Top 100 N64 Review: #69 – Mission: Impossible (1998)


Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to try and believe it. 
Mission Impossible N64 Title Screen
LesLites’ Ranking#69/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

The only thing impossible about this game is trying to understand it. If I had to chose what better represented reality, I would go with Lord of the Rings over Mission: Impossible. This world, filled with hideous polygons and multi-layered distance fog, cannot be of our own. It still has a couple good missions, though.

Mission Impossible Graphics N64
How many things can you spot that are off? ∞


Loosely-based on the movie of the same name, Ethan Hunt works for some secret organization. During one operation, he gets out alive beyond all odds, and now the CIA thinks he’s a mole. He escapes from the detention facility and works to clear his name by exposing the true defector.

Mission Impossible N64 bathroom
Do two  single-sex stalls in the same bathroom make it unisex? And is that a urinal or a trapezoid?


Goldeneye 007 allowed you freedom to play stealth mode or as a Rambo incarnate, but it always involved weapons. Mission: Impossible was pegged to be a thinking man’s game: you have to approach situations with finesse and discretion. It’s more in the vein of a spy thriller and requires a wider skill set than blasting away with dual rocket launchers.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take advantage of this clever venue of choices. There is only one way to accomplish missions, and you find this out through trial and error. It can be very unforgiving: as you experiment, it punishes you with irreversible mission failures. What should be an unlimited branching of  labyrinths is really a solitary hallway.

It shares a similar trait with Star Wars: The Shadows of the Empire. There are multiple formats (stealth, shoot-em up, sniper, etc), but it doesn’t do any of them particularly well. The best mission involves an Embassy. To go to the next area, you have to avoid an assassin, befriend and trick an ambassador, make contact with other operatives, and set up your escape plan. While there is a set sequence required, it isn’t as harsh and your exploration to find the right path is rewarded.

Everything else is in an alternate universe.

Mission Impossible N64 Zing
For the record, I think Matlock, In the Heat of the Night, and Murder She Wrote are better than any primetime line up.

No Sense.

You gain entry in the Head of Security’s office. Knowing you to be a spy, he sounds the alarm, but you knock him out and steal his clothes and identity. This is quite the problem. He’s already alerted everyone so this isn’t going to work…until you smooth talk your way out of  it with this one:

Mission Impossible N64 Makes no Sense

They must have a lot of faith in their boss since no one asks the follow up question of “Where is he then in your empty ass office?” This Han Solo school of misdirection normally doesn’t work:

Really Makes No Sense.

You rendezvous with a contact who knows the true mole at a public train station. She double crosses you and sets you up to die. No worry: you have stationed two snipers that give you cover. The computer takes over Ethan and aimlessly wanders a train station to find the contact because somehow you lost where she went…even though you have two people stationed for this kind of thing.

Random people roll up with hand guns as you shoot them down before they can harm Ethan. The innocent bystanders  are horrified, scared to move out from cover due to fear of safety for their lives. Just kidding. After a few seconds of crouching, they continue to go about their days answering cell phones and drinking soda. I’m being serious. 

Mission Impossible Sniper N64


I may have ridden nostalgia to a 3 out of 5 stars, but this game is ugly and makes no sense.

Other People’s Takes: 

  • Old Video Games: “Mission: Impossible is one of the few games that sneaked through my “good games security checkpoint” and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.”
  • Liam Wood: “Mission Impossible is good fun although quite frustrating at times, the action is lacking in places but the sense of achievement for negotiating each objective goes a long way to making up for it.”
  • Super Solid Pawn Advance: “Having the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia can make some pretty crummy things look good on a personal level, but they can’t save everything, and even though I can remember being impressed with this game, it simply didn’t hold up.”

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