There was a time when a fighting game was a fighting game, and a role-playing game was a role-playing game. One was decidedly simpler and more action-oriented, while the other more methodical, usually turn-based. That time has long since passed, and now it seems that every game under the sun is incorporating some elements of role-playing games.
007: Top Agent ($1.99) is no exception. Top Agent takes a generic side-scrolling beat ‘em up (like a less-entertaining version of the old NES classic Double Dragon) and adds turn-based RPG elements, along with an upgrade system for your super agent. What you’re left with is a cross-genre puree that ends up being more interesting than you’d initially suspect.
Top Agent takes you through fight after fight, using your assigned abilities to solve mysteries ripped out of classic Bond films. The enemies are generic up until the boss fights, and each fight functions with the strategy of a "rocks, paper scissors" match. Some enemies are more susceptible to your gun fire, while some more reactive to your bombs or your firsts.
Of course, if you face an enemy who likes to punch, you’ll want to parry. If you face an enemy who fires a weapon and you’re near a crate, you can hide for cover, reducing the damage you take. It doesn’t take long to figure out what you need to do to win. After that, it’s up to a metaphorical roll of the dice to see if your hits take out your enemy before he takes out you.
If this game was single player only, it would be a drag. But the most rewarding portion of the game comes once you’ve built up the abilities in your agent up enough to take him out in the real world. After a quick registration process, you’ll be fighting other agents across the globe. Adding the human element into the fights is a saving grace of this iPhone game.
This isn’t a great game by any means, but there’s enough here for fans of the Bond franchise who are looking for a departure from the FPS Bond games to take a cautious look, especially when factoring in the online play.