In this, version III of what looks to be a long-running franchise, Activision game-play becomes more subtle.
The new game is set some weeks after the end of Activision I and II. Gone are the bouncers, the armed guards, the mysterious disappearance of the two heroes.
Instead, though, comes some tricky legal action that will get aficionados of more psychological game-play abuzz.
Veterans of the series will recall that Activision I began with the sudden disappearance of Infinity ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella, in a classic shoot-em-up invlolving ‘bouncer types’.
In Activision II – which many fans felt was rushed out without enough new material – heroes Jason and Vince fight back by suing over breach of contract.
Version III takes things one stage further, with the Company countersuing over contract violation. Basic game-play revolves around ‘poaching’ as many ‘staff’ and ‘dollars’ as possible while dodging the attempts of the evil Company to poison your reputation.
While the graphics in Activision III are at times disappointing, the text never fails to enthral. Check this out, for example: the Company justifies its thrilling – if brutal – termination of Jason and Vince by claiming that they “morphed from valued, responsible executives into insubordinate and self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision’s assets for their own personal gain.”
The allegations of contract violation concern meetings between the pair and a sinister rival studio with the aim of creating a new, world-dominating power.
While we don’t want to give too much away, the documentation supplied with the game does refer to “a secret trip by private jet to Northern California, arranged by their Hollywood agent”. (Spoiler Alert: Electronic Arts is based in northern California.)