Fans waiting patiently for Sony Online Entertainment to get The Agency together can get a small taste of the spy game via The Agency: Covert Ops, one of the deepest Facebook games I've ever seen.
Performing missions with your friends is nothing new for a Facebook game, but SOE's The Agency: Covert Ops takes things quite a bit deeper, with customisable clothing, skill-based combat and missions that involve a lot more than simply watching your experience bar fill up.
The game begins by letting you select a class and sex, dressing up your character from a limited selection of clothing. As you can see, my character is rocking the short shorts, but more options are available as you accrue in-game cash. Sony Station members can opt to spend real money on clothes via Station Points, but who spends real money on a Facebook game?
Shut up, Farmville players.
Once you're decked out you are led through a series of missions, setting up your safe house and then delving into a plot involving some sort of disease outbreak in Amsterdam. Cover acts as action points, much like Zynga uses in Mafia Wars. Certain missions require you to recruit nearby agents to help, which I assume grants them some sort of benefit.
Unlike other Facebook games, missions in The Agency: Covert Ops can actually contain mini-games. So far I've played a word scramble code hacking game, a hidden object mini-game and even an escape mission in the form of a simplistic platformer.
You can even pimp out your headquarters with new furniture and spy gear, or visit the Black Market to stock up on the latest high-tech weaponry.
"The Agency: Covert Ops is unlike other Facebook games out there right now due to its stylised look and feel along with its deep story line," said John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment. "It's a great way for Facebook users to play a casual game with exciting missions, great mini-games and even the ability to share achievements with your Facebook friends. It's the ultimate in spy-genre Facebook gaming."
It's really rather nice, and should help tide fans over until we actually get our hands on The Agency as an online multiplayer shooter. Check it out now, and be sure to add [email protected] to your Facebook friends if you need a little backup.