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Jack Bauer, the game's main protagonist.
Jack Bauer, the game's main protagonist.
24: The Game is a third-person action shooter developed by SCE Cambridge and published by 2K Games for the PlayStation 2 on February 27, 2006. Based on the popular television drama series 24, the game includes many elements from the show, including strict attention to time (the entire game covers exactly 24 hours, while digital clocks appear often in the game to remind players of the game's progression) and temporary split-screen presentation to detail certain events. In addition to third-person shooting and driving sequences, the game also includes two mini-games that appear often in the campaign: computer hacking (puzzle mini-games) and interrogation (in which players must influence the "stress level" of suspects by acting aggressively or calmingly).

Set in Los Angeles, California between the events of Seasons 2 and 3 of the television series, 24: The Game follows Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) as they foil a series of terrorist attacks in the city. Players control certain members of CTU at certain points in the game, including Director of Field Operations Jack Bauer, Field Operations Agent ( Washington, D.C. branch) Chase Edmunds, Special Agent in Charge Tony Almeida, Intelligence Agent Michelle Dessler, and Intern Kim Bauer. The story begins with Jack and a team of CTU operatives boarding a cargo freighter in the L.A. harbor (where terrorists are planning to release a deadly toxin into the water supply). After thwarting the threat, drama begins to unravel as different terrorist plots (including an attempted assassination of Vice President Jim Prescott and an assault on the CTU building) and leads intertwine into an international terrorist conspiracy involving nuclear weapons.


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24: The Game takes place primarily from the third person perspective with a focus on shooting mechanics. The game occasionally takes a break from gun play and introduces other mechanics like driving, sniping, interrogations, stealth, and light puzzle levels. Upon completion, all levels give you an overall score on factors like accuracy, enemies killed, and property damage. Good scores unlock hidden goodies that can be accessed through the game's opening menu screen.

Shooting is accomplished by pressing the R1 button, but pressing and holding the L1 button will take the player into an over the shoulder viewpoint for more accuracy. Weapons consist of a standard arsenal of pistols, machine guns, and shotguns, along with a sniper rifle and a stun gun. 24: The Game offer more control of its lock-on mechanics than many of its contemporaries; locking-on opens up a wide circular reticule around the desired target. The player is then able to more finely aim cross-hairs within the bounds of that circle to aim at an enemy's head, arms, torso, etc. There is also a cover mechanic that allows the player to take (and pop out from behind) different types of cover. Pressing the triangle button causes the character to go into a crouching "stealth" mode that helps avoiding the attention of the various enemies.

Driving often involves getting to a certain place within a certain amount of time, completing a set of objectives, or simply escaping pursuers. It's standard driving procedure in these levels, though, because reducing property damage gains a better overall score and keeps the car functioning for longer. If the car breaks down, the player can still commandeer a new vehicle by flashing his/her CTU badge at a passing motorist.

Sniping and stealth missions are treated as mini games in 24: The Game. Sniping involves having CTU scan buildings for possible threats and shooting a set amount of those threats within the time frame allotted. Stealth involves making it through a room with minimal detection and sometimes involves minimal escort mechanics.

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Puzzles consist of a maze mechanic that has you picking the correct path to the finish while under a strict time frame. This puzzle is inserted in the game to simulate a circuit breaker, the diffusing of a bomb, or simply to unlock a door. The other puzzle is a decrypting mini game that is basically a color matching game. It randomly flashes different colors on the screen, matching the colors of the PS2 face buttons. If you press the correct corresponding color, more of the file is decrypted, eventually leading to a successful hack.

The final (and arguably most original) mini game is the interrogation segments. On occasion, Jack will capture suspects and is tasked with trying to get vital information out of them. During these segments he can either press them hard, stay in the middle, or try to calm the suspects fears. This is accomplished by watching the suspect's stress levels and button presses on the controller. Triangle is the aggressive choice, square is the middle, and the X button is used as the calming choice. Maintaining a balance is the key as being too nice will cause the suspect to gain too much confidence, but pressing too hard will cause them to freeze up out of fear.

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