Games You May Have Missed: MIB Crashdown
For this addition of "Games you might have missed" we are gonna go back about 17 years and take a look at MIB Crashdown, a first person shooter based on the Men In Black animated series.
MIB Crashdown was developed by Runecraft for the PS1 in 2001. At the time the Men in Black franchise was pretty popular in the video game space with 3 games released before Crashdown and another 2 after all ranging from nearly unplayable to pretty darn good. Thankfully Crashdown fall into the pretty darn good category/
Based on the animated series of the time, MIB Crashdown follows agent K and J in various alien bustin escapades. Instead of following one overarching story the game focuses more on smaller self contained stories that wrap up every couple of levels. The game is fully voiced accompanied by glorious PS1 pre-rendered cutscenes that do an excellent job lending to the strangeness the franchise is known for.
What the game nails is the atmosphere and oddity of the MIB universe. Throughout the game you will visit alien infested amusement parks, navigate the new york subway system, and even shrink down to the size of an insect. There is a great amount of variety in the locations to blast through and it's always exciting to see where the game throws you next, and lets not forget the iconic weaponry at the agency's disposal.
The original MIB movie introduced the world to some stellar sci-fi weaponry and luckily this game lets you play with a good amount of them. Every level Jay or Kay start with there standard De-Atomizer but as you traverse each level the agents will acquire more powerful firearms such as the Reverberating Carbonizer, the iconic Noisy Cricket, and even the Neuralyzer. Each weapon is fun to use and is given to the player in a steady pace keeping the combat fresh.
Being an FPS from the PS1, it is very much product of its time. By today's standard the game is archaic in its shooter mechanics but thanks to a generous auto aim system and highly customizable controls, the shooting is competent enough so it remains fun and, it also helps that there is a nice amount of enemy variety.
The level design is also enjoyable if not a little too basic, it all boils down to shooting enemies while navigating corridor after corridor with little in the way of diversions. There are some switches to flip and buttons to push but that's about it, there are no real puzzles, platforming or anything of that nature to deviate from the core mechanics of shooting. The biggest issue is that levels do not have any checkpoints so if you die, you go back, luckily though the levels are not too big or too difficult so frustration is kept to a minimum.
For an early FPS, MIB Crashdown is more than competent and hold its own. It's a game that was probably overlooked at the time, and I feel got lost in obscurity. The IP is utilized efficiently and the game nails the look and feel of the MIB universe. It's not the most complex game of that generation and can often even be considered basic but for any fans of the MIB Universe, or anyone interested in some fun sci fi, alien blasting, MIB Crashdown is absolutely worth your time.