I question how secret this particular secret agent truly is. There's the jetpack, for starters, boosting you out of a clear blue sky, thrusters sending forth bright orange flame. Then there are the machine guns, the mounted shotgun, the rocket launcher. And then there's the problem that, when I'm in the hot seat, I'll need to stop every fifteen minutes to be violently sick. How suave is that? Virtual reality jetpacking is about as easy on the stomach, it turns out, as the real thing probably is.
And yet! And yet I love Omega Agent, based on the quick spin I've had on it so far. And I love it because of that premise: colourful retro espionage shenanigans played out in the skies above a gloriously zany cityscape. I love games about spies - even when the fiction penetrates no deeper than telling you that you're a spy - and I love games about jetpacks, and I really love games about knocking around on rooftops looking for things to collect. I am willing to look past a little motion sickness to enjoy all of these things in VR.
Fireproof Studios is probably best known for The Room games at this point, but Omega Agent is so fresh and colourful and vivid that it harks back to the team's lineage at Criterion. It's a VR game set in a compact open world, and as with many open world games, the missions, which gradually open up new parts of the environment, are not the most compelling aspect. They're fine enough, but they feel like tutorials for the main event: for the first twenty minutes, they're coin runs, cross-town dashes from one glowing ring to the next, with a little bit of target-shooting and drone-chasing thrown in.
They eventually build to something pretty spectacular, but the main event, I would argue, is the free flight mode, and free flight mode is worth getting a bit sick over. Free flight lets you loose amongst the skyscrapers and sewers with nothing more pressing to do, on the surface of things, than hunt down collectables such as attache cases and blueprints. In reality, this is the bare excuse you need to blast around, combining basic thrusters with a recharging directable boost, as you see what every inch of this clean and colourful world looks like. What it looks like, I reckon, is that time that North Korean artists imagined the architecture of the next hundred years, and rendered them as gorgeously Jetsonian visions of the future of the past. There is a hint of G Plan to this metropolis. There is a hint of Metropolis - the Superman one - to it as well.
To race around this landscape, tracking down doodads, is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. I suspect the sickness comes from the fact that you can turn the craft with the right thumbstick, independently of turning your own head. I will take that sickness, anyway. It is the price you pay for the chance to do something incredible.