Perhaps IGI 2's biggest problem is that instead of drawing you into a thrilling adventure, it makes you feel like you're just going through the motions in a generic shooter.
If you do find yourself under attack, the firefights can be action-packed and exciting but are just as likely to be frustrating. The enemies usually act foolishly, but, as mentioned above, they have superb aim to compensate. Imagine the infamously difficult Sniper Town level from 2015's excellent shooter Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, but everywhere, all the time. As such, you'll need to sneak from cover to cover as you pick off enemies and use grenades to take out large groups before they can fire on you en masse. Unfortunately, the AI troops' unerring ability to hit you with a submachine gun from hundreds of yards away may make you feel like the game is cheating.
As in the original Project IGI, you'll fight these eagle-eyed thugs on huge maps that feature enormous factories or sprawling military bases set among towering mountains. Unlike in the previous game, you can actually save your progress a few times per mission as you navigate these maps. But other than their sheer size, the poorly balanced and unevenly paced levels offer fairly little of interest. While you can sometimes infiltrate an area from multiple directions, the levels are usually very linear. Sometimes you'll get a little variety in the form of a timed mission or the obligatory "escort the AI companion who keeps getting shot" mission, but that's scant consolation. On top of that, there's a major bug on one level that causes the game to crash to the desktop at random moments, along with a host of other bugs throughout the game. Interface elements disappear, bodies float high in the sky, vehicles bounce 10 feet in the air for no reason, and more.
While the levels are visually impressive in terms of their sheer size, they're not very impressive otherwise. IGI 2's graphics engine is certainly capable of rendering some attractive scenes from time to time, but there's just too little artistry behind the game to take advantage of it. Few of the levels make you feel like you're in a real-world location, despite IGI 2's real-world setting. Most buildings, for instance, are largely empty or look almost exactly alike inside and out. The game looks rather dated overall, thanks to its simple lighting and shadow effects, blocky 3D models, and generally unconvincing animations. It just lacks any sort of memorable visual style, and you'll forget what each level looked like as soon as you finish it.
Like the visuals, IGI 2's audio is merely adequate. On the one hand, you'll hear wind whistling through the pines high on a snowy mountain and hear Jones' feet realistically crunching gravel as he runs. The guns sound powerful for the most part, too. On the other hand, the music is forgettable, and most of the voice-overs are quite bad. The voices for Jones and his cohorts back at IGI headquarters are competent, but the voices for the "Russian" henchmen in the early missions, for example, are horrible. All the guards keep shouting the same phrases over and over for no reason--you'll want to kill them just to shut them up.
When you get tired of the single-player game--which will likely happen in a hurry--you can head online. IGI 2's multiplayer offers a decent variant on the popular team-based shooter Counter-Strike, albeit with unusually large maps. In fact, the maps feel too large for a game that supports only 16 players. The menu system is also rather clumsy.
IGI 2: Covert Strike has its entertaining moments, but not enough of them to help the game rise above mediocrity. Sometimes the game provides some exciting combat, but more often it tends to be boring, clichéd, or clumsy. It fails miserably at providing any sort of interesting story or characters that you care about. The levels are huge, but they're often bland or repetitive, and the game is riddled with design problems and bugs. Perhaps IGI 2's biggest problem is that instead of drawing you into a thrilling adventure, it makes you feel like you're just going through the motions in a generic shooter.