- intercept agent is an over-the-top arcade action game released today on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One
- Solid vision and a laser-focused storyline make the most of the arcade action
- A fully voiced cast and original soundtrack enhance the spy genre feel and keep you immersed in the gameplay
intercept agent erupts today at supersonic speeds on Xbox, so we wanted to share how we approached the narrative design of a game that focuses on arcade action and high-stakes mayhem. There is a very exciting story at the heart of intercept agent, with twists that should put a grin on the face of any fan of the spy genre. But narrative design is more than writing the plot, so let’s take a closer look at how we brought the action to life through storytelling.
Vision — This one goes to 11
intercept agent started as an action racing game inspired by Spy Hunter (one of the first video games I ever played!), but it had to go further to establish its identity. We’ve been working on creating some clear, exciting design pillars † statements used to align the team with the direction of play † so everyone was on board with the vision. Phrases like “everyone should feel like a super spy” and “use the best of every chase ever” helped us understand what was important at every moment of the game.
But a grand, over-the-top story also helped push the overall concept of the game beyond car chases and into superhero territory. In the early stages, the story existed not only as a plot pitch, but also as a springboard to inspire our team. I shared not just a story idea, but a world of possibilities to help people think beyond the original reference material: imagine the kind of game where you fight bosses that are bigger than the screen, where you explode a missile while drive it into space, where not only does the car transform, but the world around you transforms! This helped us push the game beyond genre material, pay tribute but also see where we could expand, subvert or just get so much crazier than we’d seen before.
Story — Agency vs CLAW
I kept the core of the story clear and accessible, so the frenetic gameplay setpieces were paramount. The evil organization CLAW is back under a new villain with an army of goons and crazy techies, and only you as the agency’s elite driver of the transforming spy car the Scepter can stop them! Leaning on genre tropes and putting the player at the center of the action in every plot point, piece of level design, every set, gave the experience laser focus. The story is full of twists and wild moments, yes, but it’s mainly there to bring out the best gameplay.
Narrative design — More than writing
The flow of each level was supposed to not only tell a fun, self-contained story, but also guide the player through the gameplay journey. What bosses we had to face, what gadgets were available, what environment we were in, all played into the decisions of the story. The story was the starting point for each level. From a flowchart of the action and story beats, we then developed a full script and storyboards in collaboration with our cinematics, tech and level designers.
Each story had to provide a logical, clear, and compelling reason for the gameplay flow. For example, in one level, the player races up a mountain to test super weapons, then drives through an avalanche to escape another boss and take down the weapon. Hopefully that sounds cool on its own, but it was there to meet the needs of the gameplay: to show off our cool arctic mountain environment, to give a reason to transform to the new sled mode, to boss vehicles we had and their mechanics.
Audio – Bringing the Story to Life
Sound played an integral part in the player experience. Energetic original music tracks and bombastic sound effects heightened the feel of every moment and gave the story and game extra momentum.
We also knew we wanted voice acting, not just to give weight to the characters pushing you forward and fighting alongside you through the levels, but to keep your eyes focused on the chaotic action. You could experience the plot twists and character emotions without being distracted from the tense gameplay.
Our goal was to deliver a fun, deliberately over-the-top spy story worthy of James Bond, Fast & Furious, and Spy Hunter. But we also hope we delivered a holistic experience, where the characters, plot, music and design all work together to keep you focused on the intense action gameplay and elevate it to ridiculousness at any moment.
Did we deliver? Did you see the twists coming? Do you really make a rocket explode while riding it as it shoots into space? To buy intercept agent on Xbox and lo!
The world needs you, officer! Take control of the Sceptre, the Agency’s latest high-tech transformation vehicle, and take on the criminal organization CLAW in this explosive arcade racing game. Dodge enemy fire, mines and lasers as you perform over-the-top stunts and use the Scepter’s high-tech gadgets to blow up your enemies. Feel like a super spy as you transform the Scepter from car to plane and more, immersed in exotic locations and an original high-energy soundtrack! With a new threat around every corner, you need everything you need to defeat CLAW. An agent’s job is never finished. Agent Intercept offers expanded playability beyond the expanded campaign. Complete side missions, unlock experiments and prove your worth as a super spy on our global leaderboards!