1 Buddy returns as your sidekick, and then becomes your sketch-artist when you become a real agent.
Recently, I had some time to sit down with Rachel Berstein (Lead Producer) and Geoff Mitchell (Assistant Designer) to discuss and get some hands-on time with the Wii version of the game. You start out by choosing your character, even designing his or her look. As you progress, you are able to add more to your character’s wardrobe. You begin your quests as a detective, solving cases for friends, while waiting on the agency to hire you.
The gameplay was smooth, as you control your MySims character with the nunchuck and use the Wii Remote for various gadgets and mini-games. The game felt similar to a LEGO video game, as I was able to jump in right away, even when starting out on a later level. It was fun and challenging, but not too difficult for anyone to jump in. Berstein says that they want everyone to be able to get through the game.
As you progress through the game, you are able to investigate other Sims – the first time you may ask questions in a MySims game. Your objective is to track down Morcubus using your gadgets, which are mapped to your Wii Remote D-Pad, and your casebook. All your leads will be copied to that casebook for easy access, especially helpful if you need help remembering what you were doing the last time you played. One of the gadgets Berstein and Mitchell are excited about is the F-Space Manipulator tool, which allows you to move things around and create puzzle and platform elements in the game. Another fun tool is the magnifying glass, which uncovers footprints. Footprint tracking is a fun component, as it leads you, but still keeps the game challenging. The techno-tool is used to pick locks in a puzzle-type mini game.
As you progress, you are able to recruit other agents to help you on your team. There are 33 available recruits, but you can only assign 12 at a time, so you must be selective. You will assign each of them to a different floor (crew). Each has a different back-story and interests, which add to the charisma of that specific floor. When you dispatch your recuits, they may call in for updates, and sometimes ask for your help even as you are completing your own missions.
As stated before, some gadgets produce mini-games when used. Each of these mini-games are saved, and you may go back to play them at your HQ office. In total, there are 4 different types of mini-games, and about 80 total.
In terms of visuals, MySims has been given more rich 3-D worlds than MySims Kingdom. Each level is different from the last, as you will progress through ancient temples, icy mountaintops, and even fly on your private jet.The game’s menus are in a comic book style suggestive of Buddy’s comic book background, which he reminisces about at the beginning of the game. The loading screens are very quick and, at times, even non-existent. This is because all unlockables are saved to memory.
When asked about online play, Berstein answered that it is something they are interested in for future games, but Agents does not include it. This time around, they were focusing more on the “living room experience.”
The game should take an average of 15+ hours to complete, but it has plenty of elements to keep a player going for much longer. However, while some levels can be repeated in order to collect items and complete previously untouched areas, other levels are not. Take this into account as you play through.
MySims Agents will hit store shelves on September 29, 2009, for both Wii and Nintendo DS. For more information on MySims games, head over to MySims.com.
1Official EA description.