The Agency: MMO Gaming Comes to the PS3

Concept art for The Agency

Get out your secret decoder rings, ’cause you’re going to need them.

Apparently, most of us weren’t paying that much attention earlier this year when Sony executive Yair Landau revealed SOE’s latest concept for an MMO. Keynoting the D.I.C.E. Summit, Landau previewed a clip of the new game – codenamed “Vista” – that gave those there a glimpse of a third-person shooter set in Prague complete with dangerous women and hot cars.

Prefacing the game’s introduction with one of the trailers from Casino Royale, Sony gave those at the Summit all they needed to know about the game at the time. It’s an MMO. Better yet, it’s a spy MMO.

Yep… That’s all anyone there apparently knew. And the rest of us weren’t really paying attention. Tsk.

Everyone’s paying attention now. And why is that? Because in an exclusive to the most recent issue of PSM, Sony has officially revealed the game and given everyone a better, if still sketchy, glimpse into their world of spies.

So what do we know about the game now? Still not as much as we’d like, but definitely enough to intrigue us.

Here are some of the details:

  • The game, no longer codenamed “Vista” for its delays (Okay… So it’s a little funny.) is officially called The Agency. The game is designed based on the idea of living the life of an elite agent.
  • There are two factions: UNITE, a covert organization, and Paragon, a mercenary group.
  • Classes run on the principle of “You are what you wear.” This means that you’ll be able to change what you do simply by changing clothes. Apparently this is Sony’s answer to the age-old question: “Are there any mages willing to help with a dungeon run?”
  • Players will be able to team up for vehicular chases. And by “team up” we mean hop in the same car and go get that bad guy.
  • Once players have completed opening missions, they’ll be able to branch out on their own and gather AI-controlled agents. (Though not mentioned in the article, it has been surmised that these agents may be able to do your crafting for you, eliminating the need to spend time online that could be spent doing other things. When was the last time you went to work?)
  • There will be PVP. (Who hadn’t guessed that one??)
  • The Agency will be available for both Windows and the PS3.

There you have it. That’s everything SOE is willing to tell us about their new world. Fast cars, dangerous women, guns, clothes for literally every occasion, cool gadgets… Ah, the life of a secret agent.

Let’s face it. We’ve all wanted to be a spy at one time or another. Looks like we may now have the chance. But before we all run off to do start our spy training, I think we all need to start paying better attention.