This game is like a gangbanging Super Mario Bros. It’s more or less a platformer – substitute orbs for coins, and violent cliched thugs for the little turtles. That said, the explosive skill does come into play more as you move to the harder gangs, who like to hang in groups, often near exploding barrels. Strength can be useful, too, but much less so. Once you get to two stars, I think, you can kill a man with one kick, which is a nice shotgun replacement. But it’s less rewarding than the other skills since your only real melee move is the one Norris-style roundhouse kick. Jump kicks don’t really work, and you can’t uppercut people to cartoonish altitudes. Lifting cars looks good, but it takes too long to be a good option when you’re being attacked by more than one thug.
By the time you get to four stars in agility, you’re really wishing there was more to the game. It’s quite likely it was rushed out, maybe because of the Halo 3 beta. It’s a shame, because it could have been really incredible. As I mentioned there are no interiors at all, the missions are not varied or even really that hard. In fact the game encourages you to speed through them: since many of the thugs regenerate, there’s no point in trying to be a completist and taking them all out. You’re better off bouncing right into the boss room. You could probably beat the game in an hour if you were really blazin’. Also, while I love the general idea of these cranked-out magic superagents, the game is just crying out for some enemy agents of similar skill to challenge you. Beatin’ on multiple hapless goons gets stale. Let’s hope the sequel steals a lot more from GTA, and keeps the sweet co-op mode.